The Great Dane Gustav Hansen, a Big Dog

One of poker’s most recognizable figures admits to “feeling the pressure” of a losing streak that has reached depths that may be tough to dig out of. A mainstay in the biggest cash games in the world, poker pro Gus Hansen, has the rail buzzing with clear evidence of his multi-million dollar downswing. Hansen has lost more than 16 million on the virtual felt, a large chunk of that debt came after the re-launch of Full Tilt Poker in November 2012. The high stakes hero has hinted at dropping down in stakes and admits to searching for another gear to re-invent his fearless style. While his bankroll continues to spiral downward, the poker gossip mill moves full steam ahead. From online poker forums to nosebleed nerds tracking every pot, the poker masses are tuned in and turned on to the string of losing sessions. For Gustav “the Great Dane” Hansen, the struggle is real.

Pure, unadulterated competition is what drove the Danish pro to this “poker crossroads” in the first place. Born as Gustav Hansen and raised outside of Copenhagen, was a youth tennis champion at a very young age. His success on clay translated to the backgammon board where Hansen gained international recognition as one of the world’s elite players. The backgammon ceiling was visible once Gus reached the top, he gravitated towards poker to fuel his competitive spirit and provide larger monetary payouts.

While pokers prize pools are increasing and the stakes continue to climb, it’s the “Great Dane” that continues to bark up the wrong tree. Full Tilt Poker officially announced Gustav Hansen would be labeled their “face of poker” in January 2013. The press release came just a few shorts months after the online rail report disclosed another losing year. His peers and close competition have spoken publicly about Gus being in over his head. “I don’t think he’s a favorite against anyone, he’s a dog in almost every game,” said Dan Cates. Online pro Kagome Kagome chimed in to say Gus “makes too many costly mistakes to be profitable”.

Gustav Hansen has an impressive resume, his career earnings have eclipsed the 11million mark. He claims he still has money to lose, but everyone begs the question “where does Gustav Hansen get his money?” Questions about his bankroll have swirled around poker circles for the last 3 years. Rumors have surfaced about cash game stakes from Guy Laliberte and Patrik Antonius, though no one has actually confirmed either.

High-stakes regulars and poker’s elite readily admit Gus Hansen used to have an edge in Limit Hold Em’ and capped PLO games, but times have changed. While he searches for answers to reclaim losses, the competition continues to improve. His loose style and laid back persona may need a facelift to get out of the red. Good luck Gus, the grind continues.

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