If you sit around playing Starcraft, you’re not a nerd – I promise. In fact, you could become a super cool poker pro. Just ask Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, who began as a Starcraft player but quickly became one of poker’s biggest names. For those of you who don’t know, Starcraft is a video game that has become like a sport to South Koreans and to a lesser degree in several other countries. Grospellier is not the only pro to have a Starcraft background, as Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis, a known name in the poker circuit was also a pro at the game until he try online poker.
Grospellier, a 32-year-old who had earned more than $8 million over his poker career before the final table of Event No. 21 – $10,000 seven-card stud championship – has finally earned himself a coveted WSOP bracelet when he won the event. He is also now the fourth player in poker history to earn the Triple Crown of the poker world.
ElkY previously won the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event and the 2008 World Poker Tour Festa al Lago main event to account for the first two legs of his Triple Crown. Now the third leg of the poker Triple Crown is complete after Grospellier defeated a tough field of 126 players to capture WSOP gold and a $331,639 payday. He now holds $8,869,178 in career earnings.
After his big win, Grospellier said, “I love to play at the World Series. It’s the world championship and the fields are much bigger. It’s like a big poker festival. Plus, you can play all these different games that you cannot play in Europe. We can play deuce-to-seven and stud, and it’s kind of a change. It’s enjoyable because it’s new to me. It’s also more fun to play in bigger fields. I just love to play in the United States, and especially the World Series.”
He added of his bracelet win, “One of the first World Series of Poker tournaments I played was back in 2005. I played in so many WSOP events and I never really came very close to a bracelet. My closest time was in 2007 when I made it to a final table [and finished ninth]. So, I have been waiting for this moment for like four or five years. I am really, really proud, especially because I go this in stud. It was the first time I played stud in a live [tournament]. So, it’s really an amazing feeling.”
In other WSOP news, John Juanda denied Phil Hellmuth his 12th WSOP bracelet, and with 21 events now completed, 20 champions have claimed their first World Series of Poker bracelet.
Didn’t make it to the WSOP this year? That’s ok. Sports Interaction’s online poker tournaments has enough prize money to go around.