According to the announcement published on his personal Twitter, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has decided to part his way with PokerStars and seek new career challenges. The former gaming star who transitioned to online poker had been a part of the PokerStars Team Pro for 11 years.
Despite this fact, his decision to leave doesn’t come as too big of a surprise. ‘ElkY’ is the fourth prominent name to leave the online poker giant since Amaya (now The Stars Group) took over, leading the company in a direction quite different to the one set forth by the original founders’ vision.
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Team Pro Marginalized?
Although Grospellier’s tweet was relatively mild and friendly, it was hard to miss the longstanding PokerStars pro felt rather disillusioned about the company and the part Team Pro is going to play moving forward. ‘Elky’ explained Team Pro used to be a crucial part of the room’s strategy, but this no longer seems to be the case.
— ElkY (@elkypoker) January 27, 2018
The (now former) member of the Team Pro emphasized it was a great privilege to be a part of the PokerStars journey, especially during the Scheinberg era, where everyone involved did their best to create the ultimate online poker experience for the players.
The Schienberg blues
This isn’t the first time the Scheinberg era is being mentioned by the players in a positive context. In the years prior to the Amaya takeover, PokerStars stood as a bastion of online poker, defining rules and setting trends, always looking to accommodate players.
That period has been all but forgotten by now, unfortunately, as the new leadership has taken a different approach to running the site, putting more emphasis on other products (sports and casino) and looking to bring all of their offers under the same umbrella.
While the company probably has a good financial motivation for these moves, trying to appease the shareholders, these moves didn’t sit well with loyal poker players, including several Team Pro members who, like ‘ElkY,’ decided their time at PokerStars has run its course.
What comes next for ElkY?
Grospellier’s tweet was rather brief and the pro didn’t elaborate on his plans for the future. Apart from the fact he’d be parting ways with PokerStars, ‘ElkY’ didn’t share anything else, leaving it to the fans’ imaginations for the time being.
The Frenchman received quite a few responses to his announcements, many of them demonstrating support and wishing him the best of luck for his future endeavors. One of the tweets came straight from Eric Hollreiser, The Stars Group VP of Corporate Communications.
You’ve been a great ambassador for the brand and for poker @elkypoker. All the best for the future…
— Eric Hollreiser (@erichollreiser) January 27, 2018
Of course, many others fellow players and fans joined in, some of them advising Grospellier to consider joining Party Poker as an ambassador for their brand. ‘ElkY’ didn’t have much to say on the topic, leaving all options open.
Although Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier will no longer be a part of PokerStars, he’ll likely continue his avid poker career. Over the years, the Frenchman has amassed in excess of $13 million in live tournament earnings and he has one WSOP bracelet to his name.
Although ‘ElkY’ haven’t had too many notable scores as of late, his biggest career cash came relatively recently, when he came runner-up in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop for almost $2.3 million.
Perhaps these latest changes will also give him a new motivation and rekindle his love for the game, so we might see more of ‘ElkY’ at the tables moving forward.