The 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, Peter Eastgate has returned to poker. Some of you may recall his high profile retirement last summer. Eastgate also sold his WSOP bracelet on eBay to raise money for charity. At the time of his retirement he had this to say about poker: “When I started playing poker for a living, it was never my goal to spend the rest of my life as a professional poker player.” I guess if you do not enjoy the game then maybe you got into it for the wrong reason and probably should get on with your life. For now Peter Eastgate returns to being sponsored by PokerStars and plans to play EPT Copenhagen and the NBC Heads Up Championship at least.
Fast forward (but not too fast) to a scant 8 months later and Mr. Getonwithmylife has this to say: “I truly enjoy playing poker. I love the competitive element and the mental challenges of tournament poker.” He goes on to talk about missing his friends and family while jetting around to all the tournaments and losing himself. Yeah, well strong-willed people do not “lose themselves”. Many poker pros jet around the world without dumping their friends and family.
Mr. Eastgate brushes aside the comeback aspect of his return “I do not consider this a comeback, as I always knew there was a good chance I would play poker again.” Yet last summer the tune he was whistling was a tad different “now is the time to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life. What this will be, I do not yet know.” Now this young man is just that, young. We should understand and remember that some young people get confused and tend to talk in absolutes when they should talk of possibilities and options.
We have all seen the “i am done with poker”, “I am back playing poker” carousel. I do not think there is a lot of surprise in this. I do wonder how he will feel about selling the symbol of his big victory as he moves on in years. So all you aspiring pros out there, if you ever realize your dream please do not “retire”, if someone asks why you are not playing call it “a little me time” or a vacation. Save the poker world the emotional roller coaster of the quit/return cycle we all know too well.