It can be difficult to keep a pokerface with big money on the line, but Eric Hanson has gotten used to the pressure.
“Play every hand without that big, looming money bubble over your head. Play to win, but play every hand as though you could be out.” says Eric Hanson, 2009 ND Texas Hold’em Champion.
In the last eight years, he’s made it to the final table four times and placed first once. He’s not alone — other former champions have returned to try to be the first to win two tournaments.
“You have some very, very respected players that are -you’re going to see them on the final day. They just won’t go away.” says Hanson.
Last year, another Hanson made it to the final table and placed above Eric — his wife.
“Because my husband has won and made the final table so many times, people know me because of him and now it’s like they know me because of me now.” says Becky Hanson, 2016 ND Texas Hold’em Championship Runner up.
She says that poker is about having a fun time, so she keeps each game light hearted.
“I try to work on keeping my face as blank as possible. We do play at home and we try to play a little bit before we come here, but every place plays so different, it’s hard for me to say I’m practicing.” says Becky Hanson.
When it comes to Tells in Poker, most think that it all comes down to their facial expressions, but -for some- it’s actually their jobs that give them away.”
“Another gentleman told us that, his tell -and he didn’t realize it- was that everyone knew he was a teacher and he played conservatively, and he’s like, ‘I do!'” says Becky Hanson.
For the Hansons, the event is more than just a poker game.
“I get to see friends I only get to see here. Especially Canadian friends, or friends from other parts of the country that, being four or five hours away from home, I don’t see these people any other way.” says Eric Hanson.
An annual reunion, the Hansons don’t plan on ever missing.