WSOP Most important Occasion Champions 2006-08: Gold, Yang, Eastgate

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As we prep for the 2022 World Collection of Poker, a mere weeks away, PokerNews continues to look again at each world champion this century. On this installment, we deal with three winners from 2006 to 2008 — Jamie Gold, Jerry Yang, and Peter Eastgate.

The mid-to-late 2000s period introduced concerning the largest Most important Occasion subject ever (2006) and the beginning of the November 9 idea (2008). And a complete bunch extra, as you are about to learn.

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Jamie Gold: 2006 WSOP Most important Occasion Champion ($12,000,000)

Jamie Gold
Jamie Gold

The 2006 WSOP Most important Occasion was a memorable one for a number of causes, together with the 8,773-entrant turnout, nonetheless a world championship occasion file to today. But in addition due to the unpredictable type of play from the champion, Gold, who used speech play to his benefit when bluffing and got here out of nowhere to scoop the $12 million prize, additionally a Most important Occasion file.

In 2006, poker’s reputation was at an all-time excessive. Joe Hachem received it a yr earlier (Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!), beating out a subject solely about 64% of the dimensions it was in 2006.

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Gold wasn’t precisely your typical poker champ. He wasn’t a professional, very similar to Chris Moneymaker. His prior success had come within the leisure and movie manufacturing trade. However he placed on fairly a present for one week on the WSOP 16 years in the past, and the ESPN viewers who watched all of it unfold will always remember the numerous instances he talked his opponents right into a fold when he was bluffing or a name when he was nutted.

The New Yorker who was 36 on the time had a monster stack all through the ultimate couple of days, however he needed to earn the title at what was a troublesome closing desk that included professionals Michael Binger and Allen Cunningham, a Full Tilt Poker professional who was thought of the most effective within the sport on the time.

What Jamie Gold is As much as These Days

Shortly after his large rating, Gold appeared in some episodes of Excessive Stakes Poker and another televised poker professionals. However, very similar to most Most important Occasion champs this century, his poker profession by no means materialized on an expert stage. That mentioned, he nonetheless has a ardour for the sport 16 years later.

“I do (have a ardour for poker),” Gold instructed PokerNews. “I have been primarily taking part in on-line since COVID began, a number of residence video games however at the very least a number of instances per week on-line. Typically nightly throughout lockdown. I’ve at all times liked the sport, care concerning the group and at all times on a lifelong academic path. I’ve additionally had the pleasure of teaching some buddies to nice success which is much more satisfying now.”

Gold’s speech play technique throughout the 2006 Most important Occasion labored marvelously. It was a factor of magnificence. However all the poker group watched and took notes, and he admits the fame he constructed from the ESPN protection that yr made it robust on his sport going ahead.

“When you turn into well-known for one thing like that it definitely turned rather a lot more durable to drag off bluffs, the speech play although turned extra attention-grabbing at instances, at all times preserving it enjoyable and inside the aggressive panorama for me,” the previous world champ explains. “I simply needed to be smarter and extra refined in my bluffing.”

Gold resides in Southern California and focuses a lot of his time within the funding and sports activities betting world. Throughout the early phases of the pandemic, he donated his time engaged on a optimistic and uplifting present referred to as “Some Good Information,” hosted by John Krasinski, which helped unfold positivity throughout attempting instances.

Extra lately, the $12 million winner has been “personally spending extra time with my household and a few shut buddies throughout COVID has been a present, in a horrifying time for the world the place most of us misplaced family and friends, there was additionally a optimistic side to the time I by no means would have had in any other case.”

Gold mentioned he hasn’t but selected his summer season plans however hopes to make it to Las Vegas for the World Collection of Poker.

2006 WSOP Most important Occasion Closing Desk Outcomes

PLACE PLAYER COUNTRY PRIZE
1 Jamie Gold United States $12,000,000
2 Paul Wasicka United States $6,102,499
3 Mike Binger United States $4,123,310
4 Allen Cunningham United States $3,628,513
5 Rhett Butler United States $3,216,182
6 Richard Lee United States $2,803,851
7 Douglas Kim United States $2,391,520
8 Erik Frieberg Sweden $1,979,189
9 Dan Nassif United States $1,566,858

Jerry Yang: 2007 WSOP Most important Occasion Champion ($8,250,000)

Jerry Yang

In 2007, the payout for the Most important Occasion winner dropped to a measly $8.25 million. Jerry Yang, one other leisure participant with out a lot prior event success got here out victorious towards a subject of 6,358 gamers. The ultimate desk had some worldwide flare with six international locations represented, a stark distinction in comparison with the prior yr through which just one participant hailed from exterior the USA.

There wasn’t a lot, or any, star energy on the 2007 closing desk. The truth is, not one of the 9 gamers who made it that deep went on to perform a lot additional of their poker careers, though Hevad Khan did win $1 million in a 2008 $10k at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Lee Watkinson, who completed eighth for $585,699, has over $4.6 million in lifetime reside event cashes in keeping with Hendon Mob.

