Is Gus Hansen Able to Still Play High Stakes Poker?
Full Tilt Professional, Gus Hansen, has been on a rollercoaster recently as he had been trying to overcome his lifetime online losses of over $18 Million. He certainly seems to be a different player to the one who seemingly couldn’t lose back in 2002/3 when he took the poker world by storm with 3 WPT wins.
Since the return of Full Tilt Poker back in November 2012, Gus has lost over $15 million on the online tables, with a lot of it being lost playing Pot Limit Omaha, 2-7 Triple Draw, Mixed games and a little No Limit Hold’em. Gus has continued to play through losses that would end most players careers.
In recent history he has been up and down like a rabbit on speed, starting with a $546k winning day back on the 18th of May. He was playing 2-7 Triple Draw and Mixed 8-Game. He picked up $193k from a table including Phil Ivey, PostflopAction and Patrik Antonius as well as nearly $128k in 2-7 Triple Draw games.
The 19th saw Gus continue his climb out of the hole with a day at the tables that saw him collect another $692k for a profit over the two days for $1.24 Million. Most of this came courtesy of 2-7 Triple Draw games, where he won over half a million dollars, apparently from 2-7 Triple Draw expert Alex “Alexonmoon” Luneau. Hansen was also able to add to his winning day with a $163k winning session of Mixed Games against Phil Ivey, Isildur1 and “Osama_no_Brunch”
So, after two very impressive winning days, the 20th saw Gus go back the other way. Gus lost money at 2-7 Triple Draw, No Limit Hold’em and Mixed Games, and at the end of the day his bankroll was over $750k lighter. Hands like this didn’t help, where Gus lost a $182k pot to “punting-peddler” when his turned trips ran into “peddler’s” turned full house.
The 21st continued this trend, and Alexander “PostflopAction” Kostritsyn was the one to take the biggest advantage. 2-7 Triple Draw was the game of choice, and Gus ended up sliding $318k across the virtual felt to the Russian during their 7 hour heads up battle.
Hansen was able to pull out of his nose dive into the pit of despair on the 22nd when he took “trex313”, Phil “Polarizing” Ivey, “Osama_no_Brunch” and “Trueteller” (among others) for nearly $300k at the 2-7 Triple Draw tables. He added a little more playing Mixed games, for a daily profit of $330.8k.
While this hand on the 23rd saw the Great Dane take over $100k from fellow Full Tilt Professional Victor “Isildur1” Blom, Gus ended the day down another $383k, losing at both 2-7 Triple Draw and Mixed Games.
The 24th and 25 saw Gus fight back again with wins totalling $556k, mainly won at the 2-7 Triple Draw tables. As you can see from the graph from highstakesdb.com to the right, Gus has really been all over the place during the past 30 days, but the general trend is still downward, even with Gus’s recent winning days.
Gus hasn’t only been in negative equity on the tables. Back in December, he effectively accused high stakes regular “SallyWoo” of using illegal software to beat him playing Fixed Limit Omaha 8. This has lead to railbirds abusing Sally online and brought an official comment from the Full Tilt 2+2 Rep, Shyam Markus earlier this week:
Apologies for bumping a fairly dead thread, but I wanted to make a public comment about this situation because SallyWoo is still being harassed in chat and being denied games, mostly based on half-read headlines from articles (or second or third hand passing down of misinformation) that have been written based on posts in this thread. So I’d like to try to clear up as much as I can from our perspective in the hopes that it will put to rest these false rumors.
Before getting to that, I just want to quickly note that Full Tilt Poker rarely comments on investigations that have been performed on players’ accounts. However, in this case the accusation came from a sponsored pro, so we’re making an exception.
With that said:
Following the incident, the Game Integrity team did a thorough investigation of SallyWoo’s play and found absolutely no indication of external software being used, or any other inappropriate actions or activity on SallyWoo’s part. SallyWoo’s account remains in good standing with Full Tilt Poker.
Gus is a sponsored pro, but his views and opinions do not always reflect the position of the company. Soon after his accusations, we informed Gus of our findings and encouraged him to apologize for the reputational harm to SallyWoo caused by his actions. Regardless of what he thought, it was highly inappropriate for him to make public accusations like that. We have reminded him of his responsibilities as a representative of Full Tilt Poker, particularly while playing on the site and engaging with our players, and while we acknowledge this incident is out of character for Gus we will take it into account if there are any similar incidents in the future.
We treat all reports of inappropriate actions seriously, and pride ourselves on the honesty and integrity of the games we spread.
We are deeply sorry for any trouble or reputational damage this incident has caused SallyWoo.”
Reading between the lines, Full Tilt were less than impressed with Gus for these comments, and I can imagine he was dragged into a virtual office for a quiet word from a member of management.
So, Gus keeps losing large sums of money, and he’s actually told me during an interview in the past that he doesn’t have unlimited funds available to play poker, but he still has enough left to buy a sandwich!
On a more serous note, Gus is a perpetual loser on Full Tilt, and seems to only be increasing his losses as he continues to play the highest stakes available. He must be coming to the end of the money he earned from the sale of PokerChamps to Betfair back in 2005, the sale of ThePlayr in 2008 and his books and training materials.
So where is the money he’s losing coming from?
Well, Gus has won $11,258,053 in live tournaments, but I seriously doubt he didn’t sell pieces of his action in a decent percentage of those events. He has made several trips of Macau, so is likely to have winnings from there, as well as his Open Face Chinese Poker and Backgammon winnings, but I’m having a hard time in believing he has made enough there to still be comfortable for life.
Hansen seems to be playing on borrowed time, and he continually plays the highest available levels against world class players. Most other professional poker player would have dropped down to lower levels by now, in search of easier prey. Gus is actually a decent poker player, but his game hasn’t kept up with modern strategy, and based on his comments to “SallyWoo” he is starting to get frustrated at the tables. Gus needs to do something to his game to become competitive again, and should probably drop down to some lower mid stakes games in order to hone his game before starting what might be his last attempt to scale the sumit of high stakes poker.
It needs to happen soon, because if Gus keeps going like this, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about him hunting down the back of the sofa for spare change to buy a sandwich. I just hope he opens his eyes before he gets to that point.