What’s it like to be Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier?

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The glamorous life fueled by huge profits and the inherent popularity that comes with these victories is the ultimate incentive for amateurs players to try and emulate it.

While poker pros enjoy a beautiful life and make their money by doing something that they truly enjoy, it is not all fun and games. Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier is a shining example of someone who started from scratch and made a name for himself. Once a prominent StarCraft player, he realised that the financial compensation that the game could offer would only carry him that far and boldly make the transition to poker.

He began playing in 2003 and struggled in the first couple of years but he caught his big break in 2008 when he won a lot of money at the European Poker Tour. Since then, Bertrand was constantly in the spotlight and his personality and nonconformist behaviour kept him interesting. Recently he agreed to share his thoughts in a comprehensive interview posted on his  PokerStarsBlog

While in Deauville where he was competing for another EPT trophy, “ElkY” said how important it is to separate real life from poker. Someone who plays on a daily basis is more likely to fall into temptation and subordinate everything else to poker, something that “ElkY” did in the past. The problem with focusing almost exclusively on your job, being in poker or any other activity, is that you lose focus on what is truly important.

Back in the day when Bertrand spent most of his time at the poker tables, bad beats and downswings affected him a lot. It is only natural to be upset when losing a lot of money due to bad luck and in this line of work, chance plays a significant part. At least in theory, better players will emerge victorious in the long run, but when bad beats do occur, it is hard to find consolation in this truth.

Time made him wiser and even though he is every bit as committed to winning as ever, “ElkY” is no longer fully absorbed by poker. Bad beats and downswings still make him down but when he looks at the big picture he realises that he has been blessed to live a happy life and no longer allows poker to bring him down. Balance is everything and with this newfound philosophy, Bertrand takes everything with moderation, even the game that made him a star.