Peter Eastgate Talks About His Return to Poker

What do Brett Farve and Peter Eastgate have in common? We’ll give you a hint – we don’t think Eastgate is passing out naked pictures of himself like candy.

Nope, their commonality is a far less pervy one: Both have walked away from walking away.

Eastgate became the latest member of the “just kiddin'” club earlier this week when he announced his return to the world of poker. His retirement wasn’t quite as brief as any of Farve’s – Eastgate did skip last year’s World Series of Poker.

So what flipped the switch? Eastage wrote a post on the PokerStars Blog this morning where he cited the pressure of being a poker celebrity, as opposed to the pressure of being a poker player, as the primary culprit in his retirement:

Sometimes in life a person can feel lost and wake up one morning not recognizing who he is. Last summer that was how I felt. Prior to winning the WSOP in 2008, my life was very much a good solid routine of playing online poker and hanging out with my friends and family. Winning the WSOP changed that. I relocated to London and started a new life, the life of a high profile poker pro. For almost 2 years I was in a constant spotlight, travelling from poker tournament to poker tournament, doing thousands of interviews and never had a chance to catch my breath. In the whirlwind that followed winning the WSOP I lost track of the most importing thing in my life, myself.

Now he feels … not that way. So he’s back. Easy game.

There’s another part of his post that’s especially interesting given Greg Raymer’s recent exit from PokerStars:

During my hiatus from poker, PokerStars have been very supportive. Therefore, I am pleased that I will start out with playing two events where I will be sponsored by PokerStars. First, I will be playing the PokerStars.com EPT Copenhagen which of course means a lot to me, since it is on my home ground. Then I will play the NBC Heads Up Championship. I am fortunate that PokerStars have the best online tournaments, so I have an opportunity to get back in tournament shape.

That’s right – Stars was willing to pony up for an inactive WSOP champ on one hand, but unwilling to do what it took to hold on to an active champ – Raymer – on the other. You can read a bit more about what we think Raymer’s exit means for the industry here.

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