PokerStars Pro Team Online member, popular Twitch poker streamer Lex Weldhus (Lex Veldhuis) can rightfully be considered one of the most beloved players in the international poker community. Amusing costumes, Izi katka, mutual jokes with former Starz colleague Misha Inner, Spraggy and other players, a great sense of humor and a great love for poker make Lex’s broadcasts very enjoyable for viewers of all ages and levels of poker experience.
In the spring of 2021, Veldhus celebrated the 5th anniversary of streaming on Twitch, in honor of which CardPlayer Lifestyle journalist Sean de Cesar interviewed him in detail about poker, streaming and parenting.
We have translated their conversation for you, omitting some minor details. Each heading in the text is a paraphrased question from a journalist, under which the full answer of the streamer is placed.
What Lex remembers about his early days and weeks on Twitch
The first thing that comes to mind is how unprepared I was at the time. I actually thought, “I have an overlay, some extra icons – I think I’m ready to go!” I was very wrong and now I wish I had spent more time and energy on preparation. I tend to be a bit stubborn and I was sure that since I loved Twitch and have been using it for a long time, I knew enough to start working there.
At the same time, I had a clear idea of where I wanted to go – I only needed to talk to other streamers to know what pitfalls I might face.
What I remember most clearly was how intense the first days and weeks were, how new the experience was, and how many things were happening at the same time. But I immediately fell in love with the work and could not wait for its continuation – perhaps this is my key memory.
How Lex’s fame influenced his streams
I think my past [речь про невероятные блефы на Main Event WSOP 2009 и легендарные сессии в High Stakes покере] helped in accelerating progress on Twitch. People don’t understand how difficult it is to go from 0 viewers to 5, and then to 20, and so on. Pioneers like Fintan Hand and Spraggy, as well as Majin, GJ Reggie and PyeFace have gone through the rise in ranks and full-fledged development from scratch on Twitch – it’s very difficult, building an audience from scratch and takes a lot of time.
I started right away with 100 – 150 spectators. I have had some fame that has helped and continues to help all these years – people look at me as a trustworthy player with a great poker background. On Twitch, as in any game, viewers love to point out when they think something is wrong – I think I’m not the easiest target for such comments, which makes my chat less stressed.
I’ve seen this happen in poker, so I think calm chat helps with views and stream content, especially since I have a lot to share. All these experiences that I can share, the stories of what it’s like to play with people like Negreanu, Ivy and Brunson has helped and helps me on streams ever since.
Lex’s Feelings About Negreanu and Moneymaker’s Departure from Team PokerStars
I am very proud to be the most recognizable face of the brand now. Honestly, even reading this question gives me the feeling, “come on, this is a trifle.” I am super proud of how my channel has developed and how much I have achieved. I am also happy to have a good long-term relationship with PokerStars.
I think PokerStars, especially from Twitch’s perspective, is way ahead of the pack when it comes to ideas for the platform, understanding of the technologies used in communities, and related things. That’s why I’m so happy to be where I am and I can’t believe I’ve gone through this cycle – playing online high stakes, then TV shows, live tournaments, EPTs and finally streaming on Twitch with a return to my online roots.
I’m proud to wear the PokerStars branding and I’m really happy that the company recognizes the potential and coolness of Twitch – so it’s great to be at the forefront, that’s what delights me the most.
To be honest, this is something I’m proud of, but if Fintan’s or Spraggy’s stream overtakes mine and becomes “stream # 1”, it will make me want to compete with them, to return the championship. Although in the end, being recognizable is not my goal. I think we are all responsible for the development of our favorite game, so I just do my part. But at the same time, I am always in a state of competition with myself, striving to become the best version of myself and at the same time remain true to myself.
How Lex manages to maintain a balance between multi-tabling and interaction with viewers
I think multitasking came to me from StarCraft. It was very useful to play, especially in games where there are many tasks, you need to quickly work with the mouse and move between elements. When I grind poker without streams, I played more than 24 tables at a time – and on Sundays it was about 30. I think this helped me develop a strategy for making decisions really quickly.
I always thought poker was a very intense game, but streaming is three times as intense. If you want to do everything right and keep your audience, then you need to constantly find and display awesome spots. For a game to be profitable, it’s worth playing as many tables as you can handle while maintaining optimal play – and it’s the same with streams. If you start missing important messages – for example, someone writes you something very nice about how your stream helped him or her, and you miss this – or chat topics, then you need to reduce the number of tables.
At least that’s how I see Twitch. Through experience I know where my sweet spot is and when I notice that I am playing too much, I try to change it. But sometimes I wake up and feel tired – this is a signal that it’s time to reduce the load. After all, if I don’t sleep well and at the same time, for example, sit down to play on the SCOOP stream, then I will have a lot of problems when trying to put together multi-tabling, tournaments with $ 2K + buy-ins and answers to all questions in the chat, and there can be several thousand of them … Therefore, balance in everything is so important. Every day is different – it is important to remember this, appreciate and adapt.
