Elky Crowned First PokerStars ‘Pro-Gamer Challenge’ Champion

17 January 2005

PokerStars, the second largest poker site in the world, hosted the very first PokerStars 'Pro-Gamer Challenge' on Thursday 13 January 2005, where nine of the best British and foreign professional gamers were invited to take part in a single table satellite poker tournament on

Professional gamers from Britain, Korea, Sweden and the US put their skills to the test in a live game of No Limit Texas Hold'em, with the winner receiving free entry and hotel accommodation to the 2000 euro tournament at the European Poker Tour (EPT) event in Deauville, France, 15-19th February.

Each player, well known within their dedicated field, was chosen based on their achievements in the gaming world and their passion for poker.

The four British contestants were invited to the HarrowLife Internet Café in Harrow where a private area was exclusively set up for the tournament.

The final battle came down to a four player shoot-out between Yorkshire's 'Mangiacapra' (Marc Mangiacapra), the experienced ElkY (Bertrand Grospellier) a French pro-gamer based in South Korea, Tillerman (playing from Glasgow) and Tobes (Toby Aldridge), manager of the Four Kings pro-gamer team.

All were about even on chips when ElkY picked up a pair of aces and successfully eliminated two players - Tobes and Tillerman - in one hand, leaving him with a towering chip lead over Mangiacapra, the last remaining player.

The tournament came to a rapid conclusion when ElkY's pair of tens was too strong for Mangiacapra, and the Frenchman - suitably enough - won his seat to Deauville EPT event (televised on Eurosport) in France next month.

"Poker is a natural progression for online gamers. It's a game of strategy, where players need to outsmart each other, think ahead and plan certain traps, and these are all skills that pro-gamers have developed through their gaming career," says professional gamer Tobes (Toby Aldridge).

"Being able to put all of their skills to use, and at the same time make a nice living, are good enough reasons for any online gamer to seriously think about taking up poker."

Results: PokerStars Pro-Gamer Challenge

(IN ORDER OF 1st, 2nd, 3rd...etc)

ElkY - Bertrand Grospellier, Korea

Gaming achievements: 2nd World Cyber Games 2002

Professional Starcraft player

Mangiacapra - Marc Mangiacapra, Britain

Gaming achievements: Member of Four Kings - UK's best counter-strike clan

Tobes - Toby Aldridge, Britain

Gaming achievements: 3rd Rapture 99, 5 Nation's Tournament

Barry's World Season 1/2/3 Q3 Champions

4th QuakeCon 2004

Tillerman - Iain Girdwood, Britain

Gaming achievements: War3 Beta Champion

War3 Intel Masters Champion

War3 VGA Champion

War3 UK Terrorist Champion

War3 Warcraft Replays Champion

War3 Campus Party 2003 Champion

War3 Games Fixx USA Champion

War3 WCG UK 2003 Champion

War3 WCG Korea 2003 Silver Medal

BW 2nd place

BW PGL: Qualify #1

BW KBK 2: Qualify Top 16

BW KBK 3: Qualify Top 16

Sujoy - Sujoy Roy, Britain

Gaming achievements: #1 Ranked European Quakeworld player

CPL Hall of Fame for Quake 3

Fox - Magnus Olsson, Sweden

Gaming achievements: Three Eurocup titles: 1st at ESWC 2004 (1on1)

1st at CPL Oslo

Best European Quake player

Grrr... - Guillaume 'Giyom' Patry, Korea

Gaming achievements: Most successful western pro-gamer

Zero4 - John Hill, America

Gaming achievements: Nearly everything going in Quake 3 the last couple of years

Most successful non-Starcraft player in terms of winnings in last few years

Lakerman - Oskar Ljungstrom, Sweden

Gaming achievements: World Champion in Quakeworld duel

Quake 3 Nordic champion

2nd place in 3 other major Quake 3-tournaments

- ends -

If you would like any further information, images or would like to speak to/interview a representative from PokerStars please contact:

Robin Invest, JCPR 0207 208 7205,

Peter O'Shea, JCPR 0207 208 7277,

Notes to Editors

PokerStars (, an official member of the World Poker Tour, is the world's most innovative online poker site. PokerStars was the first site to introduce advanced multi-table tournaments, integrated game statistics, players' notes, personalized images, time bank for tournaments and ring big bet games, satellite tournaments, multi-table sit and go tournaments, and much more. PokerStars' support team is truly unique, as help and support is available around the clock from people who know and understand both the game of poker, and the importance of impeccable customer service.

To date, PokerStars has run more than two million poker tournaments and dealt more than 600 million hands. PokerStars utilizes industry-leading security software to ensure the integrity of the system, including encryption, card shuffle randomness and preventative measures against cheating and collusion. PokerStars is the site where the 2003 and 2004 World Champions of Poker won their entries into the World Series of Poker, thus earning the trademark - "Where poker players become World Champions."

European Poker Tour (EPT)

The first season of the EPT, sponsored by PokerStars - host of the world's largest online tournaments, includes poker tour events in London, Deauville, Copenhagen, Vienna and Dublin. The Grand Final event will be held March 15-19, 2005 in the majestic Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. Prize money is expected to be more than €2 million for the final event alone, with more than €1 million going to the winner.

The EPT will be hitting UK screens for the first time this Friday 14th January following an exclusive deal with Eurosport, the most widely available satellite channel in Europe. The show will be transmitted in 23 European countries and 85 million homes. This is the first time that poker will be broadcast in the UK at peak times, reflecting the significant increase in popularity of the game.

For more information, visit

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