WSOP Event #7: ElkY swimming in a tide of blood

wsop2009_thn.gifAnd still they come. Another day, a new event and another extraordinary turn out at the Rio. This time the masses have arrived for the start of the $1,500 No Limit - 2,793 of them. It may be considered one of the low-buy in events, but when the pros sniff blood they converge like Great Whites on a school of fattened seal pups.

One of those is Team PokerStars Pro ElkY, considered to be one of the best tournament players on the circuit right now.



The man is simply machine-like in his execution at the moment, and rapidly making a name as something of a beast. Consider his recent results:

- WPT $25K Championship Event: 3rd for $776,000
- NBC $20K Heads Up Championship: 3rd for $125,000
- EPT Deauville €20K High Roller: 3rd for $101,000
- PCA $24,500 High Roller: 1st for $433,000
- WPT $15,000 Championship: 1st for $1,411,000

And that's just since last October. Don't forget that in January of last year he also won the PCA for another $2,000,000.

You might feel sorry, therefore, for the part-time players who forked out $1,500 for a shot at this event, only to find themselves on Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier's table.

He'll play many a hand, but his fearsome reputation may explain why his opening minimum raise to 200 in level 2 was met by only a call from two players behind him - one with pocket queens and the other with pocket nines. The J♠7♠J♦5♠ board was enough to scare ElkY off on the turn, but the other two ended up all in. Early in an event like this, they got it in with an overpair and the other with an underpair on a paired and flushing board.

The queens held up, by the way, but this is perhaps a good example of why ElkY stays in tournaments until the big money kicks in, while so many others spill their guts early. It means one thing for sure, the Rio is awash with blood right now.


Elky sitting in the Miranda Room

We've a fair bunch of Team PokerStars players in the field today, with those spotted so far including Humberto Brenes, Vanessa Rousso, Dennis Phillips, Ylon Schwartz, Hevad Khan, Dario Minieri, Maridu Mayrinck, Peter Eastgate, Sandra Naujoks and Florian Langmann.

Schwartz was playing in his first WSOP event since finishing fourth in the Main Event last November. I say was, because he may well be out already. He had only 400 or so chips from his 4,500 when I found him deep in level one.

"It's my first event of the series and I really have got off to a flying start," he lamented.

Avid Team PokerStars Pro Twitterers in the field today for your Tweeting delight are Vanessa Rousso and Maridu Mayrinck.

Day two of the $10K 7-card Stud is kicking off right now, and we'll keeping a close watch on that today as well.