Hansen, nicknamed “The Great Dane”, is arguably the best poker player in the world. The 36-year-old gained immediate fame when he won the biggest cash game pot ever on TV, winning $575 000 in a single hand.
Known for his aggressive poker style, this popular and likeable Dane has amassed millions of dollars and has a record that is the envy of everybody in the poker world. While in South Africa, he will run a poker evening from which the proceeds will go to charity, and he will also spend time at a local charity.
American Rousso (27), a stunning blonde nicknamed “Lady Maverick”, is regarded by many as the best lady poker player in the world – and the hottest. With total tournament earnings in excess of $3.5-million, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Like Hansen, Rousso will be playing in both the $5 000 No Limit Texas Hold Em Tournament, as well as the $ 1 100 Pot Limit Omaha Tournament.
“I am so excited to go to South Africa for the first-ever WSOP event there. I can’t wait to see everything that the Emerald Resort & Casino has to offer; it looks so amazing in pictures,” Rousso says.
Clearly her message has worked as fellow international poker professional Maria Ho took Vanessa’s advice and has also confirmed her entry into both the Main event and the Omaha Event.
Taiwan-born Ho (27), who was raised in the US, is ranked 37th in the top 100 all-time women’s money list, with winnings of $360 000 to date.
In the 2007 WSOP, Ho – whose nickname is “Femme on Felt” – was the last woman standing out of a field of 6 358 players.
The WSOP is the world’s most prestigious and celebrated poker event, held annually in Las Vegas. The brand has gone global, with the annual WSOP Europe in London (14-28 September) and now WSOP Africa. Among its winners are legends Chris Moneymaker, Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Stu Ungar. Celebrity players such as Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Don Cheadle, Shannon Elizabeth and Lou Diamond Phillips are among the regulars at the WSOP.
“With such stellar entries as Hansen, Rousso and Ho, we are in for a tournament of note,” enthuses Emerald Resort & Casino CEO Martin Rice.
“I firmly believe that staging the world’s greatest poker tournament, featuring a field of the world’s best exponents of the game, will do wonders for poker’s popularity in South Africa – and cement the Emerald’s reputation as the undisputed home of first-class poker.”
The WSOP Africa comprises two tournaments with entries priced in US$. A three-day Pot Limit Omaha tournament with a $1 100 buy in, rebuys at $300 for 3 hours and an add-on of $400 at the end of the rebuy period. All levels are 60 minutes. The Omaha field is limited to 200 players with starting stacks of 2500 chips. Starting blinds are 25-50.
The main event, the No Limit Texas Hold’em Freeze Out, will take place over four days with entries at $5 000 (stack of 40 000 chips) with each level timed at 60 minutes and running antes introduced at level 5. The field is limited to 500 players. Starting blinds are 50-100.