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.com EPT Copenhagen event in 2007, he took 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.
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.
He is a member of Team PokerStars Pro and plays online using the screen name ‘ElkY’.
“Winning the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in early January was by far the biggest accomplishment in my poker career. Without question, the win jump-started a great year. When I first started playing poker professionally, I was worried about making a comfortable living. I would have nightmares about having a bad run that would last for a long time. I had these dreams when I was living in South Korea as a pro gamer, when the consequences for losing a game had more to do with ego than bankroll”.