Gus Hansen

The great Dane reveals the secrets which have made him the most successful player on the WPT circuit


I like to test my opponent to see how they react

My style of play is highly aggressive, which piles the pressure on other people at the table. When you’re called you have to make an educated decision about what cards your opponent has. You might get a feel for what they’re holding but you’ll never know exactly what they have until they show. It’s not possible to play perfect poker every hand. If you could, you’d win pretty much every tournament that you played in; but even if you make the right moves you’ll still get unlucky from time to time.


I probably play twice as many hands as other professional players. Every time they play one hand I’ll play two and that means I play some different holdings. Everyone bets out with the good hands but I’ll play more, as I like to test out my opponent and see how they react. You might lose that particular hand but you’ll be in better shape next time you go up against them.


It depends a lot on the situation. Who opened the pot? Who flat-called? What position are you in? If this is the tightest guy at the table maybe you should sit this one out. But if it is the tightest guy at the table maybe you have a chance to make him play bad because he knows that you know that he’s tight.


Poker’s not a little quiz where you have 10 questions and 10 answers. You’ll have 57 answers. Depending on the situation and the opponent one answer will be right at any given time. Even against the same player on a different day it changes – they may be in a different state of mind and you have to think from their point of view. That’s the beauty of poker and what makes it such a complex game.


I enjoy the study sometimes even more than the game because it’s what makes you improve. Go into the details, look at what it boils down to and set yourself on the right path. Spend time studying and analysing hands you’ve played and combine that with a high level of competitiveness and you’ll put yourself in a good position to win. The old Olympic ideal that taking part is enough always seems to be brought up by people who regularly lose.


Are you fing crazy? Poker’s not a physical game. There’s definitely an endurance side to it in some big tournaments, but having sex should be a pleasure and not a fight. If anything it’s going to influence you positively because it makes you feel good to be with someone that you like. It’s something that should make you relax, so I would never abstain. It doesn’t make sense to me in any regard whatsoever. Your performance is about your state of mind.


Don’t be stuck in the mindset that just because you were brought up in Alabama that you’re a Southern Baptist. Ask yourself, ‘why the f am I a Southern Baptist?’ Don’t stop yourself from making a move just because this book or that book says that you shouldn’t be raising with A-J in first position; try it out and see if it works for you. If you like it, keep on doing it. Don’t take anything for granted, just check it out. And by the way, it’s a lot more fun.

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