Grospellier Finally Makes Money at WSOP – But Only Just!

Bertrand Grospellier enjoyed an incredible World Series of Poker last year, collecting his first bracelet while also cashing in three other events for $811,639.

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Bertrand GrospellierBertrand Grospellier enjoyed an incredible World Series of Poker last year, collecting his first bracelet while also cashing in three other events for $811,639.

The flashy Frenchman certainly seemed on course for another sensational series in Las Vegas after winning the $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud Championship event #21 last summer – but it took him 15 attempts to finally cash this year in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

However, the Team PokerStars Pro – who didn’t enter event #13 – only just managed to make the money in the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em event #17, when surviving the bubble burst to take 18th place for $23,876.

Still, the 31-year-old London-based pro can certainly take some encouragement from the fact many players have suffered terrible opening weeks at the WSOP – even going zero for 30 – only to collect gold bracelets in later tournaments.

So, the Triple Crown winner – having at last got off the mark in the 43rd series – can hopefully now look forward to another successful year in Sin City.

Speedy Play Makes For Exciting Day

Highly respected poker journalist Paul Oresteen – who has been reporting on the WSOP for many years – has produced some incredible stats for the $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event #16.

While we all know that this event was played out at an incredibly fast pace, Oresteen provided quite an astounding nugget of information – having calculated that one player hit the rail every 25 seconds while the opening nine levels were played out on Day 1.

The event began with 1,604 entrants, but just 137 made it into Day 2 – with the money bubble burst well before the opening day was out as 162 players were assured of earning at least $2,706.

Now, we all expect an event to begin swiftly, but Oresteen also pointed out that, even once the money had been reached, players will still exiting at approximately two per minute.

Some people might consider that a bit extreme. But, if you ask me, that’s much more exciting than what took place in the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Mix-Max event #6, when we were subjected to a tortuously dull tournament that broke the record for the slowest rate of play ever – and even included one match-up that took a mind-numbing nine hours and 25 minutes to complete!

Big One Closing in on Maximum Field

Twelve more names have been added to the list of entries for the eagerly anticipated $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop No-Limit Hold’em charity tournament that will run at the Rio from July 1 to 3 as event #55.

Thirty players had already confirmed their participation, with the most recent additions bringing the total to 42 – only six short of the 48-player maximum. Some of the biggest names in the game added their names to the starting field, including pros Noah Schwartz, Sam Trickett, Nick Schulman, Andrew Robl, Eugene Katchalov, Jason Mercier, Vivek Rakjumar and David ‘Viffer’ Peat.

Ivey and Hellmuth Might Start

Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi, John Juanda, Justin Bonomo and Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom are also all keen to pay the $50,000 deposit soon, so would bring the field to its maximum – creating a prize pool of $40,000,005, with $17,200,002.15 going to the winner to ensure they become the leader on the all-time money list!

Additionally, Jamie Gold’s record-setting $12 million for winning the 2006 WSOP main event will definitely be surpassed, no matter how many players are added to the Big One line-up.

Interestingly, though, those six pros mentioned above might not be allowed to take their seats in the event as seven places have already been reserved for hedge fund managers, a venture capitalist, two Caesars Entertainment qualifiers and a MGM Mirage Satellite winner. Will the WSOP increase the field size? Or will several pros be left disappointed? We shall see.

In the meantime, here’s a list of the players committed to the event:

  • Patrik Antonius
  • Bobby Baldwin
  • Frédéric Banjout (French businessman)
  • Andy Beal
  • Bob Bright
  • Johnny Chan
  • Jonathan Duhamel
  • Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan
  • Tony G
  • Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier
  • Giovanni ‘Malibu’ Guarascio (Montreal private citizen group)
  • Gus Hansen
  • Eugene Katchalov
  • Cary Katz
  • Jens Kyllönen
  • Guy Laliberté
  • Jason Mercier
  • Arnaud Mimran
  • John Morgan (CEO, Winmark Corporation)
  • Daniel Negreanu
  • Carlos Nahas (Loto-Québec/Casino Montreal satellite)
  • Paul Newey
  • David ‘Viffer’ Peat
  • Paul Phua
  • Vivek Rakjumar
  • Andrew Robl
  • Phil Ruffin
  • Nick Schulman
  • Noah Schwartz
  • Erik Seidel
  • Dan Shak
  • Justin Smith
  • Roger Teska
  • Sam Trickett
  • Richard Yong
  • Anonymous (European hedge fund manager)
  • Anonymous (US hedge fund manager)
  • Anonymous (US hedge fund manager)
  • Anonymous (US venture capitalist)
  • Caesars Entertainment seat
  • Caesars Entertainment via June 30 $25,300 satellite at Rio
  • MGM Mirage Satellite seat

Quality Quotes (courtesy of

Me and my girlfriend just had a baby and we are desperately in need of a mini-van. With kids, we have to get a mini-van as soon as we get home.

– Canadian Ashkan Razavi, who had just won the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry event #9 for $781,398, already knows the first purchase he’ll be making once he gets home.

I just really want to see a woman win a No-Limit Hold’em bracelet. Those fields yield the toughest opponents since No-Limit Hold’em is the game most pros now specialise in. Hopefully a lady can pull through this year, but, if not, I definitely suspect we’ll be seeing more sick results from women over the coming years.

– Amanda Musumeci, of Philadelphia, is eager to see a female make an even bigger impression on this series after she finished as runner-up, for $481,643, to Razavi.

Every &#%@*&$ year I walk into the WSOP, it reminds me more and more of a giant airport. I mean, just look at this place. You need to find a TV monitor to see where to go to next. The way it’s going for me so far, it’s like I lost my plane ticket and they lost my luggage. They might as well have a proctologist doing the security.

– Irishman Padraig Parkinson is not particularly impressed by the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.