"This tournament does not matter to me anymore "– said Eastgate in an interview with Bernard Lee. It's not that Peter isn't happy he won the event a few years back against Ivan Demidov, as the youngest champion of the Main Event at that time. After all he received over nine million dollars.
Eastgate says it was nice to travel in a poker t-shirt and promote the game especially because somebody was paying for that and he loved cards. – That was perfect life. I was doing what I loved and lived like football legends or rock stars.
Being the ambassador for a website that promotes and sells poker is a hard nut to crack for someone like Peter who loves cards, but is inrovertic and does not like interviews, so it wasn't always so great.
This probably caused what happened in 2010. Peter decided then to quit playing poker. Everybody was shocked as he left when contracts were coming from left and right.
The damned sports betting
Eastgate admits he has had a problem with gambling. he started betting big on sports.
– I played every weekend from 2009. Betting on every game and every match. 8-9 months of losing that cost me $500,000 or $700,000. I intended to bet even more on Football Championship in 2010 and set the limit at half a million, but eventually lost 1.2 million. I also bet on Spain and they won, so I was still on the wagon, hoping to win even more.
Finally Eastgate was so irritated that he didn't even want to go to Las Vegas and play Main Event. After all it was the sin city and poker was a part of the gambling paradise.
– I could have stayed there and play for free thanks to all those contracts, but I hated the gambler inside and decided to quit the business for good, to be free again.
Peter admits he also hasn't been doing great with online games. Wins at events made up for losses at the cash tables from the computer screen, but Peter had enough.
A few times poker player returned to Vegas. In 2009 he defended the title and registered to the Main Event in 2012 and 2015. Back then he also final tables a $1500 tournament. He won 209 thousand then proving he can still play poker well.
Today he does not feel like competing with the best players in the world anymore as he hasn't been playing regularly for five years.
– I don't play much but if you see me online you can join the table. I will be an easy target (laughter).
In 2010 Peter Eastgate decided to sell his WSOp bracelet. It was not out of boredom or for the money. The $147,500 he got for it was donated to Unicef.
– I was surprised when I heard people expected me to keep the bracelet. I enjoy poekr for competing with others not for the trophies we get. I wasn't using it and decided to make better use of it. Glad that could help somebody.
Eastgate lived for five years in London. Then he came back to his motherland to try some businesses there. He still has tons of money he won 10 years ago and leads a luxurious life:
– I spend very little and don't waste money. I could probably keep my lifestyle for the next 200 years at the pace which I spend money at. People think I am sad or depressed, but I am not. I don't care what they think. Just enjoy my life and hang out with those who like me the way I am. I always played to win money, not to be a well-known figure, but I am glad people say I played well. At highstakes ego speaks loudly and I wanted to be the best. Dream came true, it was time to move on.