Life Hacks: 5 everyday edges from Lex Veldhuis

Lex Veldhuis
Mo Afdhal
Posted on: April 12, 2024 05:27 PDT

Poker pros are used to sizing up the situation and making the smart play, which is why we've asked some of the best players around for some key words of advice to make our lives better.

PokerStars Team Pro Lex Veldhuis is one of poker's most visible - and brightest - stars. From his role with PokerStars to his "day job" as the biggest poker streamer on Twitch, Veldhuis has achieved a great deal over the course a career that spans more than 20 years. 

#1: Travel

"I think that when you travel you learn about new things in the world, you learn about where people come from, you learn about different cultures. I think you can pick up nice things from other cultures - a quick example: after spending a lot of time in Canada, people are so chill in traffic there, they really give each other a lot of space. Coming back home, I started having a lot less road rage, I was driving a lot more chill and giving people space. It made it a lot more relaxing. That’s just a small example because obviously it goes a lot deeper than that. 

"You develop yourself and learn more about other people. I also think you get to know yourself - you’re in some hairy spots, see what you like and don’t like and where your strengths are. There’s something powerful in seeing the world and experiencing it. And it’s a lot harder when you get older - there are restrictions, having to work and having kids. I wish that I had travelled a lot more and seen things outside of poker rooms."

#2: Physical health

“This has stuck with me - not to make this super sad or something - since my dad passed away from a very rare form of Alzheimer’s. I realized that you are very lucky if your body is genetically coded to be healthy. He was just unlucky that he had that disease and it sucked. 

“Then I realized I wasn’t taking care of myself - I was a bit overweight, wasn’t working out as much as I could or pursuing sports in the way I used to. And I felt I was almost disrespecting the situation I was in. It showed me that time is the most precious thing we have and if you can extend that by being healthy and mobile, that’s worth so much.”

#3: Mental health

"I think that working on yourself is one of the best things you can do. Developing, trying to take a critical look at how you do things or learning to communicate better with people. And it’s not just for yourself, it’s for people around you as well. Let's say you have a disagreement with your mom or your dad and they start working on that, showing progress or that they want to do better, that helps. 

"Working on yourself mentally is key and makes going through life less stressful."

#4: The obstacle is the way 

"This ties in with mental health and has been huge for me, it comes from stoicism. If you can feel comfortable with being uncomfortable, not let it rule your emotions, and try to expand on that with small steps, it feels liberating. Little things that you hate doing or things that make you very uncomfortable with all these reasons that you make up for yourself about why you don't want to do them. 

"It could be traveling, for instance. You could think, 'I hate traveling, I don't like planes, we have a nice beach here.' But where does that come from? Is that because you're a little afraid of traveling or the unknown? Or, if you're not confrontational and there's a friend that keeps taking space and is a little bit toxic to you, having those conversations, even though you don't like having them, are good examples of the obstacle is the way."

#5: The best time to cut toxicity out of your life is right now

"This is something really powerful I've learned over the years. It could be friendships or relationships that are toxic to you. It could be a family member leaching emotionally on you or maybe people leaching financially in an unhealthy way. I really feel like getting out of that situation as quickly as possible is the best thing to do. 

"Obviously, that doesn't mean just jump ship - some things are worth fighting for - but if something is clearly toxic and it keeps happening, life's too short to just struggle on and not do anything."

You can follow Lex on  X/Twitter, catch his regular live streams on his  Twitch channel, and learn more about him at  PokerStars