May 3, 2012
Terrence Chan isn’t the only poker player who has taken an active interest in MMA.
Team PokerStars Pros Lex Veldhuis and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier recently fought in an actual kickboxing match as part of one of the greatest prop bets in the history of poker.
Back in 2009 Veldhuis and Grospellier got to talking about fighting and eventually decided to stage a match of their own.
Both poker players had some experience with MMA.
Veldhuis boxed for nearly two years when he was younger and then started training in kickboxing in the last few years.
Grospellier started kickboxing and Muay Thai around the same time and was working hard on his conditioning in preparation for the fight.
After several delays the match finally occurred in Marbella, Spain last November. The fight lasted four minutes until Veldhuis delivered a pair of kicks that sent the Frenchman to the mat.
Two amateurs fighting doesn’t always make for the most interesting match, but Terrence Chan couldn’t help but appreciate the bout.
“I was very impressed by Lex,” he said. “I think he mentioned boxing as a teenager so people would think he’d mostly throw hands, then won the fight throwing high kicks like a champ. Sick level.”
“I thought ElkY definitely didn’t perform to his level. When I sparred with him he was frequently in control and paced himself well for 5 rounds, but in the fight he threw a ton of wild haymakers, got tired, then his hands started dropping and that was the end.”
Despite his loss Grospellier was positive about the experience and felt it even helped his poker game.
“It’s really good to have another thing in your life other than poker,” he told PokerListings.com. “Having something else that’s important to look forward to can help you when you take bad beats.”
“Mostly it’s just quality of life. It helps so much when you’re playing long days. You don’t get as tired and you’re able to think more clearly and make better decisions.”
“Yeah, even if you told me now that I was definitely going to lose the bet, and I had already done all this training, it would still be worth it for me,” he said.
“I think it keeps you mentally strong and fit. Fighting is the best because it’s the most intense and high-pressure kind of workout.”
Article Source: Pokerlistings.com