At the outset of the World Poker Tour, and the heydays of the high stakes action on Full Tilt, Gus Hansen was one of the biggest names in the game. His wins were legendary and many considered him to be one of the top players in the game. Many players watched in awe as he played the highest stakes possible online for hours on end, devastating opponents with apparent ease. Years later, the man who once one the fifth largest pot on the High Stakes Poker television show ($575,700) is now showing signs of giving up poker for good.
Last week, Hansen appeared on the television show Good Morning Denmark to, according to a translation from PokerLobby.Gr, take part in a campaign for the Red Cross, in which he gave the clothes off his back to help the charity. Interestingly, this included a Full Tilt Poker shirt, fueling the speculation that he is leaving the poker world behind. According to the tagline of the show, “poker star Gus Hansen home to quiet Denmark to raise a family.” It is being seen as a move away from poker completely, given his apparent lack of interest in the game in recent years. He has spent several years traveling the world and playing occasionally, but he has hardly been the staple of poker world that he once was.
While he didn’t outright say he was quitting completely, he did say that he is no longer a player in the high stakes games that made him famous. Although he was once up $8 million on Full Tilt, it seemed the poker world left him behind. Since the days of battling on Full Tilt, he has become the largest ever loser online. When he walked away from Full Tilt near the end of 2014, he was a net loser of just over $20 million. There was a brief appearance on PokerStars in 2015 where he played around 64,000 hands and ended up losing an additional $1.38 million. He credits poor game selection and tilt with his losses, but many have suspected he no longer has the passion to put in the work required. In an age where players spent long days and nights not only playing, but studying, no one has the chance to simply play when they want.
While he played at the highest levels, he won many cash games and tournaments easily. His tournament winnings have totaled over $10 million, putting him in the 38th all time slot. Adding that to the $7 million he won in cash games shows a proven record of winning during the poker boom after Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Only time will tell if Gus Hansen has stepped away for good, although many of the old high stakes grinders have since moved on to bigger, better, more fulfilling pursuits. Will he be able to stay away? We’ll have to wait and see.