The Gamer: Bertrand Grospellier at EPT Prague

Bertrand Grospellier
Bertrand Grospellier, EPT Prague - Day 1b, European Poker Tour

Like a modern-day Bo Jackson, Bertrand Grospellier is a two-sport sensation. The 26-year-old French player made his name as a professional Starcraft player before branching out into the poker world, where he almost immediately began crushing the high-stakes cash games and sit-and-go's on PokerStars.com.

Now a member of Team PokerStars, "ElkY" travels the pro poker circuit full-time, recently finishing in fifth place at the APPT-Macau tournament for a respectable $48,576 score. PokerListings.com caught up with the rock star for a few quick words at the end of a rather grueling Day 1b at the PokerStars EPT4 Prague main event.

Alright, ElkY, how did you play today?

I played pretty well at the beginning of the day, I think. I didn't have so many big cards, but I was playing well and winning a lot of pots. Then I got moved to this table and I doubled-up pretty quick against Dag Martin Mikkelsen, but then I couldn't win a pot. I tried too hard to win some pots, maybe, and so I finished pretty down. I'm kind of disappointed in how I played the last couple hours.

But you made it to tomorrow, at least.

Yeah, I made it, so I'm going to get a good rest and I'll play my best tomorrow.

What did you make of the caliber of play so far in this event?

Bertrand Grospellier
ElkY, pre-peroxide.

It's pretty good. My first table was very tough and this table was very tough too. There are a lot of good players here, so I think it's going to be a very tough tournament.

Is this your first time in Prague?

Yeah, it's my first time in Prague, but I came here yesterday night so I didn't really get a chance to see the city yet. I'll see how the tournament goes.

We recently saw you at the APPT-Macau tournament. How was that experience for you?

Oh, I got fifth place in the $2,500 event, so that was really good. I liked that event. I really liked Macau; it was my first time there and I thought it was a great city. There's a lot of potential there for poker. I'm going to enjoy going back next season. It's going to be very huge I think the next time around.

Are you going to play more of the APPT events in the future?

Bertrand Grospellier
Jet-setter.

I'm going to play the Seoul and Macau tournaments. The rest, it depends on the EPT schedule, because the EPT is pretty busy so I'm not sure. If I can, I'd like to play as much as possible.

Did you find it difficult adjusting to the time difference in between the Macau tournament and this event?

I'm really used to it, because I was living in South Korea for a long time, so I'm used to travelling a lot. Of course I try to avoid it as much as possible, though.

Speaking of your time in Korea, does your background as a pro Starcraft player have any effect on your strategy at the poker table?

Rockstar ElkY
Cool under pressure.

It helps me a lot to keep my cool in all situations. Being a professional poker player there's a lot of pressure and as a Starcraft player there's a lot of pressure in those games as well, so I'm very good at handling the pressure when I'm playing poker.

Nice. Thanks very much ElkY and good luck tomorrow.

Thank you.

Grospellier finished Day 1b with only about $15,500 in chips, or about half the tournament average, but with the blinds and antes still relatively manageable and the field having undergone a complete re-draw for seats at the end of the day, it may be a while yet before ElkY feels the pressure start to tighten the proverbial noose. Then again, given his history as a multi-tabling fiend and his admitted aptitude for high-stress situations, we could just see a resurgence in Grospellier's game just as the tournament reaches its boiling point.

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