BLOG – The 2008 champion steps down and a WSOP overview

BLOG – The 2008 champion steps down and a WSOP overview

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Well, this is unusually honest behaviour from a poker player – 2008 Main Event winner Peter Eastgate, then the youngest ever WSOP Main Event champion, has announced his potentially temporary/potentially permanent retirement from the professional poker game.

I say unusually honest because if you had won over nine million dollars in a single tournament; plus lucrative sponsorship deals with the world’s largest poker site and a further $1.7m in tournament prizes (probably freerolling due to aforementioned PokerStars sponsorship) wouldn’t you want to just kick back and do sod all for the rest of your life at age 24? Hell yes you would.

It was announced on the PokerStars blog last night, with Eastgate saying that he never made it his ambition to spend his life playing poker: “My goal was to become financially independent. I achieved that by winning the WSOP Main Event in 2008. The period following has taken me on a worldwide tour, where I have seen some amazing places and met many new people; it has been a great experience. In the 20 months following my WSOP win, I feel that I have lost my motivation for playing high level poker along the way and I have decided that now is the time to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

I can’t say I’m massively surprised, because as I said most people would want to retire with their millions of dollars and live off the interest. However, Eastgate seemed to be one of the rare genuine talents that a World Series of Poker bracelet gives us – in addition to his career-making win, the Danish young gun final tabled the €5,000 EPT Deauville; made a deep run worth $70,000 in the Main Event the year after his win and took down a side event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2009 for $343,000. Add to this the fact that he was reputedly playing $25/$50 online cash games before his 2008 victory at the WSOP and you have a seriously good Hold ‘em player on your hands.

Anyway, enough of Peter and his bed of money upon which he seduces buxom Scandinavian women each night. It’s been a bloody good WSOP for Blighty this year, old chaps. I’ve spent some time in my sad act of a life to tally up our final table profits and we’ve not helped the US budget deficit, taking a cool $4,324,544 across the Atlantic. This goes largely to Bluff Europe columnists Stuart Rutter and Neil Channing, bracelet winner Praz Bansi and the jammy gits who got both a bracelet AND a runner-up AND another final table – Richard Ashby and James Dempsey. Excellent work lads.

Of course, as we speak James Mitchell leads Day 1a of the Main Event – we erroneously reported that CardRunners instructor Corwin Cole was leading but Irish Open champion Mitchell made a late surge to bag around a quarter million chips. So here’s to the British running good in the Main Event and doubling that $4.3m figure, eh?

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