A PokerStars Winning Moment (with a World Champion)

"Hi Pokerstars, my name is Florian and I won the WCOOP-54-L :)"

WCOOP 2017 has now finished, wrapped up with Steven van Zadelhoff's win in the Main Event late on Tuesday.

It's a chance to look back on those stories and pick out a few more, including that of Florian, known as "38bf46" online, who won WCOOP 54-L, all thanks to a second chance freeroll.

Second chance freerolls were open to anyone who busted any WCOOP event without cashing. Crashing out before the money earned you a freeroll ticket useable the next day to enter a $7,500 freeroll that paid out WCOOP tickets as prizes.


So when Florian busted he figured he'd play the freeroll and see what happened. Well, what happened is that he won a WCOOP-L title worth $7,628 and a small piece of WCOOP history.

"I won a 11$-ticket in the second-chance-freeroll and I took my chance to play another WCOOP-event. So I registered and 8 hours later I was first in chips in day 1. Day 2 started and again seven hours later I was in the heads-up for the title of a world champion."

You might say that not all WCOOP events are created equal, and you might well be right. But they do carry the same prestige - that of WCOOP champion, a point not lost on one of the Championship's most enthusiastic winners.

"I was "super-hyped" to win this title. The final hand (22 vs. AKs) came and i really won the WCOOP."

And who said It was about the money?

"In general I like winning a Poker-tournament on PokerStars because of the money" said Florian, adding a smiley. "But if you are in a WCOOP and heads-up, money is secondary, it's all about the title."


Congratulations to Florian on his Winning Moment. We'll let him have the last word.

"Thank you PokerStars - your WCOOP-champion 38bf46"

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. What did you think about this post? Let us know on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

Source: poker stars

Poker in the Ears' podcast to celebrate 100th episode with LIVE Broadcast

James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton share their podcast highlights over the past three years

Poker broadcasting personalities James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton will celebrate the 100th episode of PokerStars' Poker in the Ears podcast by hosting a special episode in front of a live audience tomorrow at The Hippodrome Casino in London's West End.

For the past three years, PokerStars TV hosts Hartigan and Stapleton have brought listeners behind-the-scenes insight into the international poker circuit for a mostly uncensored and often hilarious take on the world of professional poker. Some of the biggest names in poker have graced - and been roasted on - the podcast, including Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, Hollywood star and global comedy sensation Kevin Hart, and an array of high stakes players and PokerStars Championship Main Event winners.

James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton_25sept17.jpgJames Hartigan and Joe Stapleton

The 100th episode promises to be a show to remember featuring special celebrity guests and the disclosure of a secret password into an exclusive online freeroll tournament. This celebratory tournament has a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool and will be held on Sunday, October 1 at 20:15 BST. Though tickets to the event have already sold out, fans can still enjoy the show from the comfort of their own homes. The 100th episode will be published on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and PokerStars on Thursday, September 28. For those who can't wait for the 100th episode, here's a list of Hartigan and Stapleton's favourite episodes so far:


"I can't actually believe we made it beyond Episode 1," said James Hartigan, presenter of Poker in the Ears. "But I'm glad we've been able to keep going, because I think we're finally finding our feet! I've enjoyed having so many poker players and poker fans on the show, and look forward to talking to many more."

Hartigan described some of his favourite memorable moments from past podcasts:

Episode 49 - June 2, 2016 - Team PokerStars Pro <a href=" Negreanu - "We conducted an in-depth interview with Daniel Negreanu on the day the 'KidPoker' documentary dropped on Netflix."
Episode 77 - February 23, 2017 - Mike McDonald - "Mike McDonald admits to us that he lost his virginity whilst watching Kurosawa's 'Rashomon'!"
Episode 91 - June 16, 2017 - PokerStars Ambassador Kevin Hart - "I talk about a James Bond movie for an extended period of time. People were forced to listen to what I had to say. Some of them might have cared!"


