APT Taipei 2024

Superstar Challenge - Single Re-Entry - Final Day




Bertrand Grospellier


Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier Picks Up First APT Title in the TWD 800,000 Superstar Challenge for TWD 11,632,810 (~$367,770)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Ellky winner.jpg Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier"

The TWD 800,000 Superstar Challenge has been won by Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier after the Frenchman overcame a stellar lineup of 49 entries (38 unique) to win the TWD 11,632,810 (~$367,770) top prize and take home the special edition black lion silhouette trophy. Grospellier battled back from a three-to-one chip disadvantage to beat Lester Edoc in a short but enthralling heads-up duel that saw the Filipino player bank TWD 8,402,000 (~$265,630) for his runner-up finish.

This is Grospellier's third appearance at an APT event, with the Gallic grinder converting all three into final table appearances; eighth in the APT High Roller at the APT Summer Series Hanoi, sixth in the Superstar Challenge at APT Incheon. It seems that with every passing series, Grospellier betters his previous result, proven here after winning the biggest buy-in event on the schedule and claiming the largest-ever first prize ever awarded in a Taiwan-based poker tournament.

The prize pool ballooned to TWD 36,930,000 (~$1,167,615) – setting a record for the biggest ever in the Superstar Challenge's short history – almost doubling the previous high set at APT Incheon 2023.

Gregory "Greg Goes All In" Liow had a chance to speak to Grospellier after his momentous win.

"I've already won so many things in poker, so I kind of quit and retired. But the Lion Trophy is the thing I've been wanting" confided an ecstatic Grospellier.

"I really want it. I came close twice in Hanoi and Incheon and now finally winning it - I feel so great - it's the best thing ever!"

"I'm so thankful to everyone that always supports and cheers for me even though I'm far from the best player now. So many people, especially in Taipei and Asia, always give me such a warm welcome and I'm so happy to come here and be able to win."

PlaceNameCountryPrize (TWD)Prize (~USD)
1Bertrand "Elky" GrospellierFrance11,632,810367,770
2Lester EdocPhilippines8,402,000265,630
3Roman HrabecCzech Republic5,355,000169,300
4Biao DingHong Kong4,062,000128,435
5Klemens RoiterAustria3,139,00099,250
6Danny TangHong Kong2,401,00075,915
7Mikael AnderssonSweden1,939,00061,310

Some of the biggest names in poker made their way to the Asia Poker Arena for the event, but none could have imagined the spectacle that arose. Players including #8 on the All-Time Money List Isaac Haxton, the 2022 WSOP Main Event Champion Espen Jorstad, previous Superstar Challenge winner Joshua McCully, and Steve O'Dwyer were just some of the poker elite in attendance.

As Day 1 neared its culmination, it was Edoc whose name stood out amongst the rest after eliminating McCully, Haxton, and Aidan Tam on his way to the chip lead. Nine players survived one of the toughest fields the tour has seen with the likes of Sweden's Mikael Andersson, the USA's Tony Lin, Natural8 Ambassador Danny Tang, Czech Republic's Roman Hrabec, and Hong Kong's Biao Ding all making it to the final table.

When Day 2 began, the initial objective was to make the money as only seven places were paid. After losing an early flip with ace-king against Grospellier's pocket queens, Tobias Schwecht was the first player to go home empty-handed, his ace-queen undone by the turned straight of Ding, who held ace-four.

The bubble was a tight affair with both Andersson and Lin having short stacks, but despite the former having just two big blinds, Lin decided to shove all in with pocket kings. Ding felt priced in to make the call with ace-ten and was rewarded with an ace-high flop which meant Lin was eliminated in one of the highest-value bubble spots the APT has seen — a TWD 1,939,000 (~$61,310) swing.

Tony Lin B.jpg Tony Lin

Just two hands later, Andersson would be the first to collect his payout after his ace-four couldn't catch up against the ace-queen of Edoc. A great run for the Swedish player meant he picked up the first payout on offer of TWD 1,939,000 (~$61,310). Given the situation just a few hands prior, Andersson surely felt jubilant at the fact he scraped into the money when it looked likely he would be the one going home with empty pockets.

Tang will feel hard done by after he tangled with Hrabec in back-to-back pots which ultimately ended with the Hong Kong player's elimination. In the first of the two hands, Hrabec shoved all in with king-four and Tang made the call with ace-nine. The Natural8 Ambassador ended the hand with quads and secured a double-up to ease a bit of the ICM pressure being applied. The very next hand was a mirror image of the first as Hrabec shoved with king-four again, and Tang made the call with a dominating ace-king. However, it wasn't meant to be for Tang as he was left drawing dead after Hrabec drilled a flush on the turn. Another fantastic performance from Tang who took sixth for TWD 2,401,000 (~$75,915).

