Just a mere 7 months ago, Peter Eastgate, the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion, stunned the poker world when he declared that he was retiring from poker. Shortly thereafter, as if to emphasize that he was serious about his retirement, Eastgate put his WSOP bracelet up for auction, donating the approximately $150,000 in proceeds to UNICEF, a very generous, benevolent, and highly commendable act. Lo and behold, a mere few months since then and Eastgate goes ahead and publicly announces his return to poker.
Making the big proclamation via the PokerStars blog, Eastgate declared himself “motivated to move forward as a person” and that having “had time to think about my life and future I feel I have figured out how I can combine playing poker with a healthy life outside of poker.” Although he stressed that “I do not consider this a comeback”, Eastgate admitted that “I always knew there was a good chance I would play poker again.”
Good for you Mr. Eastgate. As every poker player knows, sometimes time away from the game of poker is exactly what one needs in order to clear his or her head.
HOWEVER – There’s a big difference between taking time off and claiming that you’re going to completely retire from the game, and making a worldwide public announcement to that effect. When any public figure, much less a World Champion, says something like that, one can only expect them to keep to their word. I guess Mr. Eastgate managed to pull off a successful poker bluff, duping us all.
The sports world has all but had its fill of Brett Favre’s retirements and unretirements from NFL football to the point that his every statement on the matter has become something of a laughingstock, overshadowing his on-field successes. Peter Eastgate is a 25-year old professional in a sport that he can play for the next 50+ years. At this pace, that would mean he has another 70-some-odd retirements left in him… Therefore, this poker blogger would like to respectfully opine the following: next time you want to retire Peter, either mean it or keep it to yourself.