How Did Gus Hansen Make His Money?

How Did Gus Hansen Make His Money & How Much Did He Lose!?

(Featured image: courtesy of WPT)

Look: There are a lot of poker players who are no longer in the spotlight these days, but people still wonder how they are doing now. ‘The Great Dane’ is one of those that you still might wonder about.


  • What happened to Gus Hansen?
  • How much money did Gus Hansen lose?
  • What does he do now?
  • Did he retire from poker?
  • Where/how does Gus Hansen make his money?

And that’s exactly what we’re going to cover today.

Disclaimer: This is a question that no one can answer with 100%, certainty except for Gus himself, but in here we’ll discuss several certain and possible sources of income. Without further ado, let’s get started.

How Did Gus Hansen Make His Money?

First of all, ‘The Great Dane’ made money playing high stakes poker cash games, as well as winning several high roller tournaments. Several years ago, his other sources of income also came from the Full Tilt Poker ambassadorship, selling his poker training site for $15 million, as well as commentating and playing backgammon. But after losing it ALL in online poker, Gus got a regular job as an accountant.

Gus “The Great Dane” Hansen’s Poker Career

Before, we covered Gus Hansen’s bio and poker career in greater detail, but it’s still worth mentioning his biggest poker tournament winnings and other achievements, as well as the biggest losses he incurred.

Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, Hansen started his career in the late 1990s, honing his skills in underground games in Santa Cruz, California before making a splash in the global poker scene.

That is when he was nicknamed “The Great Dane” for his aggressive playing style and remarkable tournament victories.

How many bracelets does Gus Hansen have?

Gus Hansen has one World Series of Poker bracelet when he won the WSOP Europe championship in London in 2010. Back then, he took home $444,925.

Besides the WSOP bracelet, The Great Dane also has 3 World Poker Tour trophies on his shelf.

It’s worth noting that his breakthrough came in the early 2000s, where he secured three WPT titles within a span of just one year. These were the events:

  • 2002 Five Diamond World Poker Classic

This was Hansen’s first major tournament win was at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where he came out a winner in the $10,000 buy-in event. He took home a hefty prize of over $556,000.

  • 2003 L.A. Poker Classic

Just a few months later, Gus pulled off another WPT win at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. His first-place finish in the $10,000 championship event earned him more than $532,000.

  • 2003 World Poker Tour Championship

Hansen’s third consecutive WPT victory happened at the Bellagio, where he outlasted a tough field in the $25,000 buy-in event, and won an impressive $1,000,000 prize along with the championship title.

As you can see there’s a reason why people called him The Great Dane. Gus was incredibly aggressive on the felt, often baffling even the pros, and it paid off for some time.

Gus Hansen’s Biggest Poker Tournament Winnings

If you think the early 2000s were his only major results, then you’re mistaken. A few years later after the WPT victories back to back, Gus won even bigger tourneys.

Here are his top 5 cashes to date:

  • 2nd place in 2008 WPT Five-Star World Poker Classic – $1,714,800
  • 1st place in Aussie Millions 2007 – $1,200,000
  • 1st place in 2005 Poker Superstars Invitational – $1,000,000
  • 1st place in 2012 WSOP One Drop Mega Satellite – $1,000,000
  • 3rd place in 2012 Aussie Millions – $823,579

Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

But then something unthinkable happened… He lost it ALL in online poker.

How Much Money Did Gus Hansen Lose?

After such a meteoric rise, we witnessed the biggest downfall of our poker star.

This was due to:

1) his aggressive playing style and not knowing when to switch the gears, and
2) not accepting the fact that his poker skills did not translate well online, especially against top pros like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan, and others.

So, how much did Gus Hansen lose online?

It’s pretty hard to believe, but the data shows that he lost over $21 million playing over 1.5 million hands on Full Tilt Poker, making him the 2nd-highest losing player in online poker history.

This is unfortunate, but this is a great example to show you how important it is to have a proper bankroll management. Don’t keep playing recklessly in the hopes to recover the losses until your funds get completely depleted.

In Hansen’s case that’s exactly what happened.

He bankroll evaporated after a few years of losing online, and eventually he had to retire from poker and get a regular 9 to 5 job as an accountant, just to make his ends meet.

Where Is Gus Hansen Now?

Did Gus Hansen retire from poker completely?

Not exactly. While he did have a big break after one of the biggest downfalls in the history, he did come out of the retirement a couple of years later to play a tournament.

Poker players be poker players, am I right?

In fact, in 2019 he cashed the WSOP’s main event for over $20,000.

Right now, he lives in Copenhagen with his wife and a child, but again made an appearance recently in Las Vegas, playing $5K/10K cash games, including the Omaha 8 variation.

Let’s hope that The Great Dane make a great comeback! (See what I did there?)

Now, I’d like to hear from you:

  • Do you think Gus will get back to crushing it in live poker tournaments?
  • In your opinion, what was the biggest factor that contributed to his downfall?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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