Is Gus Hansen Fading Away From the Poker Limelight?
Last Sunday, Full Tilt Poker was due to host a promotional matchup between Full Tilt Professionals, Gus Hansen and Vicktor “Isildur1” Blom. The matchup was due to be over three Sit and Goes, with a public vote to determine the games to be played. The winner of the matchup would walk away with $50,000, and the loser would have the choice to either play 1,000 hands of micro stakes Razz, or make a video singing the winners national anthem.
With players sitting on the virtual rail, expecting to see a matchup between the two big named players signed to Full Tilt, a last minute change was announced. Gus Hansen was unable to play the event, and playing in his stead would be PokerStars Team Online pro, Jake Cody. Cody is no stranger to heads up poker, having won the last $25,000 Heads up Bracelet at the World Series of Poker back in 2011.
During the next 40 minutes Cody lost all three Sit & Goes, gifting Blom $50,000 for an hourly most of us would be very happy to see. The event was streamed, with all three tables running at once, by 2+2 mod and regular PLO and high stakes streamer, Joey “ChicagoJoey” Ingram. The video is included below for those of you wanting to catch up on the action from Sunday night. Warning, Joey is a very high energy streamer, and he is also joined by Brian Hastings on the stream.
Hansen has been significantly less visible in poker media circles in the past months. He travelled to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this summer, but only played two events while he was there. Hansen has been on a very public downswing while playing on Full Tilt Poker, but $20,000,000+ in losses is normally considered a lot more that just a downswing. On the forums, and in opinion articles, Gus has been taken to task for his losses. The attitude he has been displaying has been taken as very laissez-faire, and the self made multi millionaire has been quoted as describing himself as “lazy” and has been playing games he was out classed in. He always seemed to have a smile for the media teams who he talked to as a representative of Full Tilt, but has been fading away from the live tour increasingly since the re-launch of the site back in 2012.
Gus hasn’t played on Full Tilt since the 11th of this month, which appears to be the first time he’s had a significant break since his return to playing online after his summer trip to Las Vegas. He hasn’t just gone quiet on Full Tilt, his last Twitter action was a re-tweet on the 4th, and a picture was uploaded to Facebook of him sharing a trophy picture following what appears to be a squash and poker tournament.
Hansen has gone “dark” like this before, and Full Tilt have been unable to shine any light on the situation. I asked them some questions about the event on Sunday, and Gus’ no show, and received the following quote from a Full Tilt representative:
“Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Gus Hansen did not play the heads-up match against Isildur. Fortunately, Jake Cody was able to replace Hansen at short notice, and they played three heads-up games. We are grateful that Cody was able to play, and congratulate Isildur on winning $50,000 in this heads up competition. We regret that Hansen was unable to play, and we apologise to his fans. Because Cody was able to fill-in at such short-notice, we will not be enforcing the forfeit of micro-stakes Razz or video.”
There is still no news on whether the member of the public due to play Gus for $5,000 following a related social media competition has been contacted, or if this matchup is ever going to be completed with the original cast. Nothing has been heard about Gus’ status as a Full Tilt Professional. He is still featured heavily on the Full Tilt site, but I have heard unverified reports that Hansen has removed Full Tilt branding from social media and his own website. I can’t give much credence to these reports, as based on what I’ve seen on Gus’s social media accounts, he didn’t have much (if any) branding there in the first place.
Is Gus Hansen slipping away from poker and his Full Tilt contract? I don’t know the answer, and we will have to wait for Gus Hansen and Full Tilt to let us know the truth.