Poker legend Thor Hansen has passed away after battling cancer for much of his later life. He was 71 at the time of his death. He leaves behind his wife, Marcella Braswell, who encouraged him to continue battling over the past several years.
The “Godfather of Poker” was first diagnosed with cancer in 2012. He was told by doctors that he had just three months to live. Hansen appeared ready to accept his fate by saying “it was fun while it lasted.”
However, Braswell pushed him to undergo chemotherapy. These treatments allowed Hansen to hold off the cancer and continue living for several more years.
The Legend of Thor
Thor Hansen was born in Oslo, Norway in 1947. He began playing poker in his early adult years and eventually became a professional. Hansen quickly realized that he’d found his calling.
“Poker came naturally to me,” he said. “I never thought about what I was going to become. Poker just meant so much to me so quickly.”
Hansen soon became the first famous Norwegian poker player and started making annual trips to the World Series of Poker. He ended up winning two gold bracelets over his career and made a number of final tables.
The only other two Norwegians to have won a bracelet include Annette Obrestad and Sigurd Andreas Eskeland.
Hansen continued playing poker up until his final months. His last cash came at the Irish Poker Open & Norwegian Championships, which was held in March 2018. He earned $2,948,645 in live tournaments in his lifetime.
Poker Community Speaks After Hansen’s Passing
Thor Hansen had many friends in the poker world and beyond. He was also a Norwegian idol who inspired many others to take up the game.
Many poker players commented on his passing. Phil Hellmuth called him “a great human being and a great player.”
Barny Boatman labeled Hansen an “international treasure.” Josh Arieh discussed how “no one was a stranger to Thor” because he “wanted to talk to everyone.”