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.
Peter Eastgate, the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event winner has given up the poker life. Eastgate is only 24 years old. I guess I can see wanting to get away from the poker circuit and try new things at 24 years old. This is a standard deal with these kids anyway. they run all over the globe and do the poker lifestyle bit. there is always a new tournament to go to somewhere. Rather than just say they are taking a break and cooling it at home for a while to recharge, they get into absolutes and talk about their soul and identity. In a couple years they will pop back onto the poker scene and talk about their “renewed passion for the game” and being a “more balanced person now”. So good luck in finding yourself Peter Eastgate, see you in a couple years.
From the Pokerstars Blog:
“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. 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. What this will be, I do not yet know. I have decided to take a break from live tournament poker, and try to focus on Peter Eastgate, the person. I want to thank Pokerstars, my friends and family for their support over the last 20 months and for their support in my decision to take a break from poker.”
Michael Holmberg, Pokerstars Nordics Director had this to say:
“We know that poker will miss this world class player and world class role model, but Pokerstars has only the deepest respect for Peter’s decision. Poker is about determination and excitement and if Peter lacks this in his game, the right decision is to take a break, Peter has played amongst world champions and he has carried his title in the most admirable fashion. Tournament after tournament, the young poker player from Odense, Denmark has achieved great results and has established himself as one of the greatest natural talents the poker world has ever seen.”