Saying goodbye to the EPT with ElkY

With the EPT ending today we chat to EPT champion Bertrand Grospellier about its new incarnation as the PokerStars Championship.

ElkY winning his EPT title at the PCA
ElkY winning his EPT title at the PCA

What was the first EPT you played and what were your memories of it?

ElkY: My first EPT was Deauville in February 2005, which was also my first live tournament. I have really great memories of it, from my inability to assess stacks and impatient behaviour at the table to my first cash ever in a 500 euros side event.

Your EPT win was not in Europe, but the Bahamas, did it in any way feel ‘not EPT’ because of the location?

ElkY: Not at all, even though it was the first time that the PCA was part of the EPT tour. Most of the players and crew were the same and as it was the biggest EPT to date at the time, from my part it felt exactly the same thing as winning a European stop.

You have a great record in EPT High Rollers – do you feel like there are two separate tours taking place and the High Rollers are the ‘real main events’ for the pros?

ElkY: I do not think so. The Main Events have such bigger fields and deeper structures. They still are more prestigious in my eyes as they are so much harder to win, but other pros might have different views.

"Location determines how tough they are"

Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier
"The EPT suits online players"

How big a difference in ability do you see between the regular EPT Main Events and the €25k High Rollers?

ElkY: It's quite different indeed, but not necessarily as much as you might expect. Most of the players who play the Main Event and follow the tour are very solid nowadays. It just depends a lot on the location as well I think.

Do you think EPT Main Events are tougher than WSOP/WPT 10k events?

ElkY: It's a difficult question, as the difficulty also varies a lot depending on the location of the event itself, and of the format of play (of WSOP). I find that although there are many different kinds of players in EPT Main Events, on average in my experience they have more of an online background, but how tough your experience of a field is can depend on a lot of things, like table draw.

It might be easier for online players to adapt at EPTs, there are huge numbers of qualifiers who come from playing online at PokerStars, for Prague there were 213, and especially now there are Spin and Go qualifiers – there are more and more players you find at PokerStars events who have qualified that way!

"I'm looking forward to Macau"

ElkY playing poker at the WSOP
"I'd like to see an event in Seoul"

What improvements will fans of the EPT see when they become PokerStars Championship events next year?

ElkY: EPTs already are the best-run tournaments in the world in my opinion. However I'm very confident that the live events team will be finding ways to surprise us and make the PokerStars Championships an even greater experience for everyone, so stay tuned!

Which of the PokerStars Championship stops are you looking forward to the most and why?

ElkY: Probably Macau, as I haven't had the chance to go in over two years, and it's one of my favourite places to play poker. It's such a great thing that more people will be able to discover it. I really love the inclusion of Macau into the PokerStars Championship – that event kicks off at the end of March.

Which regions currently not on the tour would you one day like to see the PokerStars Championship go to?

ElkY: I don't think that many stops of the PC have been announced yet, so it's hard to say. Probably Australia I guess, but I'm not even sure I could make it as it's so far... It would be great to see a PokerStars Championship event in Seoul. There have been APPT events there before, I think there was one in June this year. I used to live in South Korea so it’s a spiritual home of sorts.

Do you think the PokerStars Championship will be better than the EPT? Let us know in the comments:

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Comments (2)

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  • Andy1806


    Guess the set-up wont be changing, so why would there be a hugh difference? Maybe PokerStars will try to make a player boost with inline MTT's for winning seats.
  • bogdan2281973


    In 2009 Elky sets a Multi-Tabling Guinness World Record.
    He played 62 sng tables at once with a profit for a $23 dollar.
    The journalist ask him, how will he spend profit haahaa.