Austria's Klemens Roiter was next to hit the rail after he lost a flip against eventual champion Grospellier. The two were the shortest stacks at the time and got the chips in preflop with Roiter holding ace-ten and Grospellier pocket fives. A flopped set for the man that goes by "Elky" all but sealed the deal and sent Roiter out in fifth for TWD 3,139,000 (~$99,250).

Roiter B.jpg Klemens Roiter

Hrabec was starting to pick up momentum and held almost half of the chips in play with four remaining. Edoc soon joined Hrabec at the top of the counts after the two slowly chipped away at the shorter stacks of Grospellier and Ding before the latter met his demise.

Ding was down just to five big blinds and called off the shove of Edoc with king-queen, with the Filipino player holding ace-eight. Edoc ended the hand with trip eights which was more than enough to eliminate Ding, busting the Chinese player in fourth for a payday of TWD 4,062,000 (~$128,435).

Edoc and Hrabec then went at each other's throats with chips going back and forth between the two player's stacks in a rollercoaster ride. Eventually, Hrabec shoved over the limp of Edoc with six-three suited, but fell into the Filipino player's trap who was holding pocket tens. A clean runout left Hrabec out in third and he banked TWD 5,355,000 (~$169,300) for his run.

Roman Hrabec B.jpg Roman Hrabec

When heads-up play began, Edoc held an over three-to-one chip advantage and looked to make quick work of Grospellier to clinch the title. However, the former Starcraft player had other ideas.

The first double-up came when Edoc shoved king-five, and Grospellier made the call holding queen-jack. A queen on the flop earned Grospellier the pot and kept him in contention to win his first APT title. A few hands later, Edoc shoved all in with jack-seven and ran straight into the pocket tens of Grospellier. A clean runout for the pocket tens of "Elky" meant Edoc now only held a two-to-one chip advantage and suddenly Grospellier was booming with confidence.

Moments later, Grospellier took the chip lead for the first time in the tournament after his pocket queens held up against the pocket sevens of Edoc. The very next hand, the two players had all the chips in the middle once again with Grospellier looking to secure the trophy.

Elky Wins.jpg The winning moment for Grospellier

Edoc's ace-king was in a dominating position against the ace-jack of Grospellier, but a jack on the flop switched things around and left the Frenchman on the brink of victory. The Filipino phenom never received any help or the turn or river which meant he was out in second, and Grospellier was the Superstar Challenge champion.

Congratulations to Grospellier on his first APT title!


Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier Wins the Superstar Challenge for TWD 11,632,810 (~$367,770)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier wins the Superstar Challenge for TWD 11,632,810 (~$367,770) after defeating Lester Edoc heads-up.

A full recap of the day's action will follow shortly.

Level 23: Blinds 80000-160000, 160000 ante

Lester Edoc Has Been Eliminated in 2nd Place for TWD 8,402,000 (~$265,630)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Edoc 2.jpg Lester Edoc

Lester Edoc has been eliminated in 2nd place for TWD 8,402,000 (~$265,630).

Hand 124 Lester Edoc made it 400,000 from the button and Bertrand Grospellier 3-bet to 1,500,000. Edoc then 4-bet shoved for 3,100,000 and Grospellier was priced in to make the call.

Edoc A♥ K♣

Grospellier A♣ J♦

This heads-up rollercoaster had a chance to come to an end if Grospellier could find a way to take down Edoc's ace-king.

The flop of 9♠ 6♥ J♥ put Grospellier into the lead after he paired his jack, and left Edoc needing to find some help from the dealer.

Some help did arrive on the 2♥ turn as Edoc improved to a flush draw meaning any heart or king would give the Filipino player the pot and see him retake the chip lead.

However, it was Grospellier's moment as the 2♠ filled out the board earning the Frenchman the pot, and the title. Another great run for Edoc, who embraces Grospellier and offers his congratulations.

Level 23: Blinds 80000-160000, 160000 ante

Grospellier Surges into the Chip Lead

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Hand 121 Bertrand Grospellier limped from the button and Lester Edoc checked. On the 2♣ 6♣ 9♦ flop, Grospellier won the pot with a bet.

Hand 122 Edoc raised to 400,000 and Grospellier called. The flop fell 3♠ K♣ 7♣ and Edoc took it down with a bet.

