ElkY: The WSOP Big One Bubble Will be Sick

Bertrand Grospellier
“Bluffs are definitely going to work a lot better in this event. People won’t want to bust.”

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier has been crushing high roller events for years but even the all-time leading French money winner is a little anxious about playing the biggest bubble in poker history.

The Big One for One Drop is the first $1 million buy-in event ever, and Grospellier is one of 30 people who have officially committed to playing.

“I’m lucky because I don’t think about the money too much, I really play for the love of the game, but when you’re on the bubble it’s hard not to think about it,” ElkY told PokerListings.com on a break from the recent €100k Super High Roller at EPT Monte Carlo.

“This bubble was €300k and that’s the biggest I’ve ever played, so a $2 million bubble is going to be sick,” he said.

Grospellier went on to finish third in that tournament, good for almost $820k.

He added that to a career total that tips the scales at $9.1 million. He could triple that by winning the Big One this summer.

The event is capped at 48 players, and it’s expected to hit that cap.

ElkY Grospellier
ElkY won his first WSOP bracelet in 2011.

That means the first-place prize will be roughly $18.2 million, the biggest in poker tournament history.

Charity Component is Key

And while the enormous price tag is the first thing people see, the 11 percent of every buy-in that’s going to One Drop is what holds people’s attention.

“It’s going to be the biggest event ever but the fact it’s for a good cause is going to be really good for poker’s image, especially with everything that’s happened in the last year or two,” said ElkY.

Guy Laliberte is the man behind poker’s first seven-figure buy-in, as well as the driving force behind One Drop, a non-governmental organization that seeks to improve living conditions around the world by providing access to water.

 “I am surprised it’s been so successful just because it was kind of a crazy idea,” said ElkY.

Grospellier might have been skeptical about whether other players would go for it but he didn’t hesitate to deposit his million to lock up a seat, and make a $111k donation to Laliberte’s NGO.

“Paying 11 percent for charity when it’s a hundred bucks or something is one thing, but when it’s a million it’s a little different,” he said.

“I’m so happy to be a part of it and I think it shows how generous a lot of poker players really are.”

If the Big One at the 2012 WSOP reaches the 48-player cap it will raise over $5.33 million for One Drop.

To put that in perspective, the fourth and final Ante Up for Africa event at the 2010 WSOP

ElkY Grospellier
11 percent of ElkY's $1 million buy-in will go to One Drop.

The Big One Will Make History

In addition to the biggest prize in poker history, the Big One will award bragging rights that are tough to match.

Joining elite poker pros like Patrik Antonius, Tom Dwan and ElkY is a large group of amateur yet immensely wealthy businessmen looking to take down the WSOP’s first ever platinum bracelet.

One seat is being awarded through the Quebec lottery, and the WSOP has implemented an extensive satellite program that will give players a route to the Big One for as little as $65.

“The money will be big but it’s also such a special event, we don’t even know if there will ever be another one,” said Grospellier.

And it’s going to be an exciting event for players like ElkY, players who aren’t afraid to make moves with a ton of money on the line.

“Bluffs are definitely going to work a lot better in this event. People won’t want to bust,” he said.

PokerListings.com will be on location at the 2012 WSOP providing full live coverage of the Big One for One Drop.

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »