Earlier this week, the sixth event of the WPT’s seventh season concluded with a resounding win for Bertrand Grospellier, known online as “ElkY.” The WPT Festa al Lago was held at the famous Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The buy-in was steep at $15,000, but 368 of poker’s finest still found the money to enter. The bumper field meant that this was the biggest prize pool in this tournaments history, coming in at just over $5.3 million.
Among the field that sat down at the start of the event were an astounding 45 WPT title winners, but from that group only Nam Le managed to make the final table. However, the story of that final 6 was undoubtedly Grospellier. Entering the final day with a 2:1 chip advantage over his nearest rival, he kept constant pressure on his opponents, knocking all five of them out of the competition.
The victory meant that the French former video game pro became only the third person ever to have won a WPT and EPT title – following in the footsteps of Gavin Griffin and Roland de Wofle.
After play began, the first person on ElkY’s hit list was William Mietz, who was eliminated in 6th place. The board read 9-7-4-9 on the turn when ElkY raised and Mietz pushed over the top all-in. Astoundingly, neither player had hit the board in any way; Mietz’s King high just behind to ElkY’s Ace high. Unfortunately for him, that small margin was enough to signal the end of his tournament.
The next player unfortunate enough to cross ElkY was fellow internet maestro Adam Levy (“Roothlus”). Pushing all-in over the top of ElkY’s raise with A-9 proved to be his final play, as he faced up against ElkY’s pocket Queens. Another lady on the turn sent “Roothlus” packing in 5th place.
Nenad Menic gained prominence this summer when he captured his first WSOP bracelet by winning the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold ’em World Championship. Proving he was not just a flash in the pan by making this final table, he had the misfortune of tangling with ElkY midway through the day. All-in with 6-6 put him in a coin flip against ElkY’s K-J. However it seemed that nothing was going to go against the frenchman as a Jack hit the flop and eliminated Menic in 4th.
Once play became three handed it looked like the tide might finally be turning against ElkY as he briefly lost the chip lead. The reprieve didn’t last long however as he regained his poise and set about knocking out businessman and amateur player Osmin Dardon. ElkY raised and Dardon put in a re-raise. ElkY made a daring push with 10-2 and looked about to lose a decent chunk of his chip stack against Dardon’s A-J. True to form however a two fell on the flop and, avoiding anything dangerous on the turn and river, ElkY claimed another victim.
His heads up opponent was certainly a formidable player. Nam Le was the only WPT champion on the final table, and had another 6 WPT final tables to his name. However, no matter Le’s pedigree, he was always going to be the underdog going into the contest, behind as he was, 15:1 in the chip stakes. He got a valiant comeback underway in the first two hands, doubling up both times, but things were derailed in the third when his tournament came to an end. A straight coin-flip, A-Q for Le against 10-10 for ElkY, and a ten on the flop meant that Bertrand Grospellier took home the WPT Festa al Lago title and the $1.4 million first prize.
The full final table payouts were:
1st Place: Bertrand Grospellier – $1,411,015
2nd Place: Nam Le – $943,215
3rd Place: Osmin Dardon – $506,245
4th Place: Nenad Medic – $373,010
5th Place: Adam Levy – $266,445
6th Place: William Mietz – $186,510