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Superstars in Poker

by Rolf Slotboom |  Published: Jan 01, 2007

When you check out the various poker media (magazines, Internet sites), it appears that everyone who has just won one or two tournaments is already a real superstar, rather than just a decent or good player who has gotten a little more lucky than could normally be expected. While I agree that there are indeed quite a few poker players worthy of the title "superstar," I don't think they add up to all that many. In fact, it is my genuine belief that a rather large percentage of the people who are considered stars by many would not even be able to keep their heads above water if it wasn't for outside sources of money, like sponsorships, writing, advertising endorsements, and so on.

In this issue of Card Player Europe, though, we have a very long story about a star in the truest sense of the word, someone very worthy of that title. His name: Gus Hansen. Because of his easy-going and relaxed way of doing things, and because of his charisma, he is basically the centre of attention wherever he goes. With his somewhat loose and unorthodox, but also extremely successful, style of play, he has changed the face of tournament poker probably more than anyone else. Plus, the ladies are standing in line for him - waiting for a glimpse, or maybe a bit more, of Mr. Cool. Yet, despite being incredibly successful in just about everything he does, Gus is by no means arrogant or cocky. He is simply self-assured, knowing that he probably knows more and thinks more deeply than almost any other poker player, yet he never tries to rub that in. (These are all excellent traits, at least in my book.) And, in addition to all of this, he is intelligent and witty, and has a bankroll that you and I, or almost anyone else in the poker world, can only dream of. For me, these are enough characteristics to label someone not just a superstar, but, probably more importantly, a perfect ambassador for the game that we all love. I hope you will enjoy reading the cover story about him as much as I enjoyed writing it.

While on my way around Europe in the past two years or so, reporting on the major tournaments, I noticed the rise of a - for once, non-Scandinavian - young player. In fact, I think it is fair to say that in Europe, we may have a new superstar. After his recent win at the EPT Dublin, Roland De Wolfe is the first player to win both a WPT and an EPT event - a rather amazing accomplishment for a 27-year-old. Plus, Roland has a funny and positive way of conducting himself at the table that I appreciate a lot, and is also known to play very high stakes online. So, expect to see some more stories about him in upcoming issues. spade