Only a couple of months after announcing his much-ballyhooed departure from PokerStars, French poker professional Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has revealed his new online home.
Beginning immediately, Grospellier will now don the patch of partypoker, the main rival of his old online home. “It is with great honor and pleasure that I can announce I’m joining Team partypoker,” Grospellier happily declared in the announcement of the partnership. “It is very refreshing to be in touch with a company which prioritizes the well-being of the game and its community.”
“I am very excited about being able to be closely and actively involved in the renewal partypoker is bringing to the poker, LIVE and online,” Grospellier continued. “Our aim is to become the reference in both and I am confident that with partypoker expertise and ambition, it is an achievable goal in the foreseeable future.” He concluded the announcement by encouraging the poker community to reach out to him, saying that he and partypoker were looking to build a “poker universe” for the players.
Grospellier’s arrival on Team partypoker brings more star power to what was already a potent lineup of players. ‘ElkY’ will be a part of a crew that includes Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, Sam Trickett, Fedor Holz, Jason Koon and Kristen Bicknell. It also comes at a critical point for partypoker as they look to reestablish themselves in the online poker industry.
One of the big moves from partypoker has been in their live efforts…or perhaps that should be their LIVE efforts. The partypoker MILLIONS LIVE events around the world have been garnering a great deal of attention and players, while PokerStars’ efforts have floundered in 2017 after they ended the European Poker Tour (and brought it back, in a limited form, in 2018). The MILLIONS LIVE tournaments have almost eclipsed any offering from PokerStars due to something that once was a staple of the PokerStars product – accommodating their players. The next event, the MILLIONS North America, begins on Tuesday with the first of five-Day Ones looking to build a $10 million (Canadian) prize pool, the very definition of a major tournament.
There are also battle lines being drawn regarding the European poker market. Although PokerStars has long dominated this arena, the recent move by Spain, France, Italy and the European Union to compact their players is opening new doors on the European continent. To say partypoker is looking to make inroads on this new frontier with a highly improved Team partypoker stable – and looking to promote not only their pros but also their qualifiers to major events – cannot be dismissed.
Overall Grospellier was a quality addition to the partypoker fold. When he left PokerStars after a decade-long partnership, ‘ElkY’ noted that part of the reason for his departure in January was that he wasn’t involved in making the site and its offerings better for the players. “Team Pro used to be a core part of their (PokerStars’) strategy,” Grospellier said in his departure statement. “It has become evident this was not the case anymore.” With partypoker, apparently Grospellier has found that his voice will be heard and that he’ll be able to formulate the product that he is promoting.
Grospellier also brings a high-quality poker game to the partypoker fold. First making his mark in the eSports arena and on the online poker world under his ‘ElkY’ moniker, he exploded on the live poker world in 2007 with his second-place finish in the EPT Copenhagen Main Event. In 2008, Grospellier won the EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event for a $2 million payday. Along with his 2008 World Poker Tour championship (at the Bellagio Festa al Lago) and 2011 championship at the World Series of Poker ($10,000 Seven Card Stud), he is one of only eight men to have won poker’s Triple Crown. Grospellier has a total of over $13.5 million in live tournament earnings.
At 37, Grospellier has a long poker life ahead of him. By joining with partypoker, Grospellier is looking to continue to have an impact on the game for years to come.