Peter Eastgate: The right decision

peter-eastgate-thumb.jpgThere wasn't much clamoring in the poker world for Team PokerStars Pro Peter Eastgate to prove himself after his WSOP win. That said, if anybody still needed some proof that the man from Denmark had some pretty serious poker chops, they only needed to be tracking Eastgate's progress last week during EPT London.

We thought it would be a good idea to check in with Eastgate now that the fog has cleared. Here's how he's feeling today.


by Peter Eastgate


As some of you might know, I managed to do pretty well last week in the Pokerstars.com European Poker Tour London Poker Festival Main Event. The event with a big name had an even bigger field. I finished second out of 730 player which made me £530,000.

When you do not win, you lose--even when you finish second. This is the way most poker players feel, and this goes for me too.

Psychologically I am over the 'loss'. Sometimes you make the wrong decision like I did on the last hand of the tournament, where I moved all-in with A9 and get called by Aaron Gustavson's AQ. [Read about the hand in the EPT London Season 6 report].

In the unbearably clear light that is called hindsight, I could have done differently, but when I analyze the play, I still feel that it was the right thing to do at that time. He could have had a worse ace or a pair smaller than 9's, or he could have folded a slightly better hand, at which time my move would have been great. It is a thin line between looking bad and brilliant.

I have thought a little about what I could have done differently. Should I have limped on the button instead of playing aggressive? Possibly, but in poker there are often times many strategies that can be successful in the same situation. Sometimes you pick the right one and you win, other times you don't.

I would rather focus on the positive. For most of the tournament I made the right decisions. Not to forget, even though my financial situation is taken care of due to my big score winning the WSOP, I won £530,000!

I know a lot of poker players are caught up in winning trophy's and titles. To me the title means very little, I play poker for the money and because I like the complexity of the game. If there should still be doubters, then it was nice to show them that the WSOP was not a fluke.

I am very pleased to have made another deep run in a big tournament and made the final table. I have gone deep in six live tournaments now, finishing better than top 30. Four times I have made the final table, with two wins and a second, a result I am pretty pleased with.

When playing a tournament, it is important to get on a rush later in the tournament. It is not important to be chip leader in the early going. I have found that I do best coming from behind in these big field tournaments.

The second place finish has made me want to play more tournaments and has had a positive impact on my motivation to play poker. My motivation has not always been there since winning the WSOP. Last summer in Las Vegas it was not there and I should not have played in many of the tournaments. It was not until defending my title in the Main Event that I found myself motivated to play poker. But with the deep run there and this second place finish, I feel I am really motivated.

Unfortunately, I was not all that motivated to play the day after my second place finish. I played in a heads-up tournament in London and still feeling blue from my 'loss' heads-up to Aaron Gustavson, I played some terrible poker. I lost to Vicky Coren in the first round. I had played for 5 straight days and heads up the day before for more than £800,000. This tournament had a $10,000 buy-in, 32 players and money for the top 8, which is a too flat pay-out structure for my taste.

My next stop is EPT in Warsaw, then I go to Tallinn and PokerStars Baltic Festival. If I have to be totally honest, I wish that the buy-in of 1,100 Euro for the Baltic Festival Main Event was a little higher, as I think 2,000 Euro would have been able to attract the same amount of players. I do think it is great that there is a tournament for those who cannot afford the high buy-ins that most other live tournaments have.

Luckily for me, there will also be a highroller event with a buy-in of 10,000 Euro, where I have heard that Tony G and his Russian friends will be participating. In any event, I am looking forward to spending some days in Tallinn with my fellow Team PokerStars Pros Johnny Lodden and William Thorson. I have heard that Tallinn is a nice place, so I am sure it will be a good trip.

Finally, it looks like I am going to Las Vegas for High Stakes Poker season 6 around the time of WSOP Main Event Final table.

Peter Eastgate is a member of Team PokerStars Pro and the reigning WSOP champion.

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