Gus Hansen went from being one of the best poker players of all time to losing over $20.000.000 and having to get a regular job as an accountant.

In this post you will learn about the life of Gus Hansen and get the whole poker story about the “Great Dane” and his ups and downs. 

Who is Gus Hansen?

Gustav Hansen, better known as Gus Hansen, is a danish professional poker player. He was born February the 13th in 1974 in Copenhagen. 

Gus Hansen is known for his extremely aggressive style of play, playing almost every hand he is dealt.    

Gus has won the World Poker Tour (WPT) four times since his debut in the beginning of 2002. In May the same year he won his first WPT which gave him $556.460 in winnings. This happened in the city of poker, Las Vegas, USA. 

Gus Hansen Portrait

The year after, Gus Hansen won his 2nd WPT in Los Angeles in a $10.000 No Limit Hold’em tournament (L.A. Poker Classics) bringing in $532.490. After that he won $25.000 in the “Bad Boys of Poker” special event. The same year he bagged $276,426 for coming in 3rd in the 2003 Hold’em WPT Championship Event.

Gus’ 4th and latest World Poker Tour victory was in 2004 where we ended up winning $455,780 in a heads-up game against Hoyt Corkins. The poker tournament was held in The Caribbean. Big players such as Daniel Negreanu, Bill Gazes and Chris Ferguson was also attending the tournament.     

In 2004 Gustav Hansen was admitted in the World Poker Tour Hall of Fame. Today he is the 5th most winning player at WPT with a total income of more that $4.000.000.

Early Life of Gus Hansen

Gustav was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. When he was a toddler his mom started calling him Gus. Since then the nickname has been stuck with him. Hansen was homeschooled for the most of his childhood, taught by his mom and aunt. 

Gus Hansen had to grow up quickly, as he had to take care of his smaller siblings when their parent were out working second jobs at night to make ends meet.

Gus Hansen backgammon -min

Before becoming the “Great Dane” of poker, Hansen played a lot of backgammon. He spend the whole summer before high school learning the game and strategies behind the board game. He actually ended up becoming one of the worlds best backgammon players at the time.

Gus was a very good student in school. Especially in mathematics. He was placed in advanced math classes in high school and ended up with straight A’s. His great results awarded him with several academic scholarships of which he used to attend University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) with a degree in accounting. After all, math came easy to him.

How Gus Hansen got into Poker

During his time at UCSC Gus Hansen developed an interest in poker. He was invited to a private Texas Hold’em tournament held in a small dorm room. Despite that he had never played poker, Gus ended up winning the 8 player tournament. Gus Hansen’s roommates were amazed of how quickly he picked up the poker game and strategies to outplay them. This was the year of 1993.

After college Gus went back home to Denmark to serve in the military. Here he continued playing backgammon and poker during the down time. He played Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven-card Stud and Razz poker.

In the year of 2000 Gus Hansen moved to New York to play backgammon professionally. Soon after he realized that he should spend his time on the poker scene. After that he entered every poker tournament that he could find.

Gus Hansen's college (UCSC)

His Biggest Win

The biggest win of Gus Hansen was in 2008. In a $25.000 WPT World Championship Event in Las Vegas, USA, Gus was at the final table heads-up against David Chiu. Hansen had a comfortable chiplead but still ended up losing against Chiu. Gus Hansen still won $1.714.800 for coming in second. This is still his biggest win to date (2020). Watch the dramatic final hand in the video below.


23 years after starting his professional poker career, Gus finally won his first World Series of Poker bracelet.

He got his bracelet by winning the 2010 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up event at the WSOP. Other than winning the signature golden bracelet he bagged over $450.000 that day.

Private Life

Privately Gus Hansen has become known as a playboy. He has been seen dating various girl including the danish professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki. At the time she was ranked as the best female tennis player.

In 2004 Gus appeared on People’s Magazine’s 50 Sexiest People. This further affirmed the playboy lifestyle of Hansen. Today it is still very unlikely to see Gus Hansen settling down with wife and kids. He really seems to enjoy the freedom of his lifestyle – who can blame him?

According to himself he is a very individual person not comfortable being in a long term relationship. That said he has been seen with the female Australian Poker Player, Lucy Lechich, on his instagram.

Where is Gus Hansen Now?

Gus Hansen’s last major performance was at the 2012 Aussie Millions $250,000 No Limit Hold’em Challenge. Here he did make it to the final table but ended up losing against Patrik Antonius and Phil Ivey. This was not too big a disappointment as he still won $820.000 in cash prize.

After that Gus has been struggling playing the big live poker tournaments. In an interview with Poker News he said “I think every competitive player has to question himself at some point and ask “has the game surpassed me? Am I rusty? Am I not good enough in this game anymore?” I’m asking myself questions and that keeps me up at night”.

Gus kept winning small games but it was not enough to financially support himself. He also performed poorly in online poker losing up to $20.000.000.

In an interview with a danish paper he said “It’s the same game and the same opponents. But when you sit in front of a screen you cannot see your opponent, you just have to push some buttons. And apparently I’m not as great at that”.

Gus Hansen Online Poker

After that Gus Hansen got a regular job as an accountant and completely left the poker scene. But the 9 to 5 lifestyle is very different from the exciting rush of the poker player lifestyle.

That’s why he stepped out of “retirement” a couple of years later. He started playing small tournaments and is now, once again, able to finance his life from poker. He currently lives in Monaco in the south of Europe and travels around the world playing poker. But he is looking for a new home in Denmark. 

Becoming a Father

In Gus’ personal life everything seems to be going well. A danish newspaper recently interviewed Gus, and he told the news of his girlfriend being pregnant. 

In October of 2020 Gus Hansens girlfriend, Malan, gave birth. This has also been confirmed by Gus Hansen himself on his personal instagram.

Gus Hansen Kid 


Want to test your skills?

Before losing everything, Gus Hansen built himself a massive brand and fortune playing poker.
No doubt the guy has a talent for the game.

If you and your friends are looking to test your skills in a social game of poker with friends, you should check out our free app, EasyPoker. 

It’s a digital version of a physical poker set, and by far the easiest way to play poker with friends – no chips or playing cards needed.

You create a table with just a single tap on your screen, and friends join in by typing the four digit game code on their phone.
Whether you’re playing live or online, the EasyPoker app is perfect for poker with friends.  

Doyle Brunson
Doyle Brunson

more poker player stories? 

We’re constantly adding to our library of awesome poker player stories.
Like this one, about the notorious poker playboy Dan Bilzerian. A guy whose number of girls is only rivaled by the zeroes in his bank account. But is it all legit?
There’s a lot of stories and opinions about him, so we collected them all into one easy read.

Daniel Negreanu vs Doug Polk

If you have anything to add to the Gus Hansen story, or have a wish for who we should profile next, please let us know in the comments below or by reaching out to us.