While he continues what is the biggest battle of his life, the poker community will come together once again this Sunday for two benefit tournaments to raise money to benefit legendary Scandinavian poker professional Thor Hansen.
Hansen, considered by many in his native Norway to be the “Godfather” of Scandinavian poker, was diagnosed with cancer in January, leading to an outpouring of support throughout the poker world. As is the case with many poker players, Hansen has no health insurance, which has rallied the poker community to do what it can to help Thor through such a difficult time in his life. With that in mind, the online poker world will be gathering on Sunday to raise funds to assist the Norwegian legend.
On PokerStars this Sunday, two tournaments will be held, with each event dividing half of the money to the prize pool and the other half to the Thor Hansen Charity Fund. The first tournament will start at 7:30PM (Central European Time) and have a $20 buy in. One half of that buy in will go towards the prize pool for the tournament, while the other half will go to the Thor Hansen Charity Fund which was founded to assist Hansen in his ongoing battle. The second tournament will be held at 10PM and will be a $100 buy in, broken down in the same manner as the smaller event.
According to a message from poker pro Andreas Hoivold on the Two Plus Two poker forum, there have been some developments as to Thor’s continuing fight against cancer. In a post from last week, Andreas reports that a doctor has been found that is willing to see Hansen and advise him on his future course of action. “She wants to help him decide (what to do),” Andreas stated, “either return to Norway (Hansen lives in California), get free health care here (in the U. S.) or possibly become a “guinea pig” for some new medicines.”
“I talked to Thor after he had seen her (the doctor) and he sounded like a new man,” Andreas continued. “Really happy to have met a doctor that he feels he can trust 100%.”
Even with this good news, Andreas says that there is still a long road ahead for Thor. “He has been ill for a long time – in the situation Thor is in now, he needs to use all his strength to get well.”
Hansen’s exploits on the green baize display the long and successful career he has had in the game. The 64-year old Hansen’s first confirmed poker tournament dates back to 1987 and the Grand Prix of Poker at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. During that tournament schedule, Hansen would make three final tables, including a fourth place finish in the $10,000 No Limit event, taking home almost $110,000 for those finishes.
The very next year, Hansen would further announce his arrival on the tournament poker world. He was in attendance at the 1988 World Series of Poker, becoming the first foreign player to ever win a bracelet when he captured the $5000 Seven Card Stud event. In 2002, Thor would win his second bracelet in the $1500 Deuce to Seven Lowball competition. All totaled, Hansen has earned 45 cashes on the WSOP stage.
Hansen’s excellent on the felt hasn’t been limited to the WSOP, however. He has traveled the world as a European ambassador for the game of poker, cashing in tournaments around the world. As recently as last month, Thor had tacked two more cashes onto his lengthy resume during the WSOP Circuit events at the Bicycle Casino. Overall, Hansen has cashed in 180 events, winning 18 of them while earning over $2.9 million.
The PokerStars tournaments will offer a great opportunity for the poker community around the world to help one of the true legends of the game while enjoying a night of poker as well.