Ten days of laughing, drinking, hanging out, hangovers, beer pong, movies, football, Twitch talk, selfies, saying “F**k Croaks”, Platinum Passes, virtual reality, and of course, poker.
It could only be Lex Live 2, but alas, it all comes to an end tonight.
Here at PokerStars Blog, we’ve been to countless poker events around the world. None we’ve been to have quite the same atmosphere that Lex Live does though, and so we urge anyone thinking of coming to one in the future to do just that.
You won’t regret it.
While the £230 Main Event is still playing down to a winner, we caught up with the man of the moment and this festival’s namesake, PokerStars Ambassador Lex Veldhuis, to discuss how he thinks everything went, what his highlights have been, and his plans for the future.
PokerStars Blog: Hey Lex. It really has been an amazing event. When you get back home, what do you think you’ll miss the most?
Lex Veldhuis: I think the weirdest thing is going to be walking into a room and not seeing a bunch of people sitting there who you can just pull up a chair next to and talk to, hang out, do fun things, talk about poker.
It’s really hard because not a lot of people in my life back home watch Twitch a lot, so if I want to discuss something which “Dr. Disrespect” did last night, I can say that here and half the people will know what I’m talking about. I’ll definitely miss that aspect; a lot of like-minded people sitting around, drinking beers.
What are some of your highlights from Lex Live 2?
People come to this event because they’re interested in poker and Twitch, but if you then provide community events that are different from that, all of a sudden people get to showcase different skills as well. I mean, some of those guys the other night were amazing at table tennis, they destroyed me. It was a competitive environment, which poker players really like, but it was still super relaxed.
Hiring out the movie theatre was really special to me because it was actually the realisation of a childhood dream of mine: to be with a lot of friends in a movie theatre and watch one of the most anticipated movies of the year. It was really great. Maybe next time we won’t watch one of the most psychologically dark movies with a hangover after beer pong at 10AM though.
Any low moments?
Spraggy winning that trophy is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. People don’t yet understand, but they will very soon. He’s going to abuse that thing. He’s going to shove it down everyone’s throat every chance he gets. If he wants to salt his steak on Instagram, he’s going to somehow use the trophy to do it. He’s always going to call himself a champion, and it’s going to be the most annoying thing ever for me. This is going to haunt me for years.
Were there any main differences between this Lex Live and the first one which you’re proud of?
One of the coolest things was that was we had Platinum Passes to give away this time. Being able to reward people for who they are in the community was awesome. There was no media drive, no social media anything. It was very pure. The people here are what makes poker on Twitch interesting and special, and what makes this event happen.
The community has been working hard all week on completing their Lex Live Adventure cards. What was it like for you, giving a Platinum Pass to the winner?
These guys were doing tasks that nobody wants to do. Like taking a photo with Spraggy, for example. Nobody wants that!
But they proved how supportive our community is. Chris Martin was the first person out of the Lex Live Adventure Sit & Go, but he was one of the first people to congratulate Tom Parsons when he won the Platinum Pass. Everyone who made it to that final got a standing ovation. You barely see that anywhere. People bubbling a chance at a Platinum Pass were still so excited for the other people who made it.
How can you possibly make this event bigger and better in the future?
It’s now our responsibility moving forward to make sure these cool experiences happen again. I want to avoid doing the same things over and over. Last time we had a pub quiz, and in the build-up to Lex Live 2, people were telling me they were studying for the next one. But guess what? There was no pub quiz this year. We’ve got to be creative. People shine in different areas. Everyone here has interesting skills and different interests.
Do you feel you have a personal stake in Tom Parsons‘ journey towards the PSPC, seeing as he won his Platinum Pass here at Lex Live 2?
I’m very invested in it. When I was looking at all of the guys on the Lex Live Adventure final table, Tom was probably the person I’ve spoken the least with so far as he’s only been playing poker and watching Twitch for around a year. I got to speak with him at this event though, and he’s just a super nice guy. His reaction to winning was incredible, he was so blown away to have everyone cheering for him.
He joined me in the commentary booth 20 minutes after and reliving that moment with him kind of bonds us together in his journey. I saw the emotions that went into it. I’ll be cheering for him the whole way.
What do your friends and family back home make of all this?
People around me back home always just knew that I was a professional poker player. I’ve been doing it for 15 years. After all that time, it kind of lost its novelty to them, y’know? They knew everything about it, they’ve asked me all the questions, they would ask me how it’s going, but after that, there wasn’t much to say.
But now that my family and friends can read Lex Live stuff on PokerStars Blog and see the photos and what the stream means to everyone, it has added a much deeper level. I always send them links to the PokerStars Blog and they’ve been loving it. It brings them closer to it and they get more involved. It’s nice for me too, because they understand it better.
There were so many streamers here, each with their own communities. Could you have envisioned this when you came up with the idea of Lex Live?
I think it’s turning into a Twitch poker convention, honestly. That’s been my ambition for it all along. I’ve always told other streamers: feel free to do stuff. Feel free to bring people here. Feel free to have your community show up and chisel out a spot for yourself in all of this. It was cool to see “GJReggie“, “PyeFacePoker” and the “OP-Poker” guys had their crews here.
Everyone from Twitch meets here, regardless of which community they’re originally from. Even the London locals have been hopping in community Sit & Gos, and stuff like that will help Twitch poker grow. It feels very wholesome.
Are you looking forward to getting back on stream?
Getting back to my stream after this will be really nice. I just know people better now. People who were previously quiet in the channel might start talking more now because they’ve been talking with everyone all week. They’ll feel even more a part of it.
I can’t wait to stream again. I have a long streaming schedule ahead for the winter with only one trip abroad planned (I’m going to the UFC with Spraggy, Fintan and qualifiers). But other than that I’m just going to be grinding and streaming.
Has London as a host city lived up to your expectations?
Everyone has loved being in London. It has been so easy for people to get here, a friend of mine from Copenhagen got here for €15, for example. When we were in French-speaking Belgium, we felt more like visitors because we couldn’t really interact with the locals. Here though, everyone has been chatting, railing, screaming. I don’t want to give that up.
Aspers Casino has been absolutely fantastic. John Scanlon, the poker room manager, has been up for anything. If I have an idea, he comes up with an even crazier version of it. So that’s been great.
It’s probably too early to say, but have you had any thoughts on Lex Live 3 yet?
Where and when is also going to specific because there will always be things I’d like to change or have added. It’s too early to set anything in stone, but we’ve been so happy with the way things have gone here.
The one thing I can confirm — one hundred thousand percent — is that there will be a Lex Live 3.
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