What Happened to Peter Eastgate?

What Happened to Peter Eastgate?

Peter Eastgate won the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event, and his life path after that win makes the Danish player one of the more mysterious figures in poker history. Eastgate was 22 years old when he achieved his WSOP win, making him the youngest Main Event champion in history at the time.

The 2008 WSOP wasn’t Eastgate’s only major poker accomplishment. His resume includes a total of four cashes of six-figures or better, and also includes a deep run at the 2009 WSOP Main Event.

He dropped off the poker radar completely by 2014, however. The question of “What happened to Peter Eastgate” still remains a relevant topic in the poker community to this day.

Let’s take a look at Peter Eastgate’s poker accomplishments, and try to answer one of poker’s burning questions.

Peter Eastgate’s Tournament Results and Biggest Cashes

As of June 2021, Peter Eastgate’s career poker tournament earnings total $11,131,450. Eastgate’s five biggest tournament scores include:

  1. 2008 World Series of Poker $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (1st – $9,152,416)
  2. 2009 EPT London £5,250 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event  (2nd  – $843,734)
  3. 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (1st – $343,000)
  4. 2012 World Series of Poker $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (4th – $209,111)
  5. 2010 EPT Deauville €5,300 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event (8th – $99,094)

Take a look at Eastgate’s entire history of tournament poker results at his Hendon Mob page.

Peter Eastgate’s Memorable Hands

Poker hands don’t really get much more memorable than a Main Event-clinching win at the World Series of Poker. The hand that put Eastgate into the WSOP history books began with Eastgate already holding a commanding chip lead over Ivan Demidov in heads-up play.

Eastgate commands a more than 10-to-1 chip advantage when the following hand unfolds:

With the blinds at 500,000/1,000,000, Eastgate limps with A5♠. Demidov checks with 42, and the two Main Event finalists head to the flop.

That flop brings 2K♠ 3 to the board. Demidov checks, Eastgate bets 1,250,000, and Demidov calls. The turn brings disaster for Demidov, as the 4♣ hits the felt. That gives Demidov two pair, but also brings in a wheel straight for Eastgate. 

Demidov checks again, and Eastgate bets 2,000,000. Demidov check-raises to 6,000,000, and Eastgate makes the call.

The 7♠ comes on fifth street, and Demidov moves all-in for his remaining 8,050,000. Eastgate snap calls, and goes into poker lore as the youngest (at that time) WSOP Main Event champion in history.

Eastgate collects $9,152,416 with the victory, while Demidov takes a second-place prize of $5,809,595.

Sweating Peter Eastgate at the EPT London

Our next Peter Eastgate hand tales place at the 2009 EPT London £5,250 Main Event. This hand is presented via PokerStars “Sweat With Peter Eastgate” feature, which keeps Eastgate’s opponents’ hole card hands hidden until the end of the hand:

With the blinds at 20,000/40,000, Eastgate limps on the button with K2. Raymond Wu completes from the small blind, and  Josef Samanek checks his option in the big blind.

The flop comes 8♣ 73, bringing a flush draw for Eastgate. All three players check, and the 3♣ comes on the turn. Wu bets 62,000, Samanek folds, and Eastgate calls.

The flush comes in for Eastgate on the T river. Wu bets 145,000, and Eastgate calls. Wu immediately mucks, but we see that his hole cards are Q♣ 5♣. The bluff didn’t pay off, with Eastagte collecting the 558,000 pot.

Eastgate goes on the finish second in the tournament, cashing for $843,734. That run still stands as the second-biggest tournament payday of Eastgate’s career.

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Life After the 2008 Main Event

Peter Eastgate stood atop the mountain in the poker world at just 22 years old. With a sizable bankroll at his disposal and a potentially decades-long career ahead, Eastgate made somewhat regular appearances in major tournaments around the world after his 2008 WSOP Main Event win.

He added a trio of six-figure cashes and another deep WSOP Main Event run to his resume in the five-year span immediately following his 2008 victory. The first big score in January 2009, with Eastgate taking down the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $343,000.

Eastgate followed up at the 2009 WSOP Main Event with a 78th-place finish, cashing for $68,979. The then 23-year-old was the last former Main Event champion remaining in the field at the time of the elimination.

October 2009 brought a second-place finish at the EPT London Main Event, in which Eastgate turned a £5,250 buy-in into a £5,250 payday ($843,734). The big scores dropped off after that, but Eastgate did make a fourth-place showing at the 2012 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event for $209,111.

After that, however, Eastgate dropped off the radar in the poker world completely.

Gambling Troubles and Retirement From Poker

Eastgate’s last recorded tournament cash came in May 2013 according to the Hendon Mob database. The Danish poker champion resurfaced at a WSOP Circuit event in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2016, where PokerListings conducted an interview with Eastgate.

The interview portrayed a very forthright Eastgate, who admitted that he had “just been drifting around” since his last poker appearances in 2013. He went to school to study bio-medicine in his home country of Denmark, but had to quit school after failing multiple exams.

What Happened to Peter Eastgate?

Peter Eastgate became the youngest WSOP Main Event champion in history at the time of his 2008 win. (Image source: PokerLivePro.com)

He told PokerListings that he considered himself retired from poker after 2010, and confirmed that a good portion of his Main Event winnings were lost in sports betting. Eastgate professed to a low-overhead lifestyle that would allow him to live off of his poker winnings for the rest of his life.

“I’m not bored. After spending so much time by myself I’m not bored anymore,” Eastgate told PokerListings. “But if you look at it from the outside, it would sure look boring.

I know I don’t want to carry on like this for the rest of my life. I need to set some goals, find a passion one way or the other. I’m okay with my situation but I wouldn’t say I’m happy with it. After all, it’s up to me to change it. I don’t have any financial worries, so I can’t complain. I just don’t have flair to do anything specific but I know I need to find it, otherwise I’ll regret it when I get old.”

Eastgate hasn’t made many appearances at the poker table or in the media since that 2016 interview. The now 35-year old Eastgate remains one of the most elusive WSOP Main Event champions of all time, and we might have already seen the last of Eastgate’s poker journey.

Note: Want to upgrade your poker skills? Get free preflop charts here and start playing like a pro before the flop. Download now!

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About the Author
Geoffrey Fisk

Geoffrey Fisk

Freelance writer and poker player based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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