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14/07/2010 No. 90
he Guardian Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Wed 14 Jul 2010
The poker pro who has retired at 24

Peter Eastgate, winner of the 2008 World Series, is calling it a day as a professional. It's an inspiring move

The World Series of Poker rumbles on, gobbling players and spitting them out. By Friday we will know the names of the "November Nine", who will return to Las Vegas in four months' time to play the final table.

Meanwhile, shock news: the 2008 World Series champion, Peter Eastgate, is retiring from professional poker! The 24-year-old Dane (who was no flash in the pan; since his $9m WSoP victory he has won over $1m more, including a second place at the EPT London) is ending his sponsorship deal with PokerStars and going off to do something else.

He says, "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 have seen some amazing places and met many new people; it has been a great experience. I have decided now is the time to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life."

Eastgate has long been one of my favourite people in poker. He is clever, charming, modest and always a gentleman. But this may be the greatest thing he has ever done.

When I won $1m in this enchanting game, I didn't give up the day job. Online poker makes it easy to have a varied, creative life and win chunks as well. Cash games and live tournaments can be played on evenings and weekends. Eastgate will still play poker, but he shows you do not have to disappear into the game.

Too many young people think the dream is "to be a pro". No. Not always. Enjoying the challenge, winning money and also living life to the full: that is the dream. Eastgate inspired millions when he won the big one. I hope this latest move will inspire millions more.
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