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Gus Hansen

Gus Hansen Biography
by Chad Holloway of

Gus Hansen was born just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark on February 13, 1974. As a youth, Hansen was both a tennis champion and a world-class backgammon player. In 1993, Hansen discovered poker while attending the University of California Santa Cruz as a foreign exchange student, but returned to Denmark to serve his country two years later: "In 1995, I went back to Denmark, where I had to sign up for the possibility of military service. It's actually a lottery. You pick a number; if it's a low number, you're in, but the thing is, it's only for nine months. Personally, I think it was a good point in time for me to be in the service. I may have needed a break from my gambling career to get back to real life."

After serving as a civil servant, Hansen moved to New York in order to make a living as a professional backgammon player; however, the action was not as big as he had hoped and he gradually began to play more poker. In 2002, he made the transition to tournament poker by outlasting 146 opponents to win the World Poker Tour's Five-Diamond World Poker Classic for $550,000. Hansen became known as a loose and aggressive played because of the large range of hands he plays:

"I have always liked to try out new things and test the waters. Maybe it is ridiculous, but I don't like to exclude anything from my game plan. Every option is an option. Nothing is off-limits. Sometimes I would try something and then overdo it. So, in Santa Cruz, when I would overdo it and show some garbage hand, it became known as a 'Gus.' When someone would win with a funky hand, he would turn it over and say, 'I have a Gus.'"

Hansen's other poker accomplishments include winning three more WPT events (the L.A. Poker Classic, the Bad Boys of Poker tournament, and the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure main event). He won the inaugural Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament and the inaugural EPM event, The London All Star Challenge. He has had numerous appearances on Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker, where he won the second biggest pot in the show's history ($575,700) when his 5d 5c defeated Daniel Negreanu's 6? 6? on a board of 9c 6d 5h 5s 8s. More recently, Hansen won the 2007 Aussie Millions Main Event in Melbourne, Australia and was runner-up to David Chiu at the 2008 WPT World Championship event. He has also been inducted into the WPT Walk of Fame.

Hansen, who is nicknamed "The Great Dane", was named to People Magazine's "50 Sexiest People" list in 2004. He is the spokesperson for Frank Q, a Danish men's fashion line, and appeared in the 2007 film, Redline, playing poker in a scene alongside David Williams. Hansen, who is a member of Team Full Tilt, currently resides in Monte Carlo, Monaco and is single: "I am a very individual person. I like gambling. I love what I do and I love the fact that I don't have to answer to anyone . . . this way of life gives me a lot of freedom - no girlfriend, no ties, and I'm not looking. I like to hang out and have fun. I like my independence." Hansen has more than $7.1 million in lifetime tournament winnings.


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