WSOP Champ Eastgate Lost Millions Betting Sports

Peter Eastgate
Peter Eastgate with some of the millions he blew betting on the World Cup and the WSOP bracelet he auctioned off for charity.

While making the decision to retire from the game of poker last summer, 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Peter Eastgate was busy losing millions betting on the World Cup.

"I lost $1.7 million on the World Cup," he told PokerListings. "I was betting the wrong side every time and I was betting huge amounts. I was basically betting on all the matches."

At just 24 years old, Eastgate shocked the poker world last summer announcing his retirement just before the 2010 WSOP Main Event.

He claimed he'd lost the motivation to play, needed to catch his breath, find out who he was and what he wanted to do with his life.

In the Fall, Eastgate even put his World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet up for auction on eBay, raising $147,500 for the UNICEF childrens' charity.

But by February of this year, he was ready to return to the game.

Claiming he had figured out a way to combine playing poker with a more healthy and well-rounded lifestyle, Eastgate ended his retirement and returned to poker at EPT Copenhagen.

Now, after buying in to EPT Berlin with Frequent Player Points on PokerStars this week, the Dane is well above the average stack heading into the final 119 players in the German capital on Day 3 Friday and feels pretty good about it.

"Occasionally I'm pretty bored at the table and I want to be elsewhere," he said. "But I'm getting deep into EPT Berlin and I'm beginning to feel some joy in this situation where I didn't last year ... It's more of a challenge to play poker."

And Eastgate may have figured out a way to ensure he doesn't fritter away the rest of the $9,152,416 he won in the 2008 WSOP Main Event betting on football games.

He's got a $20,000 side bet with friends that he cannot wager more than $2,000 on any one sporting event and another that says he can't lose more than $2,000 a day betting sports.

"I lost more than $2,000 one day accidentally and I had to pay up," he said.

If only the bet had been in place before he dumped $1.7 million in South Africa last summer.

"It wasn't in place at the World Cup," he explained. "It came in place as a conclusion of the World Cup."

- With Files From Dirk Oetzmann

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