French poker player Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier is the number one poker player in France according to the Hendon Mob rankings and has won over $10 million in his poker career till date. ‘ElkY’ is a highly respected player on the circuit having won the Triple Crown, (a World Series of Poker bracelet, a European Poker Tour title and a World Poker Tour). He has been a part of Team PokerStars and was also the first player to reach PokerStars special Supernova and Supernova Elite levels.
‘ElkY’ has always had a passion to play eSports and spent a lot of time playing StarCraft: Brood War and Warcraft III esports. He recently made headlines when he took on poker pro Daniel Negreanu in a game of Hearthstone at the 2015 BlizzCon. This online collectible card game has won over a number of poker players who now spend hours playing Hearthstone and ‘ElkY’ is one of these players.
The poker pro stated that he fell in love with Hearthstone after he discovered that the game had a number of similarities to poker. “Team Liquid”, a dutch based eSports company recently signed ‘ElkY’ to be one of its eSports ambassadors and ‘ElkY’ will represent the brand and play Hearthstone at a number of competitive events. The French poker player was happy to be a part of Team Liquid and said that he would now once again have the opportunity to be a competitive gamer and still be a part of the poker community.
Daniel Negreanu also spoke about the popularity of Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone and how he spent eleven straight hours playing the game, the first time he tried it. However, Negreanu does not believe that poker players will leave poker and take up Hearthstone because it does not allow players to make a living. He said poker players would play Hearthstone to relax and have a good time but unless they find it can generate a better income than poker, the poker industry did not have to be concerned about Hearthstone.
In a statement, Lee Jones, PokerStars’ director of poker communications said
There are many similarities between poker and gaming, and ElkY’s unrivalled success in both fields is a testament to his unwavering thirst for skill and strategy games. As the boundary between poker players and strategy gamers continues to blur, it is trailblazers such as ElkY who are narrowing the gap between people who consider themselves gamers, and those who consider themselves poker players. We look forward to the new era of strategy gaming that ElkY’s appointment represents.