PokerListings Blog


Like many other poker players Bertrand Grospellier -- ElkY as you may know him -- is a true gamer at heart.

One of the most successful poker pros of all time with $10.9m in live tournament earnings ElkY began his gaming career as a professional Starcraft player in Korea at the age of 20.

As if he didn't already have enough gaming passions, he recently started playing the latest online phenomenon Hearthstone.

We asked him a few questions about his new obsession.

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Crypto Chips

There are Bitcoin poker sites but Crypto Chips is taking it one step farther and introducing physical Bitcoin-branded poker chips.

Owner/founder Ken McGrail manufactures the chips as a hobby and got into it after he got bored with mining Bitcoin.

Crypto Chips are standard ceramic 39mm, 10-gram poker chips that have been branded with logos from various digital currencies.

McGrail decided to skip the substandard sticker technique of adhering graphics to the chips and went instead with superior ink injection printing.

They are not only available for Bitcoin but you can also order LiteCoin, Dogecoin, Darkcoin and 85 other unique designs.

Buy Bitcoin Poker Chips with Bitcoin

Since they don’t actually represent individual Bitcoin hashes, like some other coins, what are they for?

Some people use them as knick knacks to give to fellow Bitcoin fans. You can also buy a complete set and play poker with them.

Because Bitcoin is entirely digital the market for physical Bitcoin products has actually been substantial.

McGrail originally considered making metal coins but after a trip to Vegas realized light-weight poker chips were far superior for his purposes.

The chips cost $2.50 a piece with free shipping and you can pay using Bitcoin, Lightcoin, Dogecoin and a variety of other cryptocurrencies.

You can purchase Crypto Coins poker chips here.

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Follow the 2015 WSOP Conference Call Live(ish)

Created By:
12 May 2015
Posted in: WSOP Blog

It happens but once a year.

Caesars puts the call out to all the various media outlets in the poker industry and gives us one final preview of the upcoming WSOP.

The WSOP already provided the official media guide, which offered a few tidbits, like the fact the November Nine will be played over three days this year from Nov. 8-10, 2015.

The guide also introduces a $1,500 Extended Play No-Limit Hold’em event with 90-minute levels.

Despite the guide the WSOP always seems to save a couple surprises for the media call and they also take questions from the media.

Today we’re going to do things a little differently and try to live blog the entire media call as fast as we can type it. Check below to see how it all unfolds:

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1770 Shaun Harris and Dogs

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban once said that a sure sign of failure for a start-up is too much promotional gear.

Take a quick look at the poker industry and you’d likely agree 99% of the time.

The unregulated online gaming industry in the early 2000s, before the UIGEA passed in 2006, was the wild west of online poker.

The marketing teams for these sites pretty much went on a bender that lasted for years.

Promos went far beyond just branded swag. It was over-the-top, excessive, ridiculous, greedy and downright sexist at points as online poker sites did absolutely anything they could do attract new players or generate publicity.

Here's a closer look at some of the strangest, craziest or improbable promotional campaigns that online poker sites have run over the years.

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Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu is arguably the most popular poker player in the world. But there’s an entirely different game that’s grabbed his attention lately.

After a recent widely-popular foray onto for streaming poker, Negreanu has taken one step closer to the video game world by getting his feet wet with card game/video game hybrid Hearthstone.

As Negreanu himself put it on Twitter:

“I can not stop playing #hearthstone this game is incredibly addicting and fun. Soooo much fun!”

Negreanu’s not the only famous poker pro who has taken up the Hearthstone. In fact his PokerStars teammate Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (who used to be a pro StarCraft player) has been streaming plenty of Hearthstone on as well.

Mike McDonald, Benny Spindler, Gabe "GWalls" Walls and even 2011 WSOP champ Pius Heinz have also mentioned playing Hearthstone in the past but Negreanu is by far the most well-known poker pro to profess an appreciation for the game.

