On Saturday afternoon, the poker world was focused squarely on an event that had nothing to do with the game. Full Tilt Poker pro Gus Hansen battled it out against Theo Jorgensen inside a boxing ring. The festivities kicked off at 2:00pm Eastern Time, with Jorgensen donning black shorts with white stripes and black headgear. Hansen wore solid black trunks and blue headgear. In the end, Hansen dropped the decision to Jorgensen by a judges’ vote.
The match took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, the site of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Scandinavian Open, which also wrapped up on Saturday. In the hours leading up to the big fight between two established poker stars, Jens Kyllönen emerged victorious in the EPT tournament, taking home $1.1 million. Heads-up, he defeated Peter Hedlund, who many will remember for finishing seventh in the EPT London stop in 2006, one month removed from taking 203rd in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, the largest live poker tournament ever held.
Hansen placed a handicap on himself in the match. Jorgensen’s win earned him $35,000. If Hansen had won, he would have paid his adversary $25,000. Three rounds into the fight, the panel of judges ruled in favor of Jorgensen. Hansen stood in the ring after the match with his opponent, whom he is friends with outside of poker, and did not appear to be badly injured. A slew of photographers and news outlets were on hand for the publicity stunt, which was designed to introduce poker players to GusHansenTV.com, a video blog for the Great Dane. Free memberships to the site are available and its initial advertisers include Full Tilt Poker and Bet 24. The site requires the installation of Microsoft Silverlight in order to view.
Hansen finished 61st in the 2007 WSOP Main Event, taking home $154,000 in a tournament that was ultimately won by Jerry Yang. He has three World Poker Tour (WPT) event titles, including two during its inaugural season (the Five Diamond World Poker Classic and L.A. Poker Classic). Hansen also took down the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure during Season II for $455,000. He has made a total of seven televised WPT final tables, finishing third or better in all but one.
Jorgensen took fourth in the 2007 EPT Copenhagen for $178,000. In 2006, he also notched a fourth place finish, this time at Deauville for $141,000. He won his first WSOP bracelet by virtue of taking down the £5,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha tournament in London for £218,626 a few months ago, besting Betfair pro Sorel “Imper1um” Mizzi heads-up; Erik Friberg and Max Pescatori also reached the final table. Hansen and Jorgensen are foes on the squash court as well in addition to their battles in poker.
In order to prepare for Saturday’s boxing match, Hansen trained with former Olympic medalist Johnny De Lima. He’ll now share his stories from the road with fans from production studios located in Denmark and Las Vegas. GusHansenTV.com carried the match itself on the day it launched. It was the exclusive outlet to watch the spectacle, which drew a packed house. Tickets ran about $40 and also featured a fight between Stig Tøfting and Sidney Lee.
During the fight, play was paused in the Dwan Challenge between Patrik Antonius and Dwan. Saturday marked the second day of play in the promotion, which features a $1.5 million wager by Dwan if anyone can defeat him in 50,000 hands of $200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha or No Limit Hold’em. In the chat on Durrrr Challenge Table 7, Hansen revealed “I flips with my friend who gets who and I got Theo. I still kind of hope for Gus, but who cares?”
Full Tilt is fresh off holding its eleventh Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS). Adam “csimmsux” Geyer took down its Main Event, besting a field of 5,287 players and grabbing $456,000. The site is the second largest worldwide and home of the $750,000 Guaranteed every Sunday. The $216 buy-in tournament is one of several high-stakes weekly events held on the site.