Lex Veldhuis teaming up with BBZ Poker is like two superstar NBA players joining the same team. It might feel a little unfair to the other players, but for us in the audience? It’s superb.
We’re guaranteed to get to watch some incredible action.
This week, we sat down for a call with the Twitch streamer extraordinaire to discuss how he first met Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond (a.k.a. BBZ), how his community is going to greatly benefit from BBZ’s coaching, and why apestyles and bungakat are “assholes”.
Check it out.
BBZ Blog: Hey Lex, it’s great to have you on the BBZ Team. How did you and Jordan first get in contact?
Lex Veldhuis: Hey, thanks! Jordan and I have actually met a few times in the past and we’ve had coaching sessions in the past too. He hit me up and asked if we could talk, then he outlined this awesome coaching plan that would involve my audience, so everything matches together really well. It got me super excited because I want to be transparent with my audience. This is a perfect way to take them on that journey as well. It’s going to be cool for them to see.
You mentioned in your announcement that BBZ’s plan includes your Twitch audience getting to ‘learn along’ with you. That sounds really cool.
Yeah, so last year my audience noticed that I started working on my game a lot. I got coaching and my results started improving. But they didn’t really get to see the back side of that, y’know? They only saw the front. They see the stream. They see results. They hear me talk about hands a little bit differently. They see me feel more confident. But what is really important for me on Twitch is sharing my journey and I think that’s why people that watch me like doing so because I share a lot. I’m very open about results or when I think I’m playing bad or when I’m struggling in real life with something. I’m very open with my audience. But I felt like the coaching was behind closed doors.
Now I’m working with BBZ, they’ll get to see the coaching, see the subjects we cover, and then see it being played out on screen, so I think that’s going to be great for people as there will be multiple angles to the story.
You’ve already released the launch video, that’s a great starting point.
Exactly. In the launch video, you’ll see that we go through all of my stats and win rates, nothing is hidden. It doesn’t get any more naked than showing your win rate in poker. But we realised we need a starting point as we’re going to showcase my journey.
The most important thing we have is time, right? Time is limited. Time is finite. You can never get any more of it. It’s something I’ve always struggled with which is the reason I never got to study or get coaching at the start of my streaming career. When I wasn’t streaming the most important thing for me was to improve the stream, the graphics, the community. That’s an extra 15 hours of work a week right there, but I don’t really want to work more than 60 hours a week. So where do I find the time for coaching in that?
That’s why it was really valuable to me when Jordan said ‘hey, you have an awesome community, here’s a 15-step plan of how we’ll make you a lot better at poker while simultaneously including your audience and creating content that they can follow.’
There certainly seems to be a synergy between you and Jordan. You might be the two hardest working people in poker. What is it that clicks between you both?
Well, first of all, thank you. I like to have complete confidence in the people I work with. My graphics designer knows exactly what I need, same with my YouTube editor and my moderators, I almost never have to speak to them but they come up with amazing ideas and things run so smoothly. That saves me time which really benefits the stream.
I’m now going to have the exact same benefits with my coaching from BBZ. It’s invaluable. I recognize a lot of the same work ethic in Jordan. I can tell that he wants things to go as efficiently as possible, as smoothly as possible, and I feel like he’s built the BBZ team in the same way.
I feel like this is the perfect match. I think we really connect in the way we grind, the way we look for opportunities to be creative, that really strikes home with me. I feel like we complement each other well and we’re going to combine all of our strengths to come together and create content. There’s a lot of mutual respect, and that’s really motivating, y’know? We can drive each other to new heights.
You’ll now get coached by the same team that coaches your fellow PokerStars Team Pros, Fintan Hand (easywithaces), Ben Spragg (Spraggy), and Parker Talbot (Tonkaaaa). Is it cool knowing that you and your friends are now studying under the same team?
Fintan, Spraggy and Parker are good friends of mine, you know? We’re all close. Fintan and Spraggy are coming to my wedding, for example, and we’re having a small wedding, so that tells you something. I’ve known Parker for a really long time too, we used to play video games together when he was a sit & go player and I was a PLO player. I really value them as friends.
It’s amazing to be on the same team with them and to be in the same business. We feel very comfortable with each other. When we’ve travelled for poker events together it really feels like we’re on a friends’ trip.
They were always raving about BBZ and their recommendations mean a lot to me. When I decided I wanted to study more, Parker said I should really talk to Jordan and the three of us had dinner at the PCA. We had a couple of coaching sessions together that I really enjoyed and that kickstarted everything.
You can just tell the knowledge that they’ve gained, the preparation, the way they think about hands, how often they study, how the coaching sessions go, the seminars they attend, it all sounded really positive.
If you look at Parker, he was already a good player when he took a break from streaming. Then he had regular sessions with Jordan and now Parker is insanely good and incredibly tough to play against. Seeing his transformation was great.
What are your experiences with BBZ coaches Jonathan “apestyles” Van Fleet, Jargo “bungakat” Alaväli and Jon “luckyfish89” Clark?
It’s funny. I didn’t have to watch the apestyles’ bundle or Jargo’s bundle to know how great they are. I simply played against these guys constantly over the past year in $5Ks, $2Ks, $1Ks, $500s.
I was actually going to say ‘these assholes’ because that’s how good I think they play. They always go for that super annoying value bet, that 3-bet when you don’t want it, the ICM pressure when you really don’t want to face it.
It’s not just them either, it’s luckyfish89 too and players associated with BBZ like Conor Beresford (“1_conor_b_1”). All of those guys are animals. That’s actually what piqued my interest the most. I want to learn to play like that too.
But I’m never going to be a poker teacher. I’ll never be the guy showing sims and giving lessons on multi-way pots or going over hands from a $25K. But what I think I can do is be a good vehicle for the audience who want to take poker more seriously. I can be a translator for them.
Can you tell us anything about what products and ideas you have in store with BBZ?
We’re definitely going to put out a bundle. Most likely it will be me being taught subjects that are super important for everyone to know. So I’ll be asking the questions that the audience wants answering.
When Jordan says something that is 400IQ, it might be easy for apestyles and Jargo to immediately understand, but I’ll be asking questions for clarification, then recording videos after my sessions explaining what I think and how I can apply what I’ve learned. Then on my stream, we can pull back those concepts and take questions from my community.
I think this bundle will be different to anything you’ve seen before. I hope it will be easier to digest than a lot of coaching content on the internet. It’s for people who say to me, ‘hey Lex, I want to get better, I have reasonable results, but now it’s time to take it more seriously. Where do I start?’
Honestly, in my head, I can immediately think of like four or five bundles that we could do.
The crazy thing about all of this? I’m going to be coached while all of this content creation is going on. That’s why all of these ideas are so brilliant. Everything fits together: the community aspect, the studying aspect, the content aspect. It’s a super-efficient way for me to improve my stream, help my audience and get better at poker. I’m very excited.