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Hand History Rewind: Peter Eastgate Wins 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jul 29, 2020

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Peter EastgateThe 2020 World Series of Poker was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas this summer, marking the 15th year that the main event has crowned a champion at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. (The 2005 main event was finished at Binion’s Horseshoe.)

That streak is now in jeopardy because of the pandemic that has put a pause on live poker tournaments all over the globe, but officials hope that the series, or at least a main event, can be played out in the fall.

With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to look back at the first main events held at the Rio. We first revisited Jamie Gold’s dominating run in 2006, and then Jerry Yang’s win in 2007. This issue, we’ll look at Peter Eastgate, who won it all in 2008 for $9,152,416.

Eastgate was a month shy of his 23rd birthday at the time of his victory, becoming the youngest champion in poker history. The previous record holder was Phil Hellmuth, who was 24 when he won in 1989. Eastgate would later be surpassed by both Pius Heinz (22) and Joe Cada (21).

The Danish pro traveled the circuit for another couple of years, scoring a big runner-up finish at the 2009 EPT London main event for $844,285, and winning a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure side event for $343,000 before deciding to quit playing poker full time.

The self-described introvert gave up his online poker sponsorship and opted for a more private life. In 2010, he auctioned off his main event bracelet for charity, eventually raising $147,500 which was donated to UNICEF. In the years since, he has only played in the main event a couple of times, and has largely sworn off the gambling industry entirely, in part because of some seven-figure sports bets that didn’t go his way during the World Cup.

Here are five key hands from the final table.

Tournament: 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event
Buy-In: $10,000
Prize Pool: $64,333,600
No. of Entries: 6,844
First Place Prize: $9,119,517

The Action

A short-stacked Rheem moved all in for his last nine big blinds and Eastgate made the call with AHeart Suit QDiamond Suit. Rheem had him dominated with ASpade Suit KClub Suit, but the dealer produced a flop of QSpade Suit 7Diamond Suit 5Spade Suit, giving Eastgate the lead. Rheem needed one of the three remaining kings in the deck, or running cards to survive. The turn was a brick in the 9Diamond Suit, as was the 4Heart Suit on the river. Rheem banked $1,772,650 for his main event performance, his first of two seven-figure scores in 2008, and five overall.

The Action

After losing a big preflop confrontation to Demidov to see him drop from second place to short stack, Montgomery moved all in and was called by Eastgate. Montgomery was behind with ADiamond Suit 3Diamond Suit against Eastgate’s pocket sixes, but the flop of AClub Suit QSpade Suit 4Diamond Suit vaulted him to the lead. The ASpade Suit on the turn further solidified his stranglehold on the pot, leaving Eastgate with just two outs. Unfortunately for him, the river was the 6Diamond Suit, and Eastgate filled up. A stunned Montgomery headed to the rail to collect his $3,096,678 payout for finishing in fifth place.

The Action

Eastgate raised to 1,500,000 from under-the-gun and Schwartz called from the small blind. The flop came down KHeart Suit 8Heart Suit 2Spade Suit and both players checked. The turn was the KDiamond Suit and Schwartz checked. Eastgate bet 1,750,000, and Schwartz made the call. The river was the 5Diamond Suit and Schwartz checked for the final time. Eastgate bet 4,600,000, and Schwartz check-raised all-in. Eastgate made an easy call with pocket fives for a rivered full house, and Schwartz could only turn over AHeart Suit 10Club Suit for a complete bluff. Schwartz pocketed $3,794,974 for his fourth-place finish.

The Action

Eastgate raised to 1,500,000 from the small blind and Phillips defended from the big blind. The flop fell JClub Suit 4Diamond Suit 3Spade Suit, and Eastgate made a continuation bet of 1,500,000. Phillips responded by shoving all in for 14,550,000, and Eastgate made the automatic snap call with a set of threes. Phillips was caught with nothing but a runner-runner straight draw, and was left drawing dead by the turn. He earned $4,517,773 for his third-place run.

The Action

After four hours of heads-up play, Eastgate limped in on the button and Demidov checked his option. The flop fell KSpade Suit 3Heart Suit 2Diamond Suit and Demidov checked. Eastgate bet 1,250,000, and Demidov called. The turn was the 4Club Suit and Demidov checked once again. This time Eastgate bet 2,000,000. Demidov check-raised to 6,000,000, and Eastgate called. The river was the 7Spade Suit and Demidov moved all in for his final 7,950,000. Eastgate quickly called him with ADiamond Suit 5Spade Suit, having turned a wheel, and Demidov’s two pair was second best. He earned $5,809,595 for his runner-up finish, while Eastgate picked up the bracelet and the $9,152,416 first-place prize.

Final Table Results

1. Peter Eastgate — $9,152,416
2. Ivan Demidov — $5,809,595
3. Dennis Phillips — $4,517,773
4. Ylon Schwartz — $3,774,974
5. Scott Montgomery — $3,096,768
6. Darus Suharto — $2,418,562
7. Chino Rheem — $1,772,650
8. Kelly Kim — $1,288,217
9. Craig Marquis — $900,670