There is a lovely country. It is called Denmark. It is small, but it has had an historical impact of size and matter. Once the danes ruled the seas as vikings and in the year of 92, they won the European Championship in football. The danes have also proved themselves in something else. Poker. In this article we celebrate some of the four most influential danish players and the achievements.

Peter Nicolas Eastgate

Fortune favors the bold – and young. Peter was only 22 years old when he won the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion. It made him the youngest poker player to have ever won the World Series. He beat Pro Phil Hellmuth’s 19 year old record. Phil won at the age of 24.
Peter learned to play the game with his friends and had only played professional 2 years, prior to his major win. He took home an astounding amount of $9.152.415. Peter held the record one year until 21 year old Joe Cada won the very next year.

Danish poker players

Peter used his winning as any other 22 year old would. On having a good old jolly time with his girlfriend in Las Vegas. He admits that he did not do much to promote the game following his major win. Nevertheless. His win made history and threw Phil of the mantle. A new and young generation had arrived and it started with Peter.

Jan Vang Sørensen

As a former professional football player, this guy craves to win. Jan spent his early career as a footballer in the best football league in Denmark. A knee injury ended his career. He transferred his competitive ability to poker and stands tall as the dane with most won bracelets.

Jan won The World Series of Poker with PL Omaha in 2002 and 7 Card Stud in 2005. He began playing poker in the mid 70’s, so he has a long standing history with different iterations of the game. His favourite is 7 Cards. Jan is a fighter and a true testament to hard work, ability and dedication.

Danish-poker-player_jan-vang-sørensen

When reaching the final table, Jan never relied on mathematics. He always went with playing what he could see. The stakes, the cards, the players. He had at an interview in 2007 played roughly 50 final tables. Needless to say. He knows what he is talking about. His best live earnings is at an $800,972.He seems not to have been active in poker since 2013 when he attended The No Limit Hold’em – Main Event in Copenhagen and finished 12th.

Mads Mikkelsen “Le Chiffre” 

There are benefits of playing the part of the most despicable poker player in the world. Renowned danish actor took on the role of “Le Chiffre” opposite Daniel Craig’s depiction of “James Bond”. Mads Mikkelsen contributed to unfold the intensity of high stakes poker on the big screen. Sure, he might have had to break some balls (literally) getting there. There is no denying that the movie “Casino Royale” succeeded in using poker as the primary drive of the story. Each hand made it all more hard to watch.

Casino-royale_mads-mikkelsen_danish-poker-player

The movie was released in 2006 and made $606,1 million in box office earnings. Sadly, 2006 was also when the poker boom was near its end. If it had to finish on a high note, Casino Royale and Le Chiffre did it justice. Just not enough to keep the boom booming.

Mads Mikkelsen was because of the storyline coached in playing the game. He took home his newfound knowledge and used it to win money from his friends. They were not so happy. He was.

A fun fact. Mads Mikkelsen appeared in a danish mockumentary called “Pokerface”(Danish: Pokerfjæs) playing ‘himself’ in a tour de force of five friends’ failure of trying to make it big with poker in the U.S.

If you are interested and want to read about other great poker movies, please check out our blog about: Poker movies you need to watch.

Gus Hansen “The Great Dane”

He is known as “The Great Dane”, but feared as “The Madman”. Gus is furious at the poker table. His way of playing is aggressive and sometimes bonkers. Nevertheless, Gus’ fearless personality has made him a force to be reckoned with. In the slipstream of televised poker tournaments and the poker boom, Gus became a great character and ambassador for the intensity of the game. Suddenly poker players became celebrities.

Whether Gus Hansen was cherished, loved, hated or feared, he was most of all respected. His influence was widespread. In Denmark he was a national hero and equal to Denmark’s celebrities. On the international scene of poker Gus was a superstar. Everybody knew him. A great ambassador for the mainstream perception of poker and further development of the popular game.

Gus-Hansen_danish-poker-player

Just like Ikaros, Gus Hansen flew too high and got burned. His aggressive style of poker came with certain downsides. Gus has ended up losing more than he could afford. Millions of dollars in loosings have temporarily ended his once winning spree. At least he has a bracelet to show for it. In 2010 he won his first and only WSOP by winning the High-Roller No-Limit Hold’em Heads up Championship at WSOP Europe in london. He ended up bringing home $451,880.

Even if he is not as he once was, he is still remembered as dane who has had the most influence in promoting poker in Denmark. A true gambler and aficionado of our beloved game of poker.

If you want to know more about Gus Hansen, then check out our Poker Player Story about Gus Hansen here.

WANT TO KICKSTART YOUR POKER CAREER?

Test your skills against your friends in a free game of private digital poker? The EasyPoker app provides both chips, cards and an unlimited amount of games – for free. It’s a digital version of a physical poker set that takes care of everything. And so all you have to do is just play your cards. Get the poker app for Android and iPhone.

WANT MORE POKER CONTENT?

We’re constantly adding new blogs about all things poker. You can find them all on our blog.

If you have a suggestion for a story you would like to read, or something to add to this one, let us know in the comments below. Thank you.

Easy-poker-app
Easy-poker_IOS_Android