Gus Hansen contemplates return to online poker at reduced stakes

Gus Hansen has been a staple of the live and online poker industry for years, having won his first live event, worth over half a million, in 2002. He rode the online poker wave for more than a decade before losing his sponsorship deal with Full Tilt. Now, ‘The Great Dane’ says he may be ready to return to the virtual felt.

Live and online poker pro Gus Hansen
Gus ‘The Great Dane’ Hansen
Should Gus make good on his proposed intentions, there will surely be a pool of sharks waiting for him at whatever online poker tables he deigns to grace with his presence. Although the Danish poker pro’s expertise is undeniable in the live event circuit, he’s gained quite a nasty reputation in the realm of cyberspace – and not in a good way (for him, anyways).

HighStakesDB has been tracking Hansen’s progress on Full Tilt since 2007, and for the first couple of years, the results were lucrative. By April of 2009, he was up $1.85 million, but that’s when things started taking a turn for the worst; a turn that snowballed into a four year landslide. By late last year, he was down over $20 million, but he’s made very few appearances at the online poker tables since Full Tilt let his contract (and that of fellow pro team member Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom) expire in September.

The Great Dane was seen on the virtual felt a few times in December, but no known sessions have been played this year. According to a recent interview with Pokernyhederne, a prominent poker news source in Denmark, Gus Hansen is now contemplating a return to the online poker realm.

Hansen indicated that he still has a good relationship with Full Tilt, which implies that, should he return, that will be his online poker room of choice. He shed some light on the topic of his and Blom’s expired partnership deals, saying that Full Tilt felt there wasn’t enough room in the budget to retain ‘The Professionals’ and compete with the operator’s “big, big, big brother”, PokerStars, at the same time.

Hansen said the “break up” came at a good time, giving him the “breathing space” he obviously needed. “It’s no secret that I had lost, lost and lost a little more in a longer period of time”, said Hansen, referring to his -$20mm bankroll stat. He admitted that he attempted a comeback in the last week of December but that it didn’t go well. “There were many factors I didn’t have control of.”

Now, The Great Dane says he feels like he might be ready to try again, but that he’ll play it smarter this time around. If/when he does return, he intends to apply much better table selection. Hansen said he would probably lower his cash game stakes to $25/$50 NLHE and $2/$4 or $5/$10 PLO. In doing so, he hopes to recoup his former skill level while not letting himself “get too rusty”.

While the return to online poker is still tentative, Hansen was much more adamant about his plans to revisit the live poker circuit, where his success has been indubitable. He’s amasses well over $11 million in live events, capturing 2 WPT titles and 1 WSOP bracelet along the way.

“I have the World Series of Poker and the European Poker Tour in Monaco on my schedule,” said Gus Hansen, “but I don’t even know what will happen until then.”

Watch the complete, 4-part video interview with Gus Hansen (with English subtitles).

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