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2008 Main Event Champ Eastgate a No-Show
Conspicuously missing from this year’s big dance is 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion Peter Eastgate.
The 24-year-old Danish pro said he is burnt out on tournament poker and taking an indefinite leave of absence from the game that brought him fame and fortune.
"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," Eastgate said in a press release from his sponsoring company PokerStars.
Eastgate took the poker world by storm by becoming the youngest World Champion in WSOP history, breaking Phil Hellmuth's 19-year-old record. His cash immediately propelled him to the number two position atop the all-time WSOP earnings list - a ranking he still holds.
That financial security is now leading him to explore opportunities beyond the felt. "The period following [my WSOP victory] 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," said a reflective Eastgate.
"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," he explained.
This should come as good news to the rest of the field as Eastgate proved his 2008 win wasn't a fluke by finishing 68th out of 6,494 as the defending champion last year.
Eastgate did not give any timetable on the leave of absence, though he also didn't use the term retirement or categorically rule out a return to professional tournament play.