Young Frenchman Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier’s route into poker will be a familiar one to many of today's young online players. Like many of them, he found that the skills he developed as a Gamer (for the older generation that translates to Computer Game Player) were readily transferable to the poker world.
Bertrand has won numerous gaming tournaments and placed in the top ten in every World Cyber Games competition he has entered, including a second place finish in the first World Cyber Games in 2001. The finals of the Korean Pro Gaming leagues get audiences of up to 20,000, packed into a stadium to watch the top 2 players battle it out on their computer screens. Bertrand was one of the top ranked "Starcraft" players in Korea, using the screen name ElkY, and was able to secure a sponsorship deal with AMD Korea. A close friend who had begun playing poker on PokerStars.net advised ElkY to put his gaming skills to the test at online poker and very quickly became adept.
Poker has proven much more profitable for Grospellier than Gaming ever was, and for the past couple of years he has been a full-time online poker professional. He plays Texas holdem cash games as well as many of the largest online tournaments. In August 2006, one of his biggest online wins came when he outlasted a large field to claim a first place prize of $57,000. But despite also having become a regular on the live scene in recent years, ElkY had yet to find that all-important tournament victory that would show the world he was more than just an internet specialist. All that changed when, in January 2008, he won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, beating 1,136 players and taking home $2,000,000. The phenom then underlined his excellence by recording another two quick-fire tournament victories. The first was the World Poker Tour Festa al Lago event held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where he scooped $1,411,015; and the second was the High Roller Event at the 2009 PCA, where he took home $433,500 for the win. Elky’s hot streak continued just days later at the European Poker Tour Deauville event, with a 3rd place finish in the High Roller tournament, good for another $101,839.
Further success came in early 2009 when ElkY posted two third places, in the NBC National Heads-Up Championship for $125,000, and then in the $25,000 buy-in WPT World Championship, for $766,245 - making him the highest earning French poker player by far. He also put in an incredible WCOOP performance, claiming the $530 No Limit Hold’em 1 rebuy, 1 add-on tournament for $232,730, and then a second bracelet in the $215 No Limit Hold’em for a further $263,323. His next big win came at the EPT Grand Final in Madrid, where he took down two High Roller events to collect more than $1,000,000 in prize money. This was followed by a win in the $25,000 Heads-Up event at the 2011 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), good for $112,500. He then finally found the WSOP* success that had so far eluded him when he won his first bracelet in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship event for $331,639, sealing the Triple Crown.
ElkY is constantly attempting to improve his skills by learning and adapting to new challenges. When he moved to Korea, he realised he couldn’t beat the Koreans by trying to play like them, so he altered his strategy specifically to counter the Korean style, while at the same time learning the Korean way and incorporating what he learned from their best players into his game. He has been able to transfer this style of learning to the poker world where he constantly challenges himself.
His other interests include: long distance running, movies and travelling. He is also fluent in French, English and Korean.
|EPT Copenhagen Dkr 37,500 Main Event||January 2007||2nd||$399,953|
|2007 WSOP $2,500 No Limit Hold’em||June 2007||9th||$29,124|
|APPT Macau $2,500 Main Event||November 2007||5th||$48,576|
|EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure||January 2008||1st||$2,000,000|
|PokerStars WCOOP $25,500 NLHE Heads-Up||September 2008||2nd||$320,000|
|WPT Festa al Lago $15,000||October 2008||1st||$1,411,015|
|EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25k High Roller||January 2009||1st||$433,500|
|EPT Deauville High Roller Event||January 2009||3rd||$101,839|
|NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship||March 2009||3rd||$125,000|
|WPT World Championship||April 2009||3rd||$776,245|
|2009 WCOOP $530 NLHE 1R1A||September 2009||1st||$232,730|
|2009 WCOOP $215 NLHE||September 2009||1st||$263,323|
|Trophees Haussmann €3,000 Main Event||December 2010||1st||$147,000|
|LA Poker Classic $25,000 High Roller||February 2011||3rd||$146,055|
|EPT Madrid €25,000 High Roller||May 2011||1st||$779,221|
|EPT Madrid €10,000 High Roller||May 2011||1st||$227,087|
|2011 SCOOP $25,000 Heads-Up NLHE||May 2011||1st||$112,500|
|2011 WSOP $10,000 Seven Card Stud||June 2011||1st||$331,639|
|EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller||April 2012||3rd||$819,878|