Joe Stapleton talks about the milestone: "In the golden age of network television, reaching 100 episodes meant the show was eligible for some of that sweet, sweet syndication money. Well, this is a podcast, so that isn't a thing - which makes this benchmark even more surprising."
Stapes noted some of his favourite episodes:

Episode 5 - April 17, 2015 - Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree & Theo Jorgensen - "I confess to having had an erotic dream about a certain Team Pro... and her mother. They join us on the line. The awkwardness is real."
Episode 7 - May 14, 2015 - Former Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden - "Johnny Lodden made an incorrect fold involving pocket fives and I berate him without mercy about it in one of Joe's 'classic' games."
Episode 86 - May 05, 2017 - Maria Ho - "By texting me a 'Your Mom' joke, Maria Ho unwittingly inspires me to call my Mother and tattle on her. I'd like to say she wasn't amused, but she sort of was."


Listeners are encouraged to leave a rating and subscribe to Poker in the Ears to ensure an episode is never missed.

Source: poker stars

Seminole Hard Rock, PokerStars to stage hurricane relief tournament

There is a gnawing feeling of helplessness that goes along with watching people suffer from the comforts of one's own home. When a disaster strikes--an earthquake, a hurricane, a typhoon--it's almost impossible not to wonder, "What can I do to help those people?"

Recent months have provided far too many opportunities for that question. Storms have battered the Caribbean, Atlantic, and southern United States. The devastation has been unthinkable.

So, today, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida announced that it will host a charity poker tournament to benefit the hurricane relief efforts run by the Feeding South Florida charity. PokerStars is going to help with the goal of providing as much assistance for those people affected by the recent disasters.

On Tuesday October 3, the casino will host an exclusive player party and silent auction at 6pm followed by a 7pm tournament. For your $300 buy-in donation, you will get a a seat for poker and entry to the pre-tournament reception. Players can purchase re-entries back into the tournament if they are eliminated in the first two hours of play. Registration will take place the night of the event at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.


Though the money will go to charity, you have a chance at winning big prizes. There will be more than $50,000 in cash payouts and prizes including a $20,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event Package, as well as more than $15,000 in tournament entries to various Seminole Hard Rock Poker events. Other tournament prizes and auction items include vacation and hotel packages, signed memorabilia and cash totaling more than $10,000.

The help won't end there. PokerStars will match the total tournament donation up to $100,000. It's sending Jeff Gross, Jennifer Shahade, and Floridian Jason Mercier (barring his wife going into labor with their baby) to play, as well.

"The devastation created by Hurricane Irma across Southern Florida has impacted so many lives and PokerStars are proud to support the Seminole Hard Rock Holywood in their fundraising tournament in aid of Feeding South Florida," says Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving at The Stars Group. "We all witnessed the impact and destruction which swept across the Caribbean and Southern Florida and we hope our support of this event will help with the recovery process for those who have been affected."

The money raised during the tournament will go straight to Feeding South Florida's goal of ensuring water, meals, and supplies to those people who need it the most. While continuing to support evacuees in shelters, Feeding South Florida also supports cities with boil water alerts, families struggling to put food on the table and nearly 400 non-profit partner agencies.

For more information, please visit:


is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Follow him on Twitter: @BradWillis.

Source: poker stars

Something you didn't know about… Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier

ElkY Cover Image.jpg

The French poker star discusses his time as a professional StarCraft gamer in South Korea, his passion for fast-paced card game Hearthstone and the buzz he gets from Twitch streaming...

With his crop of platinum blond hair and collection of snazzy sunglasses, Bertrand Grospellier, otherwise known simply as 'ElkY', is an instantly recognisable figure on the international poker scene. The Team PokerStars Pro also sits comfortably atop France's all-time money list with live tournament winnings of $13.5m, while his tour de force was completing poker's coveted 'Triple Crown' in 2011 (WSOP, EPT and WPT titles).

The 36-year-old is also a bit of an online poker phenom. Back in 2009, he entered the Guinness Book of Records for the most Sit & Go poker tournaments played within the space of an hour. That was 62. Indeed, lightning reflexes and unwavering endurance come easy to ElkY after plying his trade as a professional gamer before discovering poker. We caught up with him at King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, to hear more about his gaming life outside poker...

ElkY World Record.jpgElkY on his way to setting a Guinness world record in 2009

Have you always been passionate about computer games?

Yes. My brother, who is ten years older than me, was given a computer and our sister didn't want to play with him. So I started playing games with him from three years old and got into gaming that way. But I also liked all kinds of games, including board games.

