Gus Hansen
by Greg Cavouras  

Gus Hansen - Source

Gustav (Gus) Hansen, originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of the most aggressive players in Poker. From humble beginnings as an unknown amateur in Santa Cruz, California, Gus Hansen has quickly developed a reputation as one of the most difficult players to play against.


He is a mercurial study of opposites; at times he represents his methodical, calculated Backgammon-based background, and two hands later you’ll see him making an enormous raise on a 4-7 off suit! Often so-called experts will berate his aggressive play as foolish or even stupid, however Gus’s resume speaks for itself; In his first season of World Poker Tour play, Gus won events at the Bellagio and the Commerce. Along the way, he took out some of the most respected players in Poker, such as Canadian ace Daniel Negreanu, and Vietnamese legend Scotty “Win” Nguyen. He followed that success up with a second season that featured wins in the Pokerstars Caribbean Poker Adventure, and the WPT Bad Boys tournament.


Many have commented that his success is based on luck, however if you watch “The Great Dane” play enough hands, it becomes clear that his true strength at the poker tables isn’t his own hand, but rather reading his opponents and their hands. His ability to read opposing players, and force them into a fold of a potentially winning hand can border on witchcraft. His aggression is so well known in the Poker world that a new term has been coined; “Pulling a Gus”, happens when you beat an opponent with a hand that’s marginal at best!


While Gus doesn’t tour regularly, he will frequent a high buy-in tournament. In watching Gus play, it’s clear why he prefers big pot, no limit tournaments, as his intensely aggressive play is not suited to limit Poker. When asked about his daredevil style of play, Gus remains thoughtful and philosophical: “One of my strengths is that I definitely make mistakes that other - I would call them solid poker players - wouldn't make, but I definitely also make some good plays that they probably wouldn't dream about.” This quote highlights Gus’s realistic and modest view on his success. It also characterizes the way he approaches life in general, carrying himself in a simpler, less flashy than many of Poker’s top players- however it doesn’t take much to be less flashy than a character like David Ulliott!


His modesty may be misplaced however, as he continues to surprise opponents and prove traditionalist poker experts wrong. His unprecedented success against the established kings of poker has earned him international recognition, and to date almost two million dollars in cash. He has also had the honour of being one of the first three inductees on the WPT walk of fame, joining actor James Garner, and living legend Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson. Played correctly, his aggressive style has the potential to revolutionize the modern no-limit Hold’em game, and as the next generation of poker stars comes through, one can’t help but expect Gus Hansen will be an influence on many upcoming stars. Only trouble is, they will have to prove themselves against players with mind-reading talent like the Great Dane himself!

Gus Hansen's Site

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