While those immersed in the world of online poker refer to him as “ElkY”, Bertrand Grospellier has, over a wildly successful live poker career, established himself as much more than an online virtuoso. Although he’s well-known for being the record holder for the most online Sit-N-Gos played simultaneously, Grospellier has now also earned the title as the fourth player to ever hold titles in both the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour, along with a World Series of Poker bracelet.
Just last week, Grospellier earned his first ever WSOP bracelet in Event #21, the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship. Outlasting a tough field of 126 of poker’s elite, he managed to escape with an additional $331,639 in his bank account, along with the highly-coveted gold bracelet.
This title may be the first for Grospellier at the World Series of Poker, but it shouldn’t surprise most readers to find out that Grospellier expected to win one much, much sooner. Grospellier admitted in several post-tournament interviews, that although he has just now secured a first-place finish, his deep runs during his earlier WSOPs emitted the impression that things were much easier than they were globally perceived.
But after taking a bracelet home, and half-a-decade of disappointment, he finally understands the difficulty of being a champion.
“In 2007, I had three deep runs and a final table so I thought it would be easy,” Grospellier joked, after he spoke in a post-match interview. “Then for five years, I ran pretty bad and just couldn’t get anything going.”
It might be a mistake, however, to assume that the man known as “ElkY” wasn’t busy dominating other avenues in poker. The bright-haired Frenchman has also has secured big scores in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and the $25,000 buy-in “High Roller” event on the European Poker Tour, both of which he won for $2,000,000 and $433,500 respectively.
Add in, that just months after his enormous 2008 victory at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure he won $1.4 million in prize money at the WPT Fiesta al Lago. During that year, he was appropriately awarded the “WPT Player of the Year” trophy.
While these titles were certainly great, his latest accomplishment comes with an interesting twist. Grospellier is a novice when it comes to Seven-Card Stud.
To say that Grospellier doesn’t have the talent to adapt and succeed in such an event would be a bit of a fabrication. However, the former world-class Starcraft player needed to dig deep in order to hold his own against some of the best Stud players in the world. To put things in perspective, Grospellier needed to defeat a final table that included poker pros Alexander Kostritsyn, Johnny “World” Hennigan, and Chad Brown, the last who has come back with a vengeance after recovering from a tumor that sidelined him for several months.
“I have a lack of experience but sometimes I think it helped me because I was playing really aggressive and getting my opponents to fold in some spots where they’re not supposed to fold. It’s about reading your opponents and adapting to the situation.”
Many players have been taking advantage of the opportunity to play big buy-in non-Hold’em events at this year’s WSOP. Likely because the fields are much smaller, it’s also common to find that less players have the skill set necessary to win such a championship. However, with a strong desire to win a bracelet, anything is certainly possible.
Grospellier can now be included with Eugene Katchalov, Jason Somerville, Jake Cody, and Allen Bari as poker players who have won a WSOP bracelet for the first time this year.
With the title, Grospellier now has $7.95 million in career tournament earnings.
The final table results go as follows:
- Bertrand Grospellier – $331,639
- Steve Landfish – $204,924
- Maxwell Troy – $128,341
- John Hennigan – $92,928
- Alexander Kostritsyn – $72,627
- Chad Brown – $57,917
- Kevin Tang – $47,032
- Chris Tryba – $38,812