Monday April 29, 2024 at 2:31 am

Yes, the rumors are true. Gus Hansen will join Team Winamax as their newest sponsored pro. The legendary Danish pro makes his Team Winamax debut at the EPT Monte Carlo on Monday. Hansen is no stranger to the winner's circle with three WPT titles, one WSOP bracelet, and an epic victory at the Aussie Millions.


That's not a ghost. Gus Hansen is alive and thriving. Hansen first turned the poker world upside down at the turn of the century with his super-aggro style during the start of the glorious online poker boom which coincided with his prominence on the World Poker Tour. In a short time, Hansen usurped the status quo and baffled the traditionalists that were still playing Texas Hold'em with an antiquated gameplan that was suited for the 1990s. Hansen won multiple WPT titles with an unique style of play that instilled fear into his unsuspecting tablemates and baffled pros who were unable to put the Great Dane on a hand. Hansen's fearless approach at the tables and outside-the-box strategy became synonymous with online Scandi players, who adopted Hansen's berserker style and put their own spin on it in the late 2000s.

Hansen shipped three WPT titles between 2002 and 2004 including victories at the Bellagio in 2002, Commerce Casino in LA in 2003, and one of the earliest installments of the PCA in the Bahamas in 2004. Hansen headed down under and binked the 2007 Aussie Millions Main Event when he defeated American wunderkind Jimmy "Gobboboy" Fricke heads up for the title and $1.5 million in Aussie Bucks.

Hansen finally won his first WSOP bracelet at the 2010 WSOP Europe at the Empire Casino in London. He snagged the WSOPE High Roller Heads-Up bracelet when he defeated James Collopy for the bling.

Prior to becoming a professional gambler, Hansen was a top junior tennis player and backgammon wizard in Denmark. He fell in love with poker during his days as an exchange college student in California in the 1990s. Hansen combined his thirst for athletic competition and his gaming acumen into becoming one of the best poker players in the world.

Hansen rocked a shaved head and spoke perfect English, which made him feel like he was a villain from a James Bond movie. During the poker boom, Hansen was a regular on televised poker shows like High Stakes Poker with other legends like Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, and Phil Ivey. Hansen won one of the craziest hands in High Stakes Poker history during season two – which was the largest single cash-game pot at the time – when he issued a wicked bad beat on Daniel Negreanu. Hansen's pocket fives outgunned Kid Poker's pocket sixes. Both players flopped a set, but Hansen turned the case five for quads. Negreanu thought he was ahead with a full house, and the two rumbled in a hand worth $575,000 that people are still taking about. Hansen checked the river on a board that read Carte 9 de trèfleCarte 6 de carreauCarte 5 de cœurCarte 5 de piqueCarte 8 de pique. With $111K in the pot, Negreanu bet $65K and tossed a brick of greenbacks onto the felt. Hansen announced all-in. Negreanu stood up and asked for a count. He knew only three hands beat him, but called anyway.

Hansen has ambassador experience as a former online poker pitchman. He was one of the first wave of pros at Full Tilt Poker at the apex of the global poker boom in the late 2000s. Tournament poker has come a long way since Hansen made a seismic splash on the WPT over 22 years ago. But as the saying goes… once a legend, always a legend. Hansen joins some of the top pros in Europe, but he wanted to be with the best of the best at Team Winamax.

"Team Winamax is quite simply the best team in the world," Hansen said.

A long-standing friendship with Stephane Matheu eventually evolved into a sponsorship with Winamax, according to a post by Benjo at Winamax's English news site.

"With Stephane, we always talked about the possibility of working together," Hansen said in an exclusive interview with Winamax.

"There's no need to introduce Gus, he's a legend," said Matheu. "He's someone who's been around since the beginning of the modern poker era. This has a lot of meaning. Gus is the person who introduced me to the world of poker twenty years ago. I knew nothing about it! Everyone's come a long way. It's pretty crazy to think that today he's joining the team I've been supervising for fourteen years."

"The possibility has always floated in the air," explained Hansen. "It's been many years now since Stephane joined Team Winamax, while I've taken a bit of a back seat. I had a son and all that, and then I started playing poker again. I played a tournament in Las Vegas in December. Team Winamax was there, and Stephane and I put the idea back on the table. We thought it might be the right time. All the lights were green."

"Gus is going to bring his experience and a different perspective," Matheu predicted. "At Winamax, we like to do things in a slightly offbeat way, and Gus is someone who approaches things differently from your average Joe, with a unique perspective. He pushes you to see things in a different way. And that's great when you're looking to exchange ideas, as we are with the Team. As for his part, after revolutionizing poker at one period in time, he'll be able to catch up with the most successful players today."

Check out ClubPoker's coverage of the 2024 EPT Monte Carlo to see how Hansen and the rest of Team Winamax are doing during the Main Event.

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