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The star of the 39th World Series of Poker in 2008 was undoubtedly a young Danish player called Peter Eastgate who won $ 9,221,395 when he was victorious in the Main Event that year.
The youth of the player, who was barely 21 at the time, combined with his talent and discipline made him a household name in poker circles.
The young gun’s absence in this year’s event was noted early in the series, and an explanation appeared this week when Eastgate announced his retirement on the PokerStars blog, writing:
"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. My goal was to become financially independent.
“I achieved that by winning the WSOP Main Event in 2008. The period following 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.
“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.
“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.
“I want to thank PokerStars, my friends and family for their support over the last 20 months and for their support in my decision to take a break from poker."
Early reaction came from the Nordics regional director at Poker Stars, Michael Holmberg, who said:
"We know that poker will miss this world class player and world class role model, but PokerStars has only the deepest respect for Peter's decision.
“Poker is about determination and excitement and if Peter lacks this in his game, the right decision is to take a break.
“Peter has played amongst world champions and he has carried his title in the most admirable fashion. Tournament after tournament, the young poker player from Odense, Denmark has achieved great results and has established himself as one of the greatest natural talents the poker world has ever seen."
The blog points out that in addition to his massive WSOP Main Event prize, Eastgate has won ‘substantial’ amounts in tournament poker and is therefore now financially secure.