ElkY leaves PokerStars

Bertrand Grospellier is the fourth major name to leave Team PokerStars this year.

French Triple Crown winner Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier is the latest high profile name who has not renewed his sponsorship deal with PokerStars. PokerFuse reported over the weekend he was no longer showing on the Team PokerStars homepage and later he confirmed the depature on Twitter: 

Grospellier is the fourth major name to leave Team PokerStars already this year (Contract negotiations tend to be in January for their sponsored players). Felipe Ramos, Jason Mercier and Vanessa Selbst all also left the team this year. 

While sponsored poker professionals clearly are not as big a part of the PokerStars marketing strategy in 2018, once again this is in stark contrast to partypoker, who last week announced the signing of former PokerStars Pro Isaac Haxton.

ElkY's departure is still something of a surprise because as an ambassador he ticked a lot of boxes. He is the biggest name in French poker and tops their all time money list by a big margin. He is a Triple Crown Winner with EPT, WPT and WSOP titles, multiple High Roller titles, WCOOP and SCOOP bracelets and was the first ever SuperNova and SuperNova Elite. He is also the first eSports crossover star, a former StarCraft Champion he is now an accomplished Hearthstone player

Do you think sponsoring professional poker players is a good use of poker room marketing money? Let us know in the comments:

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Comments (10)

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  • SenDawt


    what about Christ money and Pokerkid (DN)? i do not think so eh?
  • SeagalSteven


    Ike was too good for PS


    I think more should be written about the content of his resignation. It seems as though he was unhappy with the direction Stars are headed. Definitely worth following that up if possible Barry.
  • CucumbaMan


    Wow they are abandoning ship.
  • BarryCarter


    #3 I'm actually writing something related on my personal blog (not specifically about ElkY). My personal blog is a Business to Business blog and what I've got in mind is more aimed at industry folk, but I will touch on that.

    As for the recent exodus of Stars players, call me a cynic but I don't particularly think anybody left because they were unhappy, I think they left because Stars are concentrating more on other marketing areas and will have either offered a reduced contract or maybe even no contract at all. With the exception of Selbst who obviously left for the hedge fund thing, I think players like ElkY and Mercier and Ramos are just not worth the investment for Stars anymore. I don't think anybody is abandoning ship, I think sponsoring players just because they are good at poker doesn't really work anymore.

    Which I agree with. Much better they have somebody like Kevin Hart, who brings new players to the game, or Lex who essentially does a fantastic 10 hour advert for Stars every night on Twitch. Who here exactly plays more poker because Jason Mercier did? Anybody who knows him already has a Stars account.

    ElkY did surprise me though because he is huge in France and got the eSports thing.
  • BarryCarter


    ^^^ lol, half written a piece anyway, copy and paste time :)


    Cool, thanks for your time. Just think the way that he has written that he is hinting that things did not end well. Maybe you are correct with your assumptions that reduced contract terms was the issue.
  • SoniaDerrica


    I dont believe it 🙄
  • Tancev987


    Elky sucks
  • MJQuads


    It is pretty apparent he isn't satisfied with Pokerstars policy anymore. It states that he is unhappy about how things are developing and even mentiones he loved being a part of the team until 2014, when Pokerstars was actualy still bringing poker to a new level.