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ElkY: The WSOP Big One Bubble Will be Sick
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.
âIâm lucky because I donât think about the money too much, I really play for the love of the game, but when youâre on the bubble itâs hard not to think about it,â ElkY told PokerListings.com on a break from the recent â¬100k Super High Roller at EPT Monte Carlo.
âThis bubble was â¬300k and thatâs the biggest Iâve ever played, so a $2 million bubble is going to be sick,â 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 itâs expected to hit that cap.
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 thatâs going to One Drop is what holds peopleâs attention.
âItâs going to be the biggest event ever but the fact itâs for a good cause is going to be really good for pokerâs image, especially with everything thatâs happened in the last year or two,â said ElkY.
Guy Laliberte is the man behind pokerâs 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.
Â âI am surprised itâs been so successful just because it was kind of a crazy idea,â said ElkY.
Grospellier might have been skeptical about whether other players would go for it but he didnât hesitate to deposit his million to lock up a seat, and make a $111k donation to Laliberteâs NGO.
âPaying 11 percent for charity when itâs a hundred bucks or something is one thing, but when itâs a million itâs a little different,â he said.
âIâm so happy to be a part of it and I think it shows how generous a lot of poker players really are.â
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
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 WSOPâs 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.
âThe money will be big but itâs also such a special event, we donât even know if there will ever be another one,â said Grospellier.
And itâs going to be an exciting event for players like ElkY, players who arenât afraid to make moves with a ton of money on the line.
âBluffs are definitely going to work a lot better in this event. People wonât want to bust,â he said.
PokerListings.com will be on location at the 2012 WSOP providing full live coverage of the Big One for One Drop.