Hand 123 Grospellier raised to 325,000 and Edoc shoved all in. Grospellier snap-called.

Edoc 7♣ 7♠

Grospellier Q♠ Q♥

The dealer brought no help to Edoc on the A♠ J♠ T♠ 3♥ 4♠ as Grospellier's hand held up and now takes the chip lead.

Level 23: Blinds 80000-160000, 160000 ante

Chip Counts

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai


Latest chip counts

NameChip Count
Lester Edoc8,300,000
Bertrand Grospellier4,000,000
Level 23: Blinds 80000-160000, 160000 ante

Grospellier Sticking Around

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Hand 116 Lester Edoc made it 400,000 and won the pot.

Hand 117 Bertrand Grospellier opened to 325,000 and Edoc shoved all in. Grospellier folded.

Hand 118 Edoc limped the button and Grospellier checked. Both saw the A♣ 4♣ K♥ flop and Edoc took it down with a bet.

Hand 119 Grospellier shoved all in for 1,800,000 and won the blinds.

Hand 120 Edoc shoved all in and Grospellier called for 1,900,000.

Edoc J♥ 7♥

Grospellier T♠ T♦

Grospellier doubled up after the board missed Edoc on the 3♠ A♦ 9♥ A♣ 3♥ runout.

Level 23: Blinds 80000-160000, 160000 ante

Grospellier Doubles Up

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Hand 112 Lester Edoc shoved all in and Bertrand Grospellier called for 1,600,000.

Edoc K♣ 5♦

Grospellier Q♦ J♣

Grospellier delayed Edoc's celebration party after pairing his queen on the 8♣ Q♥ A♦ T♣ 6♦ runout.

Hand 113 Grospellier made it 325,000 and Edoc shoved. Grospellier folded.

Hand 114 Edoc limped the button and Grospellier checked. A flop of K♣ 7♥ T♠ saw a bet of 175,000 from Edoc, and a call from Grospellier. The turn was a 4♠ and the action went check-check. A 7♦ river was also checked and Edoc took it down with 4♦ 5♣.

Hand 115 Edoc got a walk.

Level 22: Blinds 60000-120000, 120000 ante

Heads-Up Play Begins

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Hang 106 Lester Edoc limped the button and Bertrand Grospellier checked his big blind. Both players checked the 3♦ 8♠ 7♠ flop to see a 7♣ turn. Grospellier bet 275,000, and Edoc called. A river 5♣ saw Grospellier bet 800,000 and Edoc folded.

Hand 107 Grospellier limped the button and Edoc raised to 360,000. Grospellier folded.

Hand 108 Edoc limped the button and Grospellier checked. They saw an all-club flop of K♣ 4♣ Q♣ and Edoc fired 160,000. Grospellier called. A 9♥ hit the turn and both players checked to see an A♥ land on the river. Both players checked and Grospellier took it down with Q♦ 3♦.

Hand 109 Grospellier raised to 325,000 and Edoc 3-bet to 980,000. Grospellier folded.

Hand 110 Edoc raised to 400,000 and Grospellier folded.

Hand 111 Grospellier made it 325,000 and Edoc called. A flop of 5♣ 7♣ 7♠ went check-check and a 6♠ hit the turn. Both checked again to see a Q♠ river card. Edoc checked, Grospellier bet 450,000, then Edoc made it 1,100,000. Grospellier used some extra time before eventually folding.

Level 22: Blinds 60000-120000, 120000 ante

Heads-Up in the Superstar Challenge

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Here are the counts going into heads-up play.

NameChip Count
Lester Edoc9,500,000
Bertrand Grospellier2,700,000

Also, a reminder of what's at stake.

PlacePrize (TWD)Prize (~USD)

There will be a short break with heads-up play getting underway momentarily.

Level 22: Blinds 60000-120000, 120000 ante

Roman Hrabec Has Been Eliminated in 3rd Place for TWD 5,355,000 (~$169,300)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

hrabec 3.jpg Roman Hrabec

Roman Hrabec has been eliminated in 3rd place for TWD 5,355,000 (~$169,300).

Hand 105 Lester Edoc limped from the small blind and Roman Hrabec shoved all in for 1,100,000 from the big blind. Edoc snap-called.

Hrabec 6♥ 3♣

Edoc T♦ T♣

Hrabec has seemed frustrated over the past few orbits and finally took a stand, but unfortunately ran straight into it with Edoc holding pocket tens.

Despite flopping a pair, Hrabec couldn't get there on the 9♥ 6♣ 2♣ K♠ 9♣ runout and he was out in third.