Frenchman Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier was already an online gaming star before he became a poker player. After moving to Korea in 2001, ElkY was a regular face at the World Cyber Games and in the Korean Pro Gaming league, thanks to his skill at computer strategy games. His speciality was Starcraft, a game in which he is still one of the top ranking players. With poker, he found a way to turn this talent into huge cash prizes.
After a friend introduced him to PokerStars, ElkY realized many of the skills he'd picked up in pro gaming were well suited to poker. It wasn't long before he was winning money on a regular basis. Since then, ElkY has become one of PokerStars highest earners, and was the first player ever to reach the Supernova Elite level in the PokerStars VIP Club. But it isn't just online where he has scored big. ElkY came 2nd in the PokerStars EPT Copenhagen event in 2007, taking home prize money of $399,953. Later that year, he made his first World Series final table, finishing 9th in the $2,500 No Limit Hold'em event for $29,124. His crowning achievement came in early 2008 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. ElkY beat a field of 1,013 to win a massive $2,000,000. He also performed well at the 2008 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, cashing in several events for well over $400,000 - including a 2nd place finish in the $25,500 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up event, worth $320,000, and his hot streak continued in October 2008, when he won the World Poker Tour Festa al Lago $15,000 event at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, collecting $1,411,015 in first place prize money.
ElkY kicked off 2009 with a triumphant return to the PCA - taking first place in the High Roller event for a cash of $433,500. A third place at the NBC National Heads-up Poker Championship netted the Frenchmen a further $125,000 in March 2009, and his next big score came in the WPT World Championship, held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where he finished in third position for $776,245. He then added not one, but two World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) titles to his list of achievements, winning the $530, 1 rebuy, 1 add-on No Limit Hold’em event for $232,730, and then the $215 No Limit Hold’em for a further $263,323. Further success came in 2011, when ElkY won two High Roller events at the EPT Grand Final in Madrid, good for a combined total of $1,006,308, before finally bagging his first SCOOP title for taking down the $25,000 Heads-Up event for $112,500. Just a month later, ElkY locked up poker’s elusive Triple Crown when he won his first World Series bracelet in a $10,000 Seven Card Stud event for $331,639.
With an incredible thirst for tournament action, ElkY doesn’t get much spare time. When he does, he still enjoys keeping his foot in the computer gaming world, playing whenever he can. He also recently suggested that he plans to relocate to London, a move that will bring him even closer to the biggest poker events in Europe.
Check out ElkY’s official website here.
|EPT Copenhagen Dkr 37,500 Main Event||Jan-07||2nd||$399,953|
|2007 WSOP* $2,500 No Limit Hold’em||Jun-07||9th||$29,124|
|APPT Macau $2,500 Main Event||Nov-07||5th||$48,576|
|EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure||Jan-08||1st||$2,000,000|
|PokerStars WCOOP $25,500 NLHE Heads-Up||Sep-08||2nd||$320,000|
|WPT Festa al Lago $15,000||Oct-08||1st||$1,411,015|
|EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25k High Roller||Jan-09||1st||$433,500|
|EPT Deauville High Roller Event||Jan-09||3rd||$101,839|
|NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship||Mar-09||3rd||$125,000|
|WPT World Championship||Apr-09||3rd||$776,245|
|2009 WCOOP $530 NLHE 1R1A||Sep-09||1st||$232,730|
|2009 WCOOP $215 NLHE||Sep-09||1st||$263,323|
|Trophees Haussmann €3,000 Main Event||Dec-10||1st||$147,000|
|LA Poker Classic $25,000 High Roller||Feb-11||3rd||$146,055|
|EPT Madrid €25,000 High Roller||May-11||1st||$779,221|
|EPT Madrid €10,000 High Roller||May-11||1st||$227,087|
|2011 SCOOP $25,000 Heads-Up NLHE||May-11||1st||$112,500|
|2011 WSOP* $10,000 Seven Card Stud||June-11||1st||$331,639|
|EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller||April 2012||3rd||$819,878|
*World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Caesars License Company, LLC ("Caesars"). Caesars does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with PokerStars or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.
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