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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now – Peter Eastgate

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Where are They Now is a series of an in depth look at all poker players - not just the pros - as they travel through one long game. Some of the players profiled are deceased but not forgotten.

Where is Peter Eastgate now, you ask?  Well, he’s in Las Vegas getting ready to defend the title of World Series of Poker Championship.  Is that all?  Not, even close.  The “Where Are They Now?” series doesn’t just answer that question, it also answers where he’s been, and where he’s going, and despite winning the most prestigious tournament in the world, his future is looking bright.  Eastgate has already drawn comparisons to his fellow Dane, Gus Hansen, but Eastgate hasn’t let his fame, or money, get to his head, saying Hansen is a much better player than he at this stage.  It’s that part of Eastgate’s personality that has kept him grounded and helped him become a great ambassador to the game, despite being only 24 years old.  There’s more left to Eastgate’s story than what’s already been told, but as you will see that part that has played out is nothing short of storybook worthy.

Speaking of storybooks, Peter Eastgate was born in Odense, Denmark, the same town fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen was born.  Eastgate was born December 13, 1985, the middle of three boys.  With two brothers, competition was always running rampant between the trio, but as a youngster his focus wasn’t on poker.  Eastgate enjoyed playing soccer with his brothers, and as a result played on local teams.  Eastgate also enjoyed bicycling because of the popularity of the Tour De France in his hometown.  He would watch every leg of the event, and then go outside and try to recreate what he had just saw.  Because he was in fantastic condition from playing soccer and bicycling, he participated in triathlons as a young teenager, and won a fair share of them.
 
Eastgate went to college, for a short time anyway, to study finance.  Like thousands, if not millions, of other kids during this time frame he was introduced to the game of poker via the internet.  Over the course of a year Eastgate became a fairly well known cash game player online and subsequently dropped out of college to pursue the game full time.  Despite the overwhelming positive results from this decision, Eastgate has said that he hopes to resume his studies sometime in the future.  Either way, paying for it won’t be a problem.

Eastgate dropped out of college at 20 years old, and enjoyed playing cash games, especially heads up, but as soon as he turned 21 he wanted to get the feel of casino poker, particularly live tournaments.  It wasn’t long before Eastgate had positive results on the tournament circuit.  He played in The Irish Open, No Limit Freezeout in April of 2007 and made the final table, finishing 9th.  Even though he didn’t last long at the final table he got a chance to see that he could indeed play with the big boys of poker, including Roland de Wolfe, and Sorel Mizzi, who finished ahead of him in the tournament.  But the learning experience and the $46,714 went a long way to giving Eastgate the confidence he needed to continue playing in live tournaments.

Eastgate would place in only one more event, a European Poker Tour event, before heading to Las Vegas for his first World Series of Poker experience, and what an experience it would be.  Eastgate became the first truly professional poker player to win the event since the great “poker boom.”  His $9,152,416 first place prize was the second biggest in history, behind Jamie Gold. It also put him 9th in the all time money list, and first on Denmark’s all time money list, beating out the person he’s been compared to ever since winning the event, Gus Hansen.  A number of other accolades came with his win, including being the youngest player ever to win the event at just 22 years, 10 months and 28 days.  The previous record was held by a 24 year old Phil “The Poker Brat” Hellmuth.

Eastgate almost came as a breath of fresh air to the “poker purists.”  Even though he wasn’t a hugely popular name in the world of poker, he was a pro.  There had been talks that it would be difficult for a true pro to ever win the Main Event since it has grown to the size it has, but Eastgate put an end to that talk, and at the same way gave hope to those well known pros that they too have the hope of cashing in on poker’s biggest prize.

Unlike many other players that have won the Main Event lately, Eastgate has proven he is not a one hit wonder.  Even before the November Main Event table he finished 18th in a European Poker Tour Event for nearly $30,000.  After the win he had five five-figure scores in a month in the Partypoker.com Premier League III events.   However, his biggest win since then came just days after placing 84th at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which is quickly becoming one of the premier events on the tournament circuit.  Eastgate won the “second chance” side event, with a buy-in of $4,800 for $343,000.  That kind of win just months after winning the WSOP Main Event is the best “big score” in as short amount as time in the history of WSOP champions.

Eastgate recently started charity work for children after a conversation with one of his brothers while eating at a restaurant off the Las Vegas strip, in a quieter part of town.  A man came up and asked him for his autograph, and Eastgate realized he could use his popularity to do something to help people.  From that conversation sparked the website TeamEastgate.com.   There you can find a list of charity events held by Eastgate in his family to provide money for children’s charities.

As of now, as mentioned, Eastgate is playing events at the early portions of the WSOP.  Although Eastgate finished ninth of nine players in the invite tournament only, he is still the defending Main Event champion vying for his chance to become the first repeat champion in 20 years since Johnny Chan.

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