For the first time in nearly two years Gus Hansen, one of the original legends of online poker, has been spotted frequenting the virtual felt.
The Danish-born Hansen, known as “The Great Dane” to fans from the poker boom era, played two sessions of 2-7 Triple Draw at $150/$300 blinds on PokerStars. Using his post-Black Friday screenname “broski,” Hansen sat in the 2-7 game on August 22nd, and according to a PokerNews recap of the proceedings compiled by reporter Frank Op de Woerd, the former nosebleed stakes specialist booked a modest profit of $5,600.
Competing against well-known online pros Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky, Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov, and Zhou Chun “samrostan” Lei, Hansen followed up with a second session the next day, but PokerNews reports him losing his previous profit before finishing the day down $7,498.
For railbirds who fondly remember online poker’s glory days, Hansen winning or losing four-figure sums would hardly be considered newsworthy. Along with fellow high-stakes beasts like Phil “Polarizing” Ivey, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Hansen once turned Full Tilt Poker into the home of online poker’s largest games – where the blinds alone regularly reached four-figures.
In 2011 – the year Full Tilt became embroiled in a financial fraud scandal in the wake of Black Friday – Hansen managed to win nearly $4 million in just the first five months, making him the biggest winner in all of online poker that year.
By 2012 the defunct Full Tilt brand had been purchased by PokerStars’ parent company Amaya, as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and reopened as a European-facing platform. Hansen returned to the high-stakes tables with a vengeance, but his famously volatile style of play didn’t seem to be a great fit within modern poker strategy.
Between 2012 and 2014 online poker tracking HighStakes.db reports Hansen losing an astounding $17 million while playing on Full Tilt. This incredible run of negative results included the ignominious title of “biggest loser in online poker” in 2013, with $8,461,472 in losses, and the following year when he finished $5,864,263 in the red.
In October of 2014 the site parted ways with “The Professionals” – a group of sponsored pros consisting of Hansen, Dwan, and Blom – and Hansen stopped playing there altogether.
After creating the “broski” account on PokerStars a short time later, Hansen then proceeded to drop another $1,392,489 over a pair of extended sessions lasting several months each.
In January of 2015, in the Danish capital of Copenhagen for a major bridge tournament, Hansen sat for an interview with Danish website Pokernyhederne to discuss his disastrous multimillion dollar downswing:
“One has to be honest and say that sometimes somebody catches up to you and sometimes somebody surpasses you. That has been the case with the results I have had for a long period of time.
If you should rate my table selection, it would be about the worst that has ever been seen. Also, my tilt factor is about the worst in the world and my stubbornness is about the worst. It’s obvious that some of these factors have weighed in and led to my bad results.
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. Especially when I go on a big losing streak as I am.”