PokerListings.com was able to contact the players via Full Tilt Poker and get exclusive info and quotes leading up to the match.
“I know Viktor is a very cool player but he can lose like any other person,” said chris_munich, one of the players who will take on Isildur1 this weekend.
Players on Full Tilt Poker were able to qualify to compete in freerolls with the winners earning a chance to take on one of the FTP Professionals.
The freerolls are over and two Russians, a German and a UK player will face Hansen and Blom on Sunday in a series of heads-up matches.
Similar to the popular TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, if the challengers win they will have to decide whether they want to continue and risk their winnings or walk away with what they've won.
Winning the first match will put $5,000 in the challenger's pocket which they'll get to keep no matter what.
If they win the second match they will earn an additional $15,000 and must choose whether to continue to the third round for a chance at $50,000. If they do continue and lose, however, they will only keep the original $5,000.
Russian players Aleksleon and BENDER118 will face Gus Hansen while the UK's coles4038 and Germany's chris_munich will take on Viktor Blom.
Bust a Pro Huge Opportunity for Qualifiers
Sunday's match is the biggest poker moment ever for at least one of the challengers.
BENDER118, a 28-year-old from Russia whose real name is Andrey, has been playing poker since 2010 and got his start playing on Full Tilt.
He said winning this freeroll was the greatest thing that's ever happened to him as a poker player.
“I chose to play against Gus Hansen because I like his style and enjoy watching him play on TV,” said Andrey.
46-year-old German chris_munich was the shortstack when he reached the final table of the qualifier, and is now getting ready for a chance at the biggest payday of his poker career.
He'll be taking on Viktor Blom and said he's been playing poker for the last 10 years. He started as a blackjack player but preferred poker once he gave it a try.
“I watched a lot of high-roller games on Full Tilt before just for fun and I'm sometimes really wondering how these guys play, in a good and also bad way,” said Chris.
“But its always easy to give comments as a spectator. The situation changes completely as soon as you play on your own.”
None of the qualifiers said they have a concrete plan but everyone agrees that playing for $50,000 against one of the best players in the world will be an experience to remember.
Aleksleon, a 33-year-old from Russia named Aleksander, was a man of few words but wished his opponent Gus Hansen a happy new year and good luck in Sunday's matches.
When we asked BENDER118 if he had a message for Gus he said simply, “Be gentle.”
Tune in to Full Tilt Poker on Sunday at 12pm ET to watch Round 1 and check back here on Monday for the results.