Some claim Gus Hansen is a losing player in the biggest games online, but the Great Dane says he's far from a high-stakes fish.
"Basically I've played in the highest stakes there are," Hansen told PokerListings from his native Denmark last week.
"I've played for almost two and a half years and I am winning."
Galfond: Hansen the Reason Games Run
Statistics collected by www.highstakesdb.com tell a bit of a different story, though, with Hansen posting an almost $730,000 loss in 2007 and close to a $620,000 loss in 2008.
Plus, some of the other players in the nosebleed games, including those who sit patiently waiting daily for him to appear on the Full Tilt tables that bear his name, say Hansen is the reason they are there.
High-stakes legend Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond recently made an appearance on The Hardcore Poker Radio Show and although he stopped short of calling Hansen a fish, he did say the Dane is the one attracting the sharks to the high-stakes waters these days.
"To call Gus a fish is a little bit strong because he is a good player," Galfond said. "But he is losing money. Again, I could be proven wrong, but he's the reason that most of the games run right now."
However, it appears Hansen may have turned things around, and after he ended January up $2.79 million, even the statistics now show him in the black.
Add that to the fact the Team Full Tilt pro claims his own records show he's up, and he just may be proving the rest of the high-stakes community wrong.
Gus: "My Own Numbers are More Precise and Accurate"
"The thing is, I have my own numbers, which are more precise and more accurate than the High Stakes DB," he said.
"Before I had my contract with Full Tilt I had played a little online poker on UB and PokerStars, but I really just consider myself to have started playing online poker two and a half years ago and all I know is that I am winning."
Hansen said he understands there are better players in poker's biggest virtual games, but that doesn't necessarily make him the fish.
"I know Phil Ivey is a big, big winner," he said. "I'm not saying I'm better than Phil Ivey. I respect Phil Ivey's game; I think he is the overall best in the world.
"Patrik Antonius I think is No. 2 in the world overall and he's been playing a lot longer than me too, but I've played against the top players in the world and I'm ahead, so I don't feel too bad. I don't feel too bad at all."
Hansen said he will continue to take part in the biggest games online, but he understands his limitations as a relative high-stakes rookie and has decided to take a pass on the much-hyped durrrr Challenge for now.
"This is a special thing and it requires that you play four tables at the same time," he said. "I just know for a fact that I can play two tables ring game and a short-handed and a heads-up and still be in control. Two heads-up and a short-handed game, I'm starting to get a little behind.
"But four heads-up, I know he's just going to beat me. I know I'm going to make too many mistakes and rush too many of my decisions because I feel I don't have the time.
"Right now I don't feel like I have enough online experience and I'm not fast enough to play a guy of durrrr's caliber."