WSOP 2011: ElkY arrives bringing fear and flair to feature table
The things that scare us are not always the most obvious thing. It's often something we can't put our finger on, something unpredictable and volatile. The only thing scarier than a man walking naked along the street towards you, carrying a smashed bottle, is the same naked man with his socks still on.
A naked man has consciously stripped himself of his clothing on his way to this moment in time, whereas the man in his socks is more likely to have lost items of clothing without realising, normally in the process of carrying out whatever ghastly act he was on his way to you to carry on doing. It adds a lunatic element to an already unstable situation.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier may not be naked, be brandishing a broken bottle or be physically threatening in an way. But metaphorically speaking ElkY has his socks on. Few players can put a fear in an opponent like the Frenchman, able to turn what appears to be an ordinary poker hand into the tournament destroying blood bath, leaving mere mortals wounded on the rail.
ElkY, when not at the World Series of Poker
Looking for a showcase player to entertain the crowds in the main stage coliseum, organisers, not surprisingly, figured the Frenchman should be their man.
Dressed in what looks like a mohair white tunic, with a black shirt unbuttoned down the chest, ElkY has already out-dressed his opposition - he has the rest of the day to outplay them.
In any other place ElkY, whose hair is dyed the same colour as his pale while skin, would appear to be the oddball type with perhaps a problem to do with attention-seeking. Here, seated alongside baseball caps and toothpicks, he is poker's semi-human superhero.
"ElkY" was already transformed into a carbon fibre superhero some years ago. In 2006 he busted at the midway stage. His hair was dark back then, and the man himself was then just a slightly pudgy convert to live poker from the online world, which he just happened to have become one of the first to crush.
Five years later, kick boxer slim, he's a cyborg that's just undergone a titanium to white gold refit. Without losing sight of the poker, which is after all why we're all here, the man looks fabulous.
All of which is a long way from a naked man coming at you in his socks. The opposite, now I think of it. But ElkY is charged and fully operational. Treat him as dangerous until proven otherwise.
SIDE ACTION OF THE HOUR
"So, how many shots of tequila do you think he could drink, one every five minutes, for $10,000 a time before he collapses or pukes?" - Antonio Esfandiari
DAFT HAIR OF THE HOUR
One player with short , spiky bright blue, another with floppy bright red.
GADGET OF THE HOUR
We've seen many an iPad, but our first Kindle has been spotted in the Pavilion room. Sadly, the player's text size was too small to be able to give you flavor of his book choice.
AUTOGRAPH-SEEKER OF THE HOUR
Lady with an autograph book: "Can I have your autograph?"
Doug Lee: "Sure."
Lady: "Now, what's your name?"
Doug Lee: (sigh) "Doug."
Lady: "Now...do I have a picture of you in this book?"
ACCENT OF THE HOUR
"I soar it. He soar it. You soar it. And nobody's doing anything about it." (AccentTranslation.com--which doesn't exist but should--tells us soar=saw)
A POKER PLACE FOR EVERYONE OF THE HOUR
FattysPoker.com, as seen on back of shirt worn by Mr. Soar above.