ElkY, Ludo lead French Main Event takeover

Bertrand Grospellier
Is Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier unstoppable?

It was a French takeover on Day 3 of the Main Event at the 2009 World Series of Poker.

Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier leads all competitors with 1,380,500 and Team Winamax pro Ludovic Lacay is second with 925,000.

Approximately 800 players remain in contention after fourteen levels in the WSOP's 57th event.

"I'm just playing my game," Grospellier said. "In this event you really have a lot of time to play your game.

"You get ten days of play and it's really great. I'm trying to be careful and pick my spots."

Grospellier was the first player to cross the million-chip plateau, winning a monster pot when his set of nines held against Jerry Wong's second pair, kings.

The former video game professional told PokerListings.com he's doubly happy to see Lacay at the top of the leaderboard as well.

"That makes me feel good," said Grospellier. "He's a good friend of mine. I'm happy I'm first, but I'm happy for him that he's second.

"There's no rivalry between me and him. I'm happy for him as well because we both came from a video game background. He's kind of my student.

Ludovic Lacay
Lacay (right) and an admirer.

"David Benyamine is doing well as well. It's good to see the Frenchmen doing well."

Lacay emerged as the tournament chipleader just after the dinner break when he took down a huge pot with a boat, kings full of tens, on an ace-high board.

"Obviously, I feel great," he said. "It was a great day, very smooth. I got a lot of cards and made a lot of flops."

Lacay told PokerListings his experience in big buy-in tournaments has been a key to his success in the Main Event thus far.

"I think in very long tournaments like this I have a big edge because I'm used to it and there are a lot of beginners," he said.

"They're a bit nervous and they slow way down during the last two levels of the day."

With less than two hundred eliminations separating Day 3 survivors from the money, Day 4 looks to be a good day for experienced pros to abuse the bubble.

Not so fast, says Lacay.

"Usually big stacks like to bully the bubble, but I've sometimes had hard times doing that," he said. "If you have good players at the table they know what you're doing and they'll play back at you.

"It will really depend on what my table looks like tomorrow. If I'm lucky I'll get two or three good players at my table and the rest will be amateurs."

Other players near the top of the chip leaderboard include Jordan Morgan and James Akenhead.

Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Kara Scott and 2008 Main Event champ Peter Eastgate also survived Day 3.

Meanwhile, "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander wasn't so lucky, joining Josh Arieh, John Juanda, Liz Lieu and 2001 Main Event champ Carlos Mortensen on the rail.

Action resumes at noon Vegas time on Saturday for another five levels of action. Check out the PokerListings.com 2009 WSOP section for full coverage of the Main Event.

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