There are only a few athletes in the world that are able to excel in two or more disciplines and one such person is Gus Hanson.
A poker superstar, Gus started playing professionally in 1997, was catapulted to fame when he won the WSOPE Heads up – No limit Hold’em tournament and the Full Tilt Poker Million IX in 2010. Back to back 1st place finishes are hard to come by in the world of poker and Gus was one of the few who were talented enough to achieve it. In 2006, Gus was also one of the few chosen card superstars to participate in Asia’s first major poker tournament promoted by Betfair — one of the world’s largest online casino gaming providers.
When he’s not playing poker, the Dutch national plays squash competitively. In 2011, he came to the aid of the Danish squash federation by becoming one of its main sponsors when they didn’t have enough funds to compete in the European Championships in Finland. His competitive drive has made him a force to be reckoned with and takes pride in beating one of his bitter rivals, Theo Jorgensen. Cardplayer reports that after Gus beat Jorgen in a squash match, the two were inevitably entangled in a trash talking match the lead to a boxing challenge. It’s hard to imagine the two Danish nationals hating each other since they’re both top Danish poker contenders and ex-team mates in the 2006 Poker Legends Cup.
In an interview with Squash Web, Gus Hansen describes how the sport has helped him in his poker game, staying fit and giving him the endurance he needed to outlast other poker players. He also talked about how poker helps him in squash as an analytic factor on how he places shots and avoids being too predictable in the court.
Gus Hansen has become a prime example of how physical and competitive sports like squash can help any poker player. That extra endurance that helps people stay focused and not be overcome by fatigue might just be the tipping point that will put an athlete’s game above the rest. So why choose squash over other competitive physical sports? John Hopkins, author of Squash: A Joyful Game once said, “Crystallizing my feelings about the game, I find that squash is less frustrating than golf, less fickle than tennis? It is easier than badminton, cheaper than polo? It is better exercise than bowls, quicker than cricket, less boring than jogging, drier than swimming, safer than hang gliding.”