From Poker Participant to Restaurateur

Yang, like many Most important Occasion champs in that space, turned a PokerStars ambassador upon reaching the ultimate desk. However residing the lifetime of a poker participant wasn’t what he was destined to do. The household man moved on to different pursuits shortly after successful life-changing cash, most notably because the proprietor of a number of eating places.

Very like poker, there are ups and downs within the restaurant trade. In 2019, Yang was pressured to shut the Pocket 8’s Sushi & Grill in Merced, California for monetary causes. He initially opened the enterprise in 2009 together with his World Collection of Poker winnings.

In 2015, he opened the Dynamite Grill in Las Vegas, one other sushi restaurant. The enterprise has since been closed down. Two years in the past, he opened a Shobu Japanese restaurant in Fresno, California, and it receives a 4.5-star score on Yelp.

Yang nonetheless continues to play poker recreationally and makes an annual look on the WSOP. He completed fourth in a WSOP Circuit occasion at Thunder Valleyin January for $57,772. The Northern California resident has simply $200,000 in reside event cashes within the 15 years since his Most important Occasion victory.

2007 WSOP Most important Occasion Closing Desk Outcomes

PLACE PLAYER COUNTRY PRIZE
1 Jerry Yang United States $8,250,000
2 Tuan Lam Canada $4,840,981
3 Raymond Rahme South Africa $3,048,025
4 Alexander Kravchenko Russia $1,852,721
5 Jonathon Kalmar England $1,255,069
6 Hevad Khan United States $956,243
7 William Childs Jr United States $705,229
8 Lee Watkinson United States $585,699
9 Phillip Hilm Denmark $525,934

Peter Eastgate: 2008 WSOP Most important Occasion Champion ($9,152,416)

Peter Eastgate

The 2008 WSOP Most important Occasion was the primary to introduce the November 9 idea. As soon as the event reached its closing desk in July, the remaining gamers took a break till the primary Tuesday of November, a call made by ESPN. The idea lasted till 2017 when ESPN decided manufacturing prices had been too excessive.

In 2008, Peter Eastgate, who at 22 was the youngest Most important Occasion winner on the time, received over $9 million for beating out 6,844 gamers. Ivan Demidov, from Russia, took second place, adopted by American Dennis Phillips who at all times wears his trademark St. Louis Cardinals hat on the poker desk.

Eastgate, from Denmark, signed on with PokerStars following his Most important Occasion win. He utterly obliterated the ultimate desk,

Probably the most memorable arms on the closing desk was throughout five-handed play when Scott Montgomery moved all-in for round 6 million chips with {a-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}. Eastgate, the massive stack, would name with {6-Spades}{6-Hearts}. The hand wasn’t so memorable as a result of the pot was large. The truth is, it was a comparatively small pot in comparison with another arms on the closing desk. However the best way it performed out was fairly wild.

Upon seeing the playing cards turned over, Phillips mentioned, “I had a six.”

“No less than I do know he is not going to flop quads,” Montgomery joked.

The flop got here out {a-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{q-}, a virtually excellent flop for Montgomery contemplating his opponent solely had one out. He’d strengthen his hand with the {a-Spades} on the flip earlier than having his hopes and desires crushed with the one-outer {6-Diamonds} on the river.

Higher at Poker than You Suppose

Eastgate’s poker profession, like Yang, wasn’t very intensive. However his run to glory in 2008 wasn’t a fluke. He was really a really proficient poker professional for some time and the Most important Occasion title wasn’t his solely little bit of success on the felt. Total, he has $11.1 million in reside event cashes, together with three extra six-figure scores.

Eastgate additionally appeared in some televised money sport exhibits similar to Excessive Stakes Poker. Inside a number of years after successful the Most important Occasion, he was completed being a poker professional, and continued to play poker solely sometimes.

Shortly after turning into world champion, Eastgate auctioned off his gold bracelet on eBay for charity, and the successful bid was over $140,000. The Danish poker participant’s post-poker life hasn’t been public and he is prevented the limelight. He merely misplaced his ardour for poker and grew bored with the swings.

“It is no secret that I’m a reasonably introverted man. I’ve at all times mentioned that I am not good within the highlight,” Eastgate mentioned in a 2018 interview with ESPN.com. “I’ve at all times been nervous about that, and I do not like the best way I sound in interviews.”

In that interview, he defined he misplaced properly over $1 million betting on sports activities in 2009 and decided that it was greatest for him to exit the playing world and admitted he was a “degenerate gambler.” To today, Eastgate, who moved from London again to Denmark in 2013, stays as far-off from the highlight as he probably might, and it is prone to stay that means for good.

2008 WSOP Most important Occasion Closing Desk Outcomes

PLACE PLAYER COUNTRY PRIZE
1 Peter Eastgate Denmark $9,152,416
2 Ivan Demidov Russia $5,809,595
3 Dennis Phillips United States $4,517,773
4 Ylon Schwartz United States $3,794,494
5 Scott Montgomery Canada $3,096,768
6 Darus Suharto Canada $2,418,562
7 Chino Rheem United States $1,772,650
8 Kelly Kim Sweden $1,288,217
9 Craig Marquis United States $900,670



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