Poker fans are very familiar with Gus Hansen, one of the best online players and a deadly opponent at live tournaments who feels very comfortable in front of the camera. Tom Hanlon is not a name very familiar to the same community, but this guy is a bridge champion and also a very good friend of Mr. Hansen. The two of them attended the Galway Festival and the organisers thought about pitting them against each other in a very different competition than what the poker and bridge players would’ve expected.
Instead of playing the games they are best at, Gus and Tom locked horns in three disciplines that gave Hanlon a slight edge. The reason is that bridge was also included alongside pool and blackjack, so at least Tom got the chance to play his favourite game while Hansen’s hopes of playing poker were squashed. On the bright side, he got an early lead in the game of pool, despite his opponent claiming to be an all-around pool player.
Tom got the first six balls fairly easily, but then found himself caught in some difficult situations and he failed to rise to the challenge. Even so, Hanlon would’ve won with an easy black but he committed a rookie’s mistake and the score was 1-0 for Gus. The second game was bridge and not surprising Tom crushed his opponent with ease to level the score, so it was all going to be decided in a decisive game of blackjack. The two players and their fans sat at and around the blackjack table and so the stage was set.
The game had ups and downs and at one point, Tom was fairly confident in his chances of coming from behind and winning the competition. A combination of luck and skill changed everything for the Danish player who eventually took a commanding lead and never let go. Those who were uninspired to make any side-bets, counting on the Irishman to prevail were surely disappointed because Hanlon’s luck ran out.
When the final hand was dealt and Gus Hansen had all the chips, he was crowned the winner while his opponent had to pay the price. Tom wasn’t set back financially although given the alternatives he probably would’ve paid a fair amount gladly. Instead, he had to wear a horse costume and walk around the casino and the premises, much to the delight of the audience who appreciated his fair play.