Before you rose to fame in poker, you were a professional gamer in South Korea, ranked one of the top StarCraft players in the world. How did that happen?

I'd visited the country in 1999 and 2000 but I moved there in 2001 because at the time South Korea was the only place you could become a professional StarCraft gamer and make a living from it. They were really advanced with eSports and it was on TV. I loved living in South Korea and life was really fun. The capital Seoul is a huge city and there is so much to do all the time. If you want to get a haircut at midnight, you can. It's non-stop action. It was a dream because we were being paid to play video games, sometimes in front of 20,000 people in arenas, and we would get recognised in the street. One time, we were mobbed on the subway by fans and spent over an hour signing autographs. A unique thing about Korea was that a lot of our fans were older - some were in their forties or fifties, which is quite different to Europe.

Where does the nickname 'ElkY' come from?

ElkY was my character name from role-playing games, so I kept using it. Also, Koreans have a problem pronouncing my real name, which meant it was easier for them to call me by my game ID.

Out of interest, why is there a capital 'Y' in ElkY?

I just thought it looked cooler and more symmetrical.

Did you learn Korean?

Sure, I can speak Korean, although not perfectly. But I can get around in Korea quite easily. Living with Koreans made it easier to learn the language.

How long did you live in that part of the world?

Six years. For the first four years, I was a StarCraft professional. Once I got into poker, I decided to move back to London because by 2006 I had become a PokerStars Team Pro and there were so many tournaments in Europe. It didn't make sense living in Korea and going back and forth every other week. It was just too tiring, so I moved to London in 2007. As well as doing well at poker, I was spending a lot of time on the road as part of my StarCraft deal, and my Korean teammates had to join the army as everyone has to sign up with the military for 26 months. So I decided to focus on poker and became a pro about a year before signing with PokerStars.

ElkY PCA Win.jpgElkY won the PCA Main Event in 2008 for $2,000,000

In 2015, you signed for professional eSports outfit Team Liquid as a Hearthstone player. How did this deal come about?

I've always been a fan of Team Liquid and I've known the founder since 2002 as we played StarCraft together in Korea. We stayed in touch and they offered me the opportunity to sign for them in 2015. However, I haven't played much Hearthstone for them this year as it takes a lot of practice and I've been busy with poker pretty much this entire year with live events. But I'm looking forward to the next opportunity I get to compete for Team Liquid.

What similarities does the turn-based card game Hearthstone share with poker?

Both have incomplete information because you never know exactly what your opponent has in his hand. Like poker, you can try to guess based on how he played previous hands. In both games you need to know the probabilities. In poker you need to know the odds of your opponent having certain cards or you hitting your full house and so on. It's the same in Hearthstone. A lot of the time you will be having choices and you need to decide which move is likely to win you the game. Also, you have to take much more risk when you are behind in Hearthstone, very much like you do when short stacked in poker tournaments and go all-in because you need to take a lot more risks. There are so many things in common between poker and Hearthstone, including variance.

How did it feel to win your first Hearthstone tournament in 2016?

It felt really great. I'd been playing eight months and coming close to a win. It wasn't the biggest event but there were still a lot of really good players in the tournament. It felt like a real accomplishment and was encouragement for me to play more and compete.

You're also a regular Twitch streamer. What's the appeal of streaming for you?

I really love the interaction with the community and your fan base. It's really fun to play poker or games and you can interact with viewers, especially seeing as poker is naturally an individual game. With Twitch, the people sometimes stay up to 4am or 5am for the big tournaments to see where I finish. It is also a way for people to discover poker. My best moment on Twitch was when I came fifth in a $2k SCOOP [Spring Championship of Online Poker] event for something like $70,000. It was crazy because you could see there were more and more people watching and cheering. It was exciting and definitely my most memorable Twitch moment.

ElkY Twitch_13sept17.jpgElkY streaming live on Twitch with fellow streaming sensation Jason Somerville

What else do you get up to away from poker?

I like to run and I'm in training to run a marathon next year. I'm not that bothered which marathon it is but I just want to get ready for it and hopefully run more than one. Besides running, I hang out with my girlfriend, watch TV and play video games. I also do yoga with my girlfriend, although I'm not super into it - I'm more into meditation than yoga. I try to meditate almost every day, especially during busy periods, which helps a lot with my game. Staying healthy with the right preparation is one of the most underrated aspects of poker. At the WSOP you can play 10- to 12-hour days, so if you're not in super shape then you're more likely to make a mistake, especially if you're tired and unhealthy.

