Poker legend Thor Hansen passes away

Poker legend Thor Hansen has died. The acclaimed “Godfather of Norwegian Poker” succumbed to cancer on December 5 at the age of 71.

Hansen was a two-time World Series of Poker champion, claiming his first bracelet in 1988. At the 1988 WSOP, he won the $5,000 Seven Card Stud tournament to cash $158,000. He won his second WSOP bracelet nine years later at the 2007 WSOP when he won the $1,500 No-Limit Deuce to Seven tournament for $62,600.

Throughout a long poker career, he won just over $2.9 million in live-poker tournaments. That included 46 cashes at the WSOP worth $1,165,900. His largest career cash came at the 2007 WSOP after he finished eighth in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament to win $188,256.

Other major poker tournament events Hansen posted wins at during his career included the L.A. Poker Classic, Five Diamond World Poker Classic, California State Poker Championship, Legends of Poker, Carnivale of Poker, and the Festa al Lago Classic.

Tributes pour in from poker community

Born in Olso, Norway in 1947, Hansen spent much of his life at the poker tables in California and Las Vegas. His first reported cash came at the 1987 Grand Prix of Poker, where he won $108,990. During the 1990s he caught the eye of Hustler creator Larry Flynt at the poker tables and for many years became his poker coach and opponent.

In 2012 Hansen was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told he had only three to four months to live. Thanks to treatment and a remarkable attitude he persevered for six years and spent as much time at the poker tables as his health would allow. In 2015 he played at the WSOP for the final time, posting five cashes.

Tributes to Hansen have poured in from around the poker community, including acclaimed poker writer Nolan Dalla, who wrote on Twitter: “I just learned Thor Hansen, the great poker pro from Norway, has passed away. Thor was one of the kindest, most decent, most honest, most universally beloved players ever to play this game. I’m having trouble composing my thoughts. So many fond memories of this wonderful man.”

Hansen is survived by his wife Marcella Braswell, whom he married in 1999.