Conor Mills | Freelance Automotive and Travel Journalist

Freelance Automotive and Travel Journalist

Interview: Bertrand ‘ElKY’ Grospellier

Posted by Admin On March - 1 - 2008

French pro Bertrand Grospellier made history in the Pokerstars.com Caribbean Adventure when he outlasted a record field of 1,136 to claim the $2 million first prize.

What did it feel like winning this tournament?
It felt great to win this tournament. Of all the events outside of the WSOP, this is the one I wanted to take down. The PCA is made up of all the top online players and a lot of my friends – and players I play against online – were in the event. I think it has one of the toughest fields of the year. these days all the best online players are taking part in live tournaments and as a result the fields are getting much stronger.

Were there any particular hands that stood out throughout the tournament?
One hand really stood out on my way to the final table. At the start of day two I was dealt nine-of-spades, ten-of-spades. The button three-bet and I called. when the flop came QQ5 rainbow – which was a good flop for me – I thought it couldn’t have it much of his range. I check-raised him all-in and he mucked pretty quickly. I won a nice pot and gained a lot of confidence in my play.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I am planning on playing a lot of live tournaments this year. Winning a WSOP bracelet is very important to me. No French player has won a bracelet for over ten years now and I have a side bet going with a few other French players on who is going to win the first one.

Have you lived anywhere else in the world outside France?
I moved to South Korea because I used to play video games and that is where all the action was. I’ve realised that it becomes very tiring travelling back and forth to tournaments so I’m currently looking to move to London.

What are the main similarities between poker and video games?
I am used to making decisions in a few seconds and sometimes when I’m playing in live tournaments, I make my decisions very quickly. Often people read this as weakness, but it’s just the way I’m used to playing. I was the first player to reach ‘Supernova elite’ status on Pokerstars (one million frequent player points) and I did that by putting in a lot of big sessions on a large amount of tables. Whenever I play online I like to play about ten sit&gos along with a few cash games and tournaments.

How did you find the transition from video games to poker?
Video games are similar to poker. Before I switched over to poker, I was a top-ranked Starcraft (real-time strategy video game) player. Starcraft involves a great deal of thinking where you need to stay one step ahead of your opponent. It helped me make the transition to poker.

Original publication: Inside Poker

Original print version: