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Norwegian Poker Legend, Two-Time Bracelet Winner Thor Hansen Passes Away

71-Year-Old "Godfather" of Norway Poker Battled Cancer For More Than Six Years

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Thor Hansen, a legend in the poker world both in his native Norway and in the States, has passed away at age 71 following a long battle with cancer.

Hansen was born in Oslo in 1947, but spent his later years splitting his time between the poker tables in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In fact, Hustler Casino and magazine owner Larry Flynt was so impressed with his game during a session in Las Vegas, that he hired Hansen to play for him in future games.

The first of his two World Series of Poker bracelets came in 1988. Hansen won the $5,000 seven card stud event for $158,000. He earned his second gold bracelet in 2002, topping the field in a $1,500 no-limit deuce to seven event.

Hansen also had wins at the L.A. Poker Classic, Carnivale of Poker, Five Diamond World Poker Classic, California State Poker Championship, Legends of Poker, and Festa al Lago Classic.

He racked up 189 live cashes during the course of his career, for a total of more than $2.6 million. That’s enough for third place on Norway’s all-time money list, behind only 2014 WSOP main event runner-up Felix Stephensen, and 2007 WSOP Europe main event champion Annette Obrestad.

Hansen published an autobiography in 2010, Thor Hansen: Usensurert (Uncensored) detailing a life that included not just high-stakes gambling, but also tales of smuggling, robbery, sex, and murder. There was even talk in 2016 of turning his life story into a movie.

He is survived by his wife Marcella Braswell.