Young Danish pro Peter Eastgate made history at the 2008 World Series of Poker when – at 22 years old – he became the youngest player to win the Main Event, besting Phil Hellmuth’s record setting victory at age 24 (a mark that has since been re-set by Joe Cada). In defeating Ivan Demidov heads up, Eastgate scooped a whopping $9,152,416.
Eastgate is known and feared as one of the top Internet pros in Denmark, where he specializes in cash games. His reputation is such that, when a reporter called him “the next Gus Hansen,” he received the retort: “Not really. It’s more like Gus Hansen is the first Peter Eastgate.” Keeping in mind this comment came before he won the Main Event, it’s easy to see why Eastgate’s fiery intensity makes him such a feared opponent at the tables.
Following his WSOP victory, Eastgate got off to a hot start in 2009 by cashing in the European Poker Tour (EPT) PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event and then won the $5,000 side event for $343,000. In addition, Eastgate once again made waves at the WSOP, surviving a field of over 6000 runners to give himself a chance of back-to-back Main Event finals tables – an incredible feat in the Poker Boom age. Alas, it was not to be as Eastgate busted in 78th place, but it’s nonetheless an impressive accomplishment. In October 2009, he took second at EPT London, banking $843K. All told, Peter Eastgate’s live poker earnings are in excess of $11 million.
After locking up his WSOP Main Event title, Eastgate’s celebration wasn’t exactly the kind of reaction you’d expect from somebody who had just won $9 million. In an interview he gave to us in the aftermath of the event, he explained what happened:
“When I won, that was the most ridiculous celebration scene ever because I didn’t even celebrate. If I had to redo it, I would have gone crazy. You need to show the world that you are very happy to win. I was happy, I was just astonished. I was in a state of shock and also exhausted after playing for two days. The tournament was a challenge physically. You’re playing for 12 hours per day and you can’t sleep. You have to eat the right things and think about the things you don’t otherwise think about. We played on November 9th in the morning and on the 10th in the evening, so you have to adjust your play. I didn’t get a lot of sleep, so I had to sleep in the afternoon.”