Peter Eastgate Unretires After Eight Month Break

Peter Eastgate became a household name among poker fans when he won the game’s most prestigious tournament – the World Series of Poker Main Event – back in 2008. He was only 22, making him the youngest WSOP Champion in history (Joe Cada would take the record down to 21 the following year). At the time, Eastgate seemed posed to become one of poker’s best new players, but as it turns out he couldn’t handle the hype.

For two years following his monumental WSOP title, Eastgate played around the world. We’ve all heard the story of the failed phenomenon before (Chris Moneymaker anyone?), but keeping Eastgate’s youth and lack of experience in mind, most of the poker world was prepared to cut him slack. As it turns out, he didn’t need it. Eastgate made another $1.5 million in the 20 months after he won the Main Event. Unfortunately, Eastgate just couldn’t keep up the pace, nor could he handle the constant stress of constantly being following by poker press and fans alike. Last summer, just before the 2010 WSOP Main Event, Eastgate announced that he was retiring from poker.

To punctuate the decision, Eastgate went on to sell his coveted WSOP Championship bracelet in November. The sale took place on eBay, and the $147,500 final bid went entirely to charity. To be sure, Eastgate’s followers and several of his admiring colleagues were sorry to see the young pro go, but many of the industry’s critics misinterpreted his retirement and the sale of his bracelet as a quiet jab at the game that made him a millionaire.

“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,” Eastgate said in the official announcement of his retirement. “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,” he finished.

Eight months later, it looks like Eastgate has changed his mind. Today, Eastgate posted his first PokerStars blog since his fateful retirement last year. In the blog, Eastgate reiterates his reasons for leaving the game, for selling his bracelet, and ultimately for coming back less than a year after “retiring.” It’s all pretty touchy-feely for a poker pro, but he’s only 25, so we’ll cut him a break.

Now that he’s back on the PokerStars Team, Eastgate was also quick to plug his sponsoring site, saying that PokerStars’ having “the best online tournaments” would help him to “get back in tournament shape.” If you’re eager to see if Eastgate’s still got it, he’s already announced the first two dates on his schedule: the EPT Copenhagen and the NBC Heads-Up Championship.

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