WSOP Main Event: Eastgate eases in and eases out of trouble


We've already highlighted on the blog the repeat attempts of Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem, two former World champions, to go on a deep rampage the year of their title defence. Not only did they come close but they showed the true grit that this game demands for such a big stage, and with the eyes of the world upon you. This year is no exception and that repeat is still a possibility, as Peter Eastgate remains firmly attached to his chair as the clock ticks down to 250 players.

Eastgate is a man of nine million dollars and about the same number of faces, wearing a sometime slightly crazy look, like that of Captain Orr (Bob Balaban) in the movie version of Joseph Heller's Catch 22, suggesting he's fooling you by pretending to be quirky. Sitting almost side saddle in his chair, with one foot tucked underneath him, Eastgate leans forward ignoring the table chatter going on just focusing on the action, like he's trying to put together a jigsaw without touching any of the pieces .

He has his Team Pro flashes on his sleeves along with a small strip of gaffer tape to block out a certain suffix long since banished from these parts. Occasionally he scowls at the tournament clock and between hands swaggers up to his countryman Mads Anderson a table along, dodging back when he thinks a new hand is being dealt before skipping back when he realises it isn't. His stack maybe less than average, but you couldn't tell.

Main Event_Day 5_IJG_7765_IMPDI.jpgThe thoughtful Peter Eastgate

Earlier on Paul Johnson in seat one had made life difficult for the champ. He'd bet 25,000 pre-flop which Eastgate had raised to 78,000 from seat two. Eventually Johnson raised again, 203,000 this time, which Eastgate passed on. Johnson showed the aces. "Good fold" said Thierry van den Berg, also at the table, and it was, but it didn't help Eastgate whose stack had dwindled from its previous high water mark to just 397,000.

Main Event_Day 5_IJG_7834_IMPDI.jpgThe big betting Peter Eastgate

This came after an earlier double up and another small pot with K-J top pair. Didn't he have a million a short while ago?

"Yeah, for about two minutes..." he grinned, before explaining the hand with the caveat "I'm not going to reveal my hand." He went on...

"It was one hand. The early position raiser made it 26,000, I called from late position. The flop came 9♠5♣J♠. He made it 51,000, I call. The turn T♦. He made it 125,000, I call. 4♠ on the river. He made it 250,000. I call..."

That was that. The early position player showed [10s]8♠ for a flush and Eastgate's million became, well, a lot less.

But Eastgate's face is not one to reveal any hint of trouble. He simply leans forward in his chair and gets going again and he didn't have to wait long. A few moments ago word came that he'd doubled up flush over flush and was back to 900,000. That was more than two minutes ago. We're sure he still has at least that.

Eastgate on the up...

Main Event_Day 5_IJG_7840_IMPDI.jpgThe happy Peter Eastgate

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One of the earlier chip leaders of the main event Peter Kremenliev, a PokerStars qualifier from California, has been eliminated, his A-J outkicked by A-K. Benjamin Kang is also out.

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Going into Level 20 (6,000/12,000/2,000) with 232 players remaining. Players are now guaranteed $32,963.

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Nasr El Nasr has shot up to 1.7 million. El Nasr eliminated a player in a pot worth 500,000 and in the next hand called a 25,000 early position raise from the button. On a Three-Seven-King flop his opponent raised, El Nasr re-raised to 111,000 for a seven on the turn and then made it 123,000 after a check. With a four completing the board El Nasr moved all in behind his opponent check, promising to show if he folded. He did fold and El Nasr showed him pocket sevens for quads.

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Grospellier just doubled up in the closing stages of the last hour, up to 800,000 with aces.

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"It's so sick," he said.

He's talking about what's happened since our last visit with him. He has worked his way up to 1.7 million and ended up losing a pot worth almost as much with pocket queens versus ace-king.

The good news is, "I've grinded my way back up to 1.4"

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Joe Hachem's stack is currently sitting close to 700,000, just short of the 822,000 average.

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Main Event_Day 5_IJG_7786_IMPDI.jpgPokerStars qualifier Rebecca Campbell on the feature table earlier today