"I want to be the first man to win the double-EPT" - ElkY

ElkY stops by to talk SCOOP, the double-EPT and whether he is going to play One Drop this year.

"You have to be careful not to make assumptions in SCOOP"

//d3ltpfxjzvda6e.cloudfront.net/2014/05/01/elky_ept10_vienna_hr_day1.jpgPokerStrategy.com: What is your SCOOP schedule this year?

ElkY: Usually I will try to play almost every day, but if there is an event that doesn't interest me very much, then I will skip it and relax in order to be ready for the better ones.

PokerStrategy.com: What do you do to prepare for potentially long hours sitting? Do you change your diet/exercise at all?

ElkY: Playing live poker also requires you to be sitting for long hours, so I don’t really change it much. I tweak it a bit, though, because I don't like to be eating while playing as I find it very distracting. So I'll have something very quick during breaks.

PokerStrategy.com: What is your plan when you have early exits from all the tournaments one day?

ElkY: However unfortunate it is, I use that time to enjoy the city I'm in, as well as meditating more or doing other relaxing activities.

PokerStrategy.com: With a series like a WCOOP you tend to be up against the same calibre of opponent. With SCOOP it’s low stakes, mid stakes and high stakes. Is it hard to manage the three different opponent types at the same time? 

ElkY: Yeah it's definitely a bit different, but you also find players that play all three, so you have to be careful not to make any general assumption. It is way harder because sometimes you will have up to nine SCOOP tournaments running at once, and since I always play some others on the side, it can be a little bit hard to manage for sure, but that's very good practice.

PokerStrategy.com: Is there a massive gulf in edge when you play a low stakes mixed-game SCOOP and the same high stakes version?

ElkY: There is a pretty big one for sure. But once again you sometimes find players playing all three of them, and the $27 events can have really good players, too, so you should always observe your opponents carefully in order to work out the best strategy against them.

"One Drop has lost its prestige"

//d3ltpfxjzvda6e.cloudfront.net/2014/05/01/8G2A9864__EPT10DEA_Elky_Neil_Stoddart.jpgPokerStrategy.com: Now the Triple Crown and double-EPT accolades have been won, what do you think the next big tournament accolade that nobody has managed yet is? That was a big goal for you to be first, so what is next?

ElkY: I can still be the first man to complete the EPT Double, and it is at the top of my list for now. 

PokerStrategy.com: What is tougher – the Triple Crown or the double EPT?

ElkY: They are both incredibly tough, but I think the double EPT has now become tougher because of the new schedule with fewer stops.

It has to be tougher because just one person, Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren, has managed it, and it only just happened while four people have won the Triple Crown, and I think Gavin Griffin completed it as early as 2008.

PokerStrategy.com: What are your current big gym challenges (you always seem to have one)?

ElkY: I actually don't have any particular gym challenge at the time, as I was shifting my focus a little bit to enjoy other things, even though I should because I still go to the gym regularly as I believe it to be very important health-wise.

PokerStrategy.com: I heard your podcast interview with Jared Tendler where you talked about living in Korea – how important was that for developing good work ethic? Do you think poor work ethic is a big leak in Westerners?

ElkY: Living in Korea was very important indeed. It's very different than the culture in France and Western Europe. Work ethics are crucial because no matter how skilled you can be in a game, hard work, discipline and dedication will always be very important to be at the top.

PokerStrategy.com: Are you likely to play One Drop this year?

ElkY: I’m clearly not a favourite to play at the moment. It is a huge buy-in tournament and there is so much piecing out to do (selling stakes) if I want to compete in it. Also I think it has lost a lot of the prestige because they are running a second one. I'll play a satellite for it for sure, and if I win something huge before I might think about it, but otherwise I'm really not sure.

PokerStrategy.com: Thanks ElkY, good luck with SCOOP. 

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The PokerStars PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker 2014 runs from May 04 - 18 and is once again set to be one of the richest tournament festivals of the year, with $40 million guaranteed across 135 tournaments.

You can view the full schedule in our forum thread.

SCOOP splits each event into Low, Medium and High stakes - for example, the first event (No-Limit Hold'em 6-max) on May 04 has three tournaments; the respective buy-ins are $27, $215 and $2,100.

For more information including the full SCOOP 2014 schedule, or any questions you might have, please see our dedicated forum thread:

Forum: Spring Championship of Online Poker 2014

See more of our recent interviews with the biggest names in poker

//d3ltpfxjzvda6e.cloudfront.net/2014/02/22/71514_443563348174_1472734_n.jpgBarry Carter is the editor of PokerStrategy.com and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2. He has been working in the poker industry for nine years and in 2013 won the APAT Award for Best Poker Media Provider. You can learn more about his work here

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