Source: poker stars

Weekend planner: WCOOP results, action, and more

Thursday saw a couple of very familiar faces picking up WCOOP of them hitting his Triple COOP! More details below.



The headlines from Friday

WCOOP wasn't at a loss for big names in the winner's column last night. Jon "PearlJammer" Turner won the PLO8 for $35,000. He was joined on the podium by Chile's Nick Yunis who won the $1,050 six-max shootout for $47,520. While that was impressive on its own, it was also a big moment as Yunis finally hit his Triple COOP title (a win in each of the PokerStars' online championship events).

nick_yunis_wcoop_2017.jpgNick Yunis

Box scores from Day 5

WCOOP-12-H: $1,050 NLHE [6-Max, Shootout]
Entries: 216
Prize pool: $216,000
Places paid: 36

1. Nicolas 'chilenocl' Yunis (Chile) $47,520.00
2. Thiago 'tgrigoletti' Grigoletti (Brazil) $33,156.00
3. deadfizh (Finland) $24,840.00
4. juarnes (Belgium) $17,280.00
5. Ole 'wizowizo' Schemion $12,960.00
6. DaanOss (Netherlands) $8,640.00

WCOOP-13-H: $1,050 PLO8 (6-Max)
Entries: 208
Prize pool: $208,000
Places paid: 24

1. Jon "PearlJammer" Turner (Mexico) $35,991.08*
2. BlackFortuna (Germany) $29,910.04*
3. Zanos_Goda (Russia) $30,308.74*
4. russiadgl (Russia) $18,470.79
5. IAmSoSo (Sweden) $14,180.96
6. krokotopus (Russia) $10,887.44
* Denotes three-way deal

WCOOP-14-H: $215 NLHE (Bubble Rush)
Entries: 2,320 (1,780 entries, 540 re-entries)
Prize pool: $464,000
Places paid: 287

1. Ahhh ls lt? (United Kingdom) $68,721.63
2. Marcelo "bettoBR" Betto (Brazil) $48,592.40
3. bakker276 (Belgium) $34,360.03
4. FaceRolly (Romania) $24,296.24
5. andr31123 (Romania) $17,180.06
6. Cyberraver (United Kingdom) $12,148.16
7. Anjeyyy (Ukraine) $8,590.07
8. NMASR (United Kingdom) $6,074.13
9. bloczek60 (Poland) $4,295.06

You can qualify for the WCOOP on PokerStars for as little as a few cents. What's stopping you? Start your campaign by opening a PokerStars account.

Thumbnail image for wcoop-pokerstars-2017-logo.jpg

Current leader board standings

As we predicted yesterday, the leader board battlers better keep an eye on the Brazilians. Today, Thiago Grigoletti moved into the top spot, which makes a ton of sense since he's cashed eight events so far, including one second place finish. He can't sleep though. Mike Leah and Jon Turner are hot on his heels.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.56.15 AM.png

You can find more leader board info and other WCOOP details on the WCOOP homepage.

Starting today:

WCOOP-18-H: $530 PNL Hold'em [8-Max], $250K Gtd
WCOOP-19-H: $1,050+R PLO [6-Max], $300K Gtd
WCOOP-20-H: $530 NLHE [3-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom], $500K Gtd

Concluding today:

WCOOP-15: $1,050 NLHE [4-Max], $400K Gtd
This one is running right now with AmSoGood in first place out of the final 14. There is $170,000 up top if he holds on.

WCOOP-16: $530 NLHE [Progressive KO, Half Price Thursday Thrill], $1M Gtd
At 14:00 ET, this half-price version of the Thursday Thrill will resume with 104 of the starting 3,410 players left. Romania's politm69 currently sits on top of the pack.

WCOOP-17: $215 8-Game, $100K Gtd
Fresh_oO_D fired three bullets at this one, and it's served him well. He has the lead right now, but he better watch out, as Andre Akkari isn't too far behind. That event re-starts at 15:30 ET.

Good luck to everyone this weekend!

is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Follow him on Twitter: @BradWillis.

Source: poker stars