In the second part of our exclusive interview with PokerStars ambassador Lex Veldhuis, we find out what keeps him hungry and what his fans can look forward to this year.
The variance in poker can test the best players and Veldhuis has gone through swings like everyone else. However, as we chatted on the decking of Baha Mar Resort, he explained that his passion for poker is stronger than ever.
Relighting his passion for poker at PSPC
Of course, it’s not hard to get enthused about playing for six-figure prizes in the Bahamas. Veldhuis acknowledged that, but he also told us that his exploits on the streaming scene have given him a fresh perspective on poker both as a game and a form of entertainment.
“Streaming has definitely rekindled my passion for poker. It gives you a direct line to people that love poker. They’re watching something they love. That’s invigorating because I feed off of their passion. You have a lot of experiences that might be normal to you as a poker player but are exciting to people who are new to the game. When they’re watching and getting excited, it makes you appreciate what you’re doing,” Lex Veldhuis told CardsChat.
Streaming also offers Veldhuis a break from the grind. Because he’s able to earn money from his Twitch and YouTube channels, he can take his foot off the gas and focus on entertaining his fans when the poker gods aren’t on his side.
“On the flipside, if you don’t feel like playing poker, you can just do streaming. So on those days you’re still streaming and having fun. It’s very easy, it’s like you’re doing two jobs at once and if one of them seems a little less exciting, you just pick the other one. It’s been great,” Veldhuis continued.
Coming at poker from all angles
As someone who started playing poker during the online boom and remained a popular figure ever since, Veldhuis understands that you need to be flexible. He isn’t stuck in his ways and will take inspiration from other mediums to ensure he creates the best content possible.
“If you look at chess, it’s been massive. The Queen’s Gambit, Jennifer Shahade, Nakamura, they’re all doing amazing things, so people are picking up chess all over the world. My channel gets rated by chess players like Hikaru and Gotham Chess all the time. There are a ton of similarities between poker and chess, and streaming platforms connect the two communities. This has been massive in terms of getting new people to watch poker,” said Veldhuis.
Lex Veldhuis the player became Lex Veldhuis the entertainer when he appeared on shows such as High Stakes Poker.
He parlayed his natural affinity for performing into a successful career on Twitch and, now, he’s looking to become a top vlogger. His YouTube channel is getting bigger and, according to the man himself, there’s a lot more to come.
“I thought [vlogging] was going to be a lot more stressful, but it’s been really fun. I think I’ve had more interactions at live poker events because of the vlog. I try to keep things natural. It’s fly-on-the-wall content, and one of the big things for me is that I brought a cameraman. I feel like having a cameraman keeps the interactions natural because it’s been done from a distance,” Veldhuis explained.
Lex Veldhuis shows fans how pros do it
Capturing the life of a pro and giving fans a view from the inside has made Veldhuis an instant hit with YouTube viewers. That’s great, but what’s more impressive is that Veldhuis is enjoying himself and that shines through in his content.
“The vlog has been interesting and it’s been received really well. And I’m enjoying it. I feel like, if it works and you enjoy it, the best thing to do is go for it. So I’m going to vlog all of my stops this year” said Veldhuis.
“I wanted to do a video every day when I first started, but my team said start with four uploads a week and build from there. For example, I’ve got Lex Reflects where I look back at High Stakes Poker hands. I hated the first few videos because it felt like I was forcing it. On Twitch, I just turn on the camera and do it. I wasn’t doing that with my YouTube videos, so I had to ignore the camera and be myself,” Lex Veldhuis continued.
From poker strategy to content strategies
As it is in poker, practice makes perfect. Veldhuis now has a content plan in place and he’s as meticulous with his YouTube videos as he is with every poker hand he plays.
“I’m fired up right now. People have said they can see it when I talk about YouTube content, so that’s a good sign. There are so many pools I can dip into on YouTube. I want to discuss poker hands, drama (in a positive way), help players, showcase new products, and provide educational content. The list of options is endless. YouTube has been liberating for me. The gears are turning and I can’t wait to battle people for subscribers,” he continued.
This desire to grow, evolve, and innovate has already got the cogs turning. Veldhuis is eager to create more content. Moreover, Lex Veldhuis is an innovator. He understands that poker is more than a game of timing, luck, and logic.
Fired up and ready to dominate YouTube
The Dutchman sees the bigger picture and knows that poker is as much about entertainment as it is winning. That’s why he’s always trying new things. Moreover, that’s why he remains at the top of the game as one of poker’s most popular figures.
“I’ve always reinvented myself. I played a lot online, then I discovered live events and played EPT season 2. Then I tried live cash games. I’ve always redirected my skills and now I feel the same about content creation. If you can stream on Twitch then, you can create YouTube content. I streamed on Twitch for six years and I started to get complacent,” said Veldhuis.
Passion and a dislike for complacency means Veldhuis isn’t going to rest on his laurels. 2023 is set to be a big year, which means poker fans can look forward to more exciting content from the PokerStars ambassador.
“I was safe and successful on Twitch, but it felt too small. So I had to break the wheel and do something big. That’s where YouTube comes in,” Veldhuis concluded.
To see what big things Lex Veldhuis has planned for his YouTube channel, as well as what he’s doing on Twitch, tap the links below: