Phil Ivey & Gus Hansen Drop Down to Low-Stakes Poker (For One Day)

Phil Ivey & Gus Hansen Drop Down to Low-Stakes Poker (For One Day)

Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen confirmed busto?

No, that isn't why the poker legends were spotted competing among the low-stakes crowd at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday morning. They were in attendance chatting it up with poker fans for a fun and relaxing World Poker Tour (WPT) Premier Meet-up Game (MUG), along with several other prominent poker pros.

The session began at 9 a.m. local time on the Strip, and the 28-table card room was immediately packed full of MUG games, and dozens more were on a wait list. Poker players from all around the world came by to chase some "Bradley Dollars," (Brad Owen), scoop a pot against Ethan "Rampage" Yau or Poker Hall of Famers Linda Johnson and Todd Brunson.

WPT personalities Tony Dunst, Lynn Gilmartin and Vince Van Patten were in attendance, along with WPT ambassador Jamie Kerstetter and others.

Old Friends Reunited

Anyone who followed poker during the 2000s the poker boom era recalls seeing Hansen and Ivey competing against each other on televised shows such as Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker, or in the Full Tilt Poker nosebleed games. But Hansen hasn't been around the public poker scene much the past decade. On Friday, the "Great Dane" returned to action.

PokerNews caught up with the 49-year-old Danish poker pro during the MUG for a brief tableside interview. He explained why he hasn't been around the public scene in recent years and discussed his relationship with Ivey.

"(Phil Ivey) is one of the guys, I obviously don't see him that often, I haven't traveled a lot lately, I have another son and there was this whole thing called Covid," Hansen said. "But Phil Ivey is definitely one of the guys I actually like to call my friends in the poker game. So, it's always good fun to see him here."

Hansen said in ways he misses being in the limelight, but he has "a different life now" and isn't looking to jump back into playing poker full-time any time soon.

Ivey, a WPT ambassador, also showed up to compete among the hundreds of poker fans in attendance. Considered by many the greatest poker player of all-time, "No Home Jerome," unlike Hansen, has remained in the spotlight for decades.

The Real Winners

Meet-Up Games aren't all about winning and losing. They are more about playing poker in a relaxed, stress-free environment among friends and poker celebs such as Owen and Neeme. But the Premier MUG was a bit different in that six individuals took home some valuable non-cash prizes.

One $10,400 seat was awarded to the $40 million guaranteed WPT World Championship next week, and that went to Sunao Kitahara.

Five entries into the $1,100 WPT Prime Championship on Dec. 6 were also handed out to lucky players in the Premier MUG. Those individuals are Jim Agate, Tompr Iluz, Jeffrey Hong, Ron Ong, and Dusty Ross.

Click here to see all the photos from the WPT MUG at Wynn!


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