Starcraft Pros Make Good Poker Players; Just ask ElkY

Former StarCraft pro Bertrand "elkY" Grospellier thinks StarCraft players make excellent poker players, and recommends the switch.

Do StarCraft pros have what it takes to make it in the world of professional poker? Former StarCraft player Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier thinks so, and in December Lim Yo Hwan "BoxeR" signed an endorsement deal to become a poker pro as well. 

So what skills translate well from the world of StarCraft to the world of professional poker? ElkY was recently interviewed by, and he said it was a combination of skills including "willpower, performing under pressure and creative thinking."

There are so many skills that SC Pros can use in poker. First, as with every world-class competitive discipline, the willpower and ability to perform well under pressure as well as resilience and mental strength are a huge pre-requisite...

Also the fact that both games are of incomplete information due to the fog of war in StarCraft, it makes meta-game very important and a psychological war as well as technical and strategic. 

How successful is ElkY at poker? Since the mid-2000's, when he hung up his gaming mouse, he's won over $11 million playing poker live and online. He's also the highest-earning poker player from France, and the fourth player to ever win "poker's triple crown."  

ElkY also discusses his appreciation for BoxeR, saying the SC Pro is one of the best, and the "biggest legend of the game." Other StarCraft players that ElkY thinks could make the switch include Grrr and Nada. 

Other professional gamers that have made the switch to poker include Marvel vs. Capcom 2 & StarCraft ; Brood War alum Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan, and StarCraft players Ryan Daut and Daniel Schreiber. 

Published Jan. 22nd 2014
  • Federico Senence
    Featured Contributor
    There are definitely a lot of similar skills in poker and online gaming. I'm not surprised at his success...jealous, but not surprised!
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Well that freaking awesome. 11mil from poker tournaments, just wow.
  • Amanda Wallace
    Former Staff Editor
    I feel like that's more than he got in eSports.

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