How Lex manages to control himself in the face of dipranas when live chat literally explodes
I love it when I get caught up in the chatter and my heart pounds. After almost 18 years of playing poker, I have so much experience that I use the same strategy online and offline at times like this. As a result, emotions do not affect my performance, but I turn to them as a powerful tool for maintaining the right mood during the competition. They help me stay interested and feel alive.
If I go crazy while playing and release negative emotions, it means that it is time for me to stop playing poker and move on. But every now and then I let myself blow off some steam, like when I could fold better. I think people need to be careful when making decisions in an emotional state, to be sure that their decision is strategic and balanced, and not dictated by tilt.
However, I love the bursts of emotion in the chat, when people fill it with messages that they started walking around the room due to the tension of the moment, closed their eyes so as not to see all-in, or woke up the neighbors with a shout when I caught the right card. on the river. It keeps me in good shape and makes me happy, fills me with emotions – that’s why it’s very important.
I become emotional only in serious dipranas without an audience. But emotions do not capture me and do not affect decisions – if they did, I would change the situation. The fact that I am showing A-game being like this is still working and I do not see the need to change the situation.
How long does Lex plan to stay on Twitch
Over the past year, I’ve invested a lot of money to stay on Twitch as long as possible. In my opinion, streamers have an “expiration date” because this kind of work is very burdensome. You essentially live on camera. It can be mentally and physically exhausting, because you put a lot of time and energy into streaming, and people come to you and remain with high expectations. So streaming is asking for a lot, but at the same time it rewards well.
I thought, “How can I keep my poker fun and stay in it so that I don’t lose interest?” To answer this question, I invested in training. In addition, to extend your working life, you need to take care of your mental health and the environment. And since I work from home, I greatly influence others, and in order to reduce this influence I decided to build a soundproof studio at home – it turned out just magical.
During the Blowout Series at night I could scream about the ace on the river while Mirta [Myrthe, невеста Лекса] slept two rooms from me without hearing a sound – it’s just amazing. I used to think it felt like I had two or three years on Twitch. But now that I’ve built a studio and still love poker, I just see no reason not to stream for at least four more years.
How Lex plans to balance life after the birth of his son
All these years I have been faced with the problem of balancing relationships, family, friends and streaming, but the more you invest in streaming, the more you get out of it.
If I were streaming 7 days a week instead of four, I would have a lot more views by the end of the year. But in some ways you need to give in to find a balance. Reducing side projects has worked well for me in this regard, so now I only go to podcasts or any collaborative project when I’m sure it’s worth it.
At one point, I had meetings and brainstorming sessions in the evenings, and the next day I worked – and it just burned. Then I learned to step back and prioritize – and in the end I decided that streaming was the most important thing about work. As long as I stream and do it well, everything will be fine.
Now, as a father, I have appropriate working hours for a busy father. I stream 40-50 hours a week, which is already quite a lot. But if one of the sessions lasts about 15 hours, then I cut the following streams. I definitely plan on spending a lot of time with my family and want to make sure I spend at least two and a half days with my son and fiancée, so I leave the evenings free. The result is a normal working week and I know how to protect my time with my family – after all, most people work with children and it will not be difficult for me to organize everything conveniently either.
I do not think that I will have problems navigating in life with my child. I just want to spend a lot of time with him, be around and make sure the weekend is the weekend. So far, I have a very comfortable and healthy work week – if something goes wrong, then I will give up something outside of streams. For example, there will be less updating of graphics or my appearances somewhere, less playing computer games.
What happens next with Lex’s Twitch channel
At the moment I am in a kind of upswing in terms of quality – my game is at a high level and I myself feel on the rise. I can say with 100% certainty that I am playing poker better now than I have ever been, especially in tournaments. I continue to study even on parental leave.
I have permanent graphics specialists, so the quality of broadcasts is growing by leaps and bounds. All of this will remain in the same vein. Also, so far I have used only 60% of the potential of my studio, and the rest we will gradually realize this year.
Over the past year, my father died, because of which I had to take a break for two months, then my child was born, and this year there will also be a wedding, so I feel that the past year has become a transitional year for me between two big periods in life. In some ways sad, in some ways very happy. But I think the groundwork is being laid for a big sequel right now – and I just want to sit down and stream. After all, I had many weeks when I grieved for my father and could not sit down to play according to my usual weekday schedule.
I think that soon you will see how the stream changes. I plan to stream, stream, stream constantly, showing you more and more new things. The other thing I’m eager to try is cool collaborations, as I have so many great friends on Twitch who stream awesome streams. In general, while there are plans to update and there is a lot that you – I really hope so, guys – learned and fell in love with me.