EPT Monte Carlo: Elky’s challenge

April 28, 2009

With four monitors placed in the centre of the featured table and a simple glass of water next to his mouse, Team PokerStars Pro ElkY sat down in Monte Carlo this afternoon to set a world record. What he had to do:

1. To open up as many $6.50 turbo STT’s as possible in an hour
2. To finish all said STT’s and end the session with a positive ROI.

As ElkY was preparing for his challenge, I sat next to the Team PokerStars Pros Gavin Griffin and the German ShootingStar George Danzer, who were debating the challenge. ElkY had apparently turned down a €10,000 bet from Danzer on whether he could complete the challenge successively. Both players thought it was going to be tight. The conversation then turned to the number of monitors they used for playing online, Danzer using a 30-in monitor backed up by two 20-inch ones turned on their sides while Griffin was quite happy with just a single 30-inch monitor.

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ElkY (Michel Jarre)

The challenge began rapidly and after only a couple of minutes, ElkY had already carefully spread out 11 tables on his four monitors. He managed to keep pace with all of them at first, but with 10 minutes on the clock he had 26 separate tables on the go and began to regularly time out in some of them.

As the opened number of tables reached 30, he busted out on a couple as his mouse cursor began madly chasing the tables around the screen, frantically trying to keep up. Any time he did manage to get a spare moment meant a dash to open the main screen and register for more tournaments. But by this time, even with four monitors, there was simply nowhere left to place the new tables.

The challenge intrigued many players, including John Juanda and Chris Ferguson, who both briefly stopped by to observe the spectacle. After about 35 minutes ElkY managed to win his first one, tournament 15942912, when his K-8 beat K-7 on the final hand. This was quickly followed by a second victory in another, which set the ball rolling and made up for the three or four he had busted out of earlier. Due to the sheer volume of tournaments, even ElkY couldn’t manage to avoid a couple of mis-clicks, limping on the button with J♣3♠ when only having 11BBs, but managing to take the pot down with a bet on the flop.

With ten minutes left, all of his initial set of tournaments had finished and ElkY furiously set to registering again, cheered on by Isabelle Mercier and Fabrice Soullier, among others. Erik Seidel also came by to check out the action and I asked him if he thought ElkY would manage to complete the challenge.

“He’s ElkY, he can do anything!” said Seidel, even if the American was less keen to take the challenge himself. “I can’t even do two screens,” he said.

With the one hour mark reached, the total number of tables opened was 62, as Hevad Khan (no stranger to mass STT playing himself) appeared to join the growing crowd railing ElkY. The pressure of the challenge began to tell as I heard a quiet tut from the Frenchman as he lost a big flip with 2♥2♠ against A♣Q♠ on one table. Things went from bad to worse as he suffered several suck-outs and busted out of multiple tables in quick succession.

With 15 tables left, scruffily spread out over all four monitors, it did not look good despite an announcement that after 32 of the 62 tables that Elky was up $25.

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With tables collapsing quicker than a flan in a cupboard, ElkY had seven left when we were told he was $37 up after 40 tables but it was only when we were told ElkY was just $12 up after 57 of the 62 had been played that everyone realised it was going to be very close.

As ElkY got down to his last table, he just eliminated the third place player with 9♠9♦ against 4♦3♦ leaving himself up against a player called ‘King Sample’. There were numerous outdraws both ways as the Team PokerStars Pro and King Sample took it in turns to push from the small blind. Finally ElkY’s push with 7-5 was called by King Sample’s 9-8 and the board proved kinder for the former, running out 3-T-5-7-K. ElkY had won it in his final game.

The final result was that Elky finished up $23.60. He had done it.

In total ElkY spent $403 and won $426.60 giving him an ROI of almost 6% in total, but although he did not know it at the time, Elky had to cash in his very last tournament otherwise he would have lost the challenge. It was that close.

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