'Elky' Grospellier wins seat in WSOP TOC

11 June 2010

LAS VEGAS –- (PRESS RELEASE) -– There can be only one, and today, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, bested eight top poker players to win the final seat into the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Tournament of Champions.

The World Series of Poker Academy, the exclusive educational provider for the WSOP, played host to the single table "sudden-death playoff" tournament for nine players who were not eligible for the public voting to fill the final seat. Andy Bloch, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Gus Hansen, Don Cheadle, Sorel Mizzi, Michael Mizrachi, Liv Boeree, Gavin Smith and Paul Wasicka fought an epic battle, but in the end only Grospellier was left standing. He beat Michael 'Grinder' Mizrachi after the players went all-in pre-flop. ElkY had Ks-10c, and the Grinder had Ah-6h. The board ran 4c-5c-Qd-Kc-Jc and ElkY took the win with a flush. Grospellier won the Golden Ticket and entry into the coveted WSOP Tournament of Champions All-Star event and a chance at the $1 million prize pool.

"I want to thank the WSOP Academy for giving me the chance to win my way into the TOC," said ElkY after winning the WSOP Tournament of Champions playoff. "I feel like I am a deserving champion based on my record around the world, and I look forward to getting my WSOP bracelet soon."

Living in Korea since 2001, Frenchman Grospellier is still one of the top ranking players of the game 'Starcraft'. After a friend introduced Grospellier to poker, he earned a name as a prolific online player but moved on to live play taking home $6,065,016 in lifetime earnings. He holds notable winning titles from the 2008 European Poker Tour and the 2008 World Poker Tour, and the 2008 PCA main event where he racked in a cool $2 million.

Elky with his "golden ticket."

Elky with his "golden ticket." (photo by WSOP)

The WSOP Tournament of Champions is the premier All-Star Event in all of poker. The freeroll poker invitational features 27 players; 20 selected by public voting, 5 automatic entries and 2 sponsor-exemption entries. Entering the 2010 WSOP, there were 521 WSOP bracelet holders eligible for the vote, which began March 15 on www.WSOP.com/TOC and will remain open through June 15, 2010 at midnight ET. The five automatic entries into the tournament are the three previous WSOP TOC winners [Annie Duke, Mike Matusow & Mike Sexton], the reigning WSOP champion [Joe Cada] and the reigning WSOP Europe champion [Barry Shulman].

"The public and player response to the WSOP Academy tournament was far greater than we originally expected and certainly shows that the Tournament of Champions is the All-Star Game of poker," said Jeff Goldenberg, CEO of the WSOP Academy. "We saw some incredible poker which is going to produce amazing training experiences for our online students."

The sponsor's exemption tournament was filmed for exclusive use by the WSOP Academy. Ali Nejad and Phil Hellmuth will provide hand-by-hand analysis and expert commentary of the tournament. The content will be available to WSOP Academy customers through its website and live events.

As the exclusive education partner to the WSOP, the WSOP Academy is dedicated to bringing entertaining, dynamic and engaging learning experiences to poker players at the WSOP. The WSOP Academy will host the new Mind & Body Academy on July 4th with Mindset Guru Sam Chauhan and FBI Expert Joe Navarro. The two-day Advanced Main Event Primer on July 2nd - 3rd has been revamped for 2010. Players will learn to think and analyze tournament situations like the pros, techniques to manage difficult situations and how to fine tune their poker game and fix their leaks.

Every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Bad Beat Bar and Lounge in the Brasilia Room at the Rio in Las Vegas, the WSOP Academy will host free seminars, poker IQ clinics, book signings and autograph sessions. Scheduled to appear this year are Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Doyle Brunson, Greg Raymer, Mark Seif, Navarro, Chauhan, Bernard Lee, Nejad and more. Visit www.wsopacademy.com for more information.

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