High-Stakes Hand of the Week: Gus Hansen Gets Paid in Full

Gus Hansen
Just like old times for Gustav.

For years he’s been a major player in online high-stakes poker.

When he sits, the table fills up quickly. And he always makes sure there's a lot of money thrown around - albeit often into the stacks of his opponents.

Gus Hansen has accumulated losses approaching $20m online but, of course, he still wins big hands, too.

Last week we found the Great Dane dueling with Alex alexonmoon Luneau and coming out the better of it.

From the Flop to the River

This is a Mixed-Game table with four players present.

The current game is $300/$600 No Limit Hold’em. Alex Kostritsyn has just folded UTG but Elior "crazyelior" Sion opens with a raise to $1,500.

Hansen (stack: $83,000) calls from the small blind with


Luneau 3-bets from the big blind to $6,000. Sion folds but Hansen makes another call. The pot is now $13,500. The flop falls


Hansen checks and Luneau c-bets half the pot - $6,750. Hansen check-raises to $14,400 and Luneau calls. The pot is now $42,300. The turn is the


Hansen takes the lead with a bet of half the pot. He now has $41,000 behind. Luneau makes the call and the pot is now $85,500. The river is the


Hansen now checks but then calls Luneau’s all-in bet with his full house. Luneau shows


and $168,000 gets shipped to Gus Hansen.


A very nice pot for Gus Hansen. He hits the board perfectly and gets a full pay-out.

Luneau gets no help from flop.

Let’s look at the hand from Hansen’s perspective once again and check out the essential decisions.

Pre-flop Hansen first calls Elior Sion’s raise and then also calls the re-raise from Luneau. Frankly, this doesn’t look very good.

Alright, Hansen gets 2:1 pot odds but he now has to carry on out of position and Luneau’s range has a lot of A-X hands in them which would dominate Hansen’s hand.

Of course Hansen knows that Luneau can squeeze here with a lot of hands, but his hand doesn’t play well against the top 20%.

The Perfect Flop

Then, Hansen finds the perfect flop. His check-raise on the flop is a very nice move for two reasons:

1. He is representing a three here, which looks very unlikely to his opponent.

2. He is building up the pot to prepare for an all-in.

Luneau holds A Q which he can hardly fold on this board because a lot of times Hansen has nothing in this situation.

Now the A on the turn makes things very interesting. Ideal for Hansen, as Luneau has many A-x hands in his range. With his half-pot bet, Hansen moves one step closer to the all-in he’s looking for.

Gus Hansen
Perfect flop enough to get Gus paid despite river check.

But then he checks the river. This decision is difficult to understand. If he just moves all-in, Luneau would get 3:1 pot odds which he can hardly refuse with his top two pair.

Pay attention to the diamond flush draw on the flop, which could be a hand Hansen would bluff with. Hansen must have thought that Luneau’s range had a lot more bluff hands in them than real hands.

I can’t think of any other way to explain this check. Without the queen on the river, giving Luneau top two, he might have checked behind but still would have called an all-in.

With his call on the turn Luneau did represent a hand – probably an ace – and he was pretty much pot-committed.


Not only does Hansen hit the perfect flop he also gets lucky because he has his opponent reverse dominated.

His play on the river is questionable, but he doesn’t get punished.

Luneau couldn’t really do anything here. He made a strong hand on the river, but he ran into a monster.

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