U.S. online poker crackdown leaves Hansen in charge
The U.S. authorities' crackdown on online poker has left Gus Hansen alone on the top of the winners list in the high stakes games. The Danish pro is up $3.7 million and can hardly be reached by any of his opponents.
While the future of thousands of American online pros remains uncertain, Danish Full Tilt pro Gus Hansen
is one of the few nosebleed players who is not affected by Friday's crackdown on U.S. online poker
Based in Monaco, Gus Hansen won almost $900,000 during the week leading up to "Black Friday" and he is now up $3.68 million for the year.
His closest competitor on the yearly ranking is Daniel "jungleman12
" Cates with profits of roughly $2 million, but as a U.S. resident Cates is among those who will no longer be able to play on neither Full Tilt Poker or PokerStars
The scenario is similar when it comes to the majority of this year's biggest winners, with players such as Gavin "gavz101" Cochrane, Matt Hawrilenko, Phil Ivey
and Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond all currently being locked out from the world's biggest online games.
Only German "O Fortuna PLS" and Russian "NoPasaran" are still in a realistic position to topple Hansen's nosebleed rule with profits of $1,224,432 and $955,031, respectively.
However, with the departure of many of the regulars from the high stakes games
, action may be severely crippled in the near future, as only a handful of non-U.S. players will be able to play against each other.
This was also the case on Sunday evening - usually one of the busiest times of the week - where no games were running at all on stakes above $100/$200.
Similarly, tracking site Highstakesdb.com has no records of high stakes winners or losers since Friday afternoon.