If you don’t already know who Lex Veldhuis is, there may be no saving you.
After years of grinding, the PokerStars pro has found a sweet spot for himself. He’s consistently the most-watched poker streamer on Twitch and has amassed a massive, dedicated following on the platform.
One thing he’s never done? Won a COOP title. But that’s a monkey he could get off his back tomorrow as he prepares for not one but two huge WCOOP Day 2s.
In the $5,200 NLH Turbo, Veldhuis is fourth in chips with nine left, and he’s chip leader in the $10,300 8-Game Mix with just four players remaining. That last one has even surprised Lex.
Veldhuis – ‘I’m very motivated right now’
Ahead of his double date with destiny, we spoke with Veldhuis to hear more about how he’s found this year’s WCOOP and how he’s approaching tomorrow.
How are your WCOOP streams going so far?
Lex Veldhuis: WCOOP is the most exciting time to stream, hands down. There’s so much to do and talk about with the stream viewers. I try to minimize days off and just grind super hard during the series, but streaming my gameplay makes it that much more intense for me. In the past, I’ve not treated tournaments with the greatest respect, but I’m still so hungry to learn and play after eighteen years in the game.
Do you find it difficult to juggle streaming and playing at your very best?
LV: I’m caught between a few different fires with streaming, trying to entertain, and then trying my best to win tournaments. I’m very motivated right now, though – maybe the most motivated I’ve been since the start of my career. I want to put on the biggest show in poker, but I’m also thinking about legacy.
What is it that’s motivating you right now?
LV: I feel like I successfully re-invented myself in the poker world with streaming. I’ve conquered that, and now I’m diving deep into the current state of the game. I love the new concepts that allow for mass aggression, big raises, overbets – all that stuff is just so much fun to me. It’s like what Isildur was doing back in the day, but now it’s widely accepted as theoretically sound play.
You’ve got two massive Day 2s coming up. Are you feeling confident?
LV: So, I don’t really know how to play 8-Game. I was the worst mixed-games player in the field by far, but I’m aware of that. I do think I understand ICM decisions really well, maybe even better than the other players, at least in no-limit and PLO spots.
And I recognize that playing this event is likely minus EV for me, but I don’t look at it purely in that sense. I also take into account the benefits for the stream when playing events like this. It’s almost a form of marketing for me.
Does your audience enjoy the mixed games events as much as the no-limit tournaments?
LV: It’s important to give the stream a change of pace every now and then. The viewers seem to respond well when I play PLO events or satellites because they get insight into a different aspect of the game and a chance to learn new things. They like it as a kind of flavor-of-the-week type of thing.
Good luck tomorrow, Lex. Win them both, and we’ll be back knocking for another interview!
Lex Veldhuis will be streaming both final tables tomorrow on Twitch. He goes live at 4pm Central European Time, with the Day 2s starting from 7:30pm. Tune in, and you could catch his first COOP win as it happens. And who knows? Maybe his second as well.