Post by Ryan Knuppel on -

After fighting a long battle with cancer, the poker legend from Norway, Thor Hansen, has passed away at the age of 71. He was born in Oslo, the capital of Norway, on June 23, 1947. However, most of his life he spent in the poker capital of the world – Las Vegas, California. His success was immense, and he became known to the poker fans as “The Godfather of Norwegian Poker.” Hansen was very active and was one of the first poker players from Scandinavia to go to Las Vegas and participate in the World Series of Poker tournaments. Hansen’s first recorded cash from a live poker tournament happened back in 1987 when he took part in the Grand Prix of Poker. In fact, he managed to make it three times to the final table in three separate events of that tournament and won a combined sum of $108,990. Just a year later, Hansen had a very successful World Series of Poker tournament, where he also managed to cash out three times. One of those cashes were from a victory in a $5,000 Seven-Card Stud, which was the first gold bracelet for him. Hansen won a total of two golden bracelets, the other one being in 2002 WSOP when he managed to win $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball.

However, the best achievement in his life was when he married his life-long partner Marcella Braswell on Catalina Island, California. This happened in 1999, and they had a long and happy marriage. Their love was strong, and she was by his side when Hansen was diagnosed with terminal cancer back in 2012. The doctors gave him to four months to live, but Braswell did not lose hope, which proved to be very helpful. With the power of her love and her eternal optimism, Hansen gained strength to go to the US and receive treatment.

Although he had cancer, he did not want to stop playing poker. He enjoyed it and always played with a smile on his face – a smile that he will be remembered by. To top it all, Thor Hansen also published a book called Unsensuert (Uncensored) which is centered around gambling but also features other topics such as sex, murder, smuggling, and more. The last official appearance on WSOP by Hansen was back in 2015 when cashed out as much as five times. He was a supporter of Norwegian Poker Championships and continued to play in these. The last cash he received was in March 2018 when he took part in Norwegian Open in Dublin. The total amount of money he won from live tournaments is more than $2.9 million. He is located on the third place of the Norwegian All-Time Money list. Apart from his family, the news of his death brought sorrow to many other poker players who had an opportunity to meet Thor Hansen.