Poker pros are hardly the only people interested in Hearthstone. The game recently passed 30 million players and is frequently one of the most popular games on Twitch.

So could an old-school poker pro like Daniel Negreanu actually make the switch to an up-and-coming pro Hearthstone career? Ha, no.

The money involved with poker still dwarfs Hearthstone. Negreanu recorded $10.2 million in live tournament results last year. Winning the Hearthstone World Championships only got James “firebat” Kostesich $100,000 last year and that was by far the biggest Hearthstone event.

Here are Negreanu’s Tweets about his new-found hobby:

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It's been a pretty spectacular Season 11 on the European Poker Tour and it's about to go out, as always, in grand fashion.

The PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final is now underway in ritzy Monaco with a massive 78 (!) events on the schedule from April 30 - May 8.

Among the highlights will be a €100,000 Super High Roller, a €50,000 Turbo High Roller, a €25k High Roller and, of course, the €10k main event.

Thanks to the glory of live streaming and the amazing PokerStars broadcast team you can watch a huge chunk of the action from the comfort of your own living room without having to fork over €35 for a salad.

Action starts on Thursday, April 30 at 3 pm CET with the star-studded Super High Roller and three days of streaming until a winner is crowned on Saturday.

The France Poker Series Main Event Final Table pops in on Sunday for some air time before the grand finale coverage begins on Monday at the start of Day 2.

Commentary in English as always provided by the irascible team of James Hartigan, Matt Broughton, Joe Stapleton and special guests.

Click through/read on for the full webcast schedule!

Note: If the previous day's coverage is still showing, click the "i" up in the top right of the screen and scroll to the newest day.

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Some of the toughest and most successful poker players in the world are warming up for this year's EPT Grand Final with a high-stakes cash game live from King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

Dan Cates, Phil Gruissem, Ole Schemion, Max Altergott, Igor Kurganov, George Danzer, Dan Colman and Liv Boeree are among the elite players who will join King's Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik for a fun game of €50/€100 No-Limit Texas Hold'em.

Or at least that's where the game will start. But over the course of three days - Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - who knows where it could end up?

Action starts Sunday, April 26 from 17:30 CET with the stream running on a 30-minute delay. Expect things to get interesting quickly!

Click through/scroll down for the schedule and the full stream.

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play along 2

What’s arguably the #1 feature of poker on TV?


Sports fans may never be able to go one-on-one with Lebron James or shelf a wrister on Henrik Lundqvist but they sure as hell can 3-Bet a famous TV pro. Or, at the very least, make fun of the way they play pocket jacks.

Well PokerStars is going one step farther with its new Poker Play Along app that actually lets players interact with TV poker programming.

During every PokerStars TV broadcast, such as an EPT or Shark Cage, players will be able to actually play along during certain segments.

It’s perfect for poker as you’ll finally get to guess what the correct play in certain situations would be whether it’s call, raise or fold.

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Poker fame.

The phrase itself is almost an oxymoron.

Mike "Timex" McDonald has breathless fans following him into the toilet on the EPT circuit but wouldn't even get a nervous twitter in the Chipotle lineup.

Even our most revered and recognizable stars - Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth - hardly face police-taped legions of fans waiting outside of regional airports.

So why is "real" mainstream fame so elusive for a game with strong roots in nearly every corner of the planet?

PokerListings investigates.

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Griffin Benger 2

Former Counter-Strike legend Griffin “shaGuar” Benger is officially streaming on but it’s not for the reason you might think.

First off, Benger isn’t streaming Counter-Strike.

Benger’s actually been out of the pro video game scene for quite awhile.

Instead the Toronto native is streaming online poker and giving some incredible insight into what he's thinking when he's at the virtual tables.

This isn’t a complete surprise since plenty of pros including Jason “Jcarver” Somerville, Jonathan Little and Dan O’Brien are already streaming online poker on Twitch with considerable success.

Benger’s background, however, is unique since he was one of the most famous Counter-Strike pros and a member of the original Team NoA.

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