Interview with Lex 'RaSZi' Veldhuis
Friday, 24 September 2010
Dutch sensation Lex Veldhuis interrupts his WSOP Main Event to talk online poker.
How’s your online game at the moment?
I'm actually playing a lot of PLO online, which is going really well. I'm still learning the game, so it's refreshing to play online at the moment. Online got a little too robotic at certain points, but I'm really enjoying it now. I play a little less during the World Series, but when the Main Event is over, I will get back on the grind again.
You've experienced some big swings. How does that affect you emotionally?
Emotionally, I don't like it when I start doubting my game. That's when I have emotional swings and I feel really bad, but although I have big swings, they don't correlate to my emotions. Obviously, no ones like it when they lose.
I understand you were a StarCraft player like ElkY. Does playing strategy games help with poker?
I think StarCraft teaches you in the same way that chess teaches some poker players. I learned to think quickly and more strategically by playing StarCraft, and also how to multitask, which is really important when I multi-table online. For me, it’s mostly about thinking and handling speed, which then transfers over to online poker. I was nowhere near as good as ElkY, but I played it and I knew him through the game, and he was one of the people who got me into poker.
Do these skills come naturally to you?
I think it's mostly just conditioning because, for example, I've been playing Zelda since I was five, and it goes from there. If you play these crazy kinds of games when you're young, then you're going to develop something in that department, which will naturally flow into another game. Luckily, I ended up playing a game that I can make money from.
How has your online game developed recently?
In the last couple of months, my game has completely changed, and I think I improved something like 200 percent. I was really stuck into a certain way of playing that I wasn't happy with and, through some trends, I rethought my whole No Limit game which motivated me to learn new games, and now I know how fun it is to play poker when you're learning. I'm as confident as I can be in my game at the moment and it's just really good to be playing poker that way again.
Do you have any weaknesses you're looking to improve on?
I think one of my biggest weaknesses right now is knowing when I should or should not play. Sometimes I really don't feel like playing No Limit Hold'em cash and I do it anyway, whereas my EV might be higher in a game I hardly play. I guess that's my biggest weakness.
Sometimes I don't play enough because for the last five years I think I've played too much, and that annoys me a little. But now I'm playing PLO, it's going a lot better again.
Have you ever reached a point where you feel you’re playing too much and starting to hate the lifestyle, like Shaun Deeb and Timex?
You can play too much poker but there are so many different varieties of poker to choose from. If I'm sick of online, I'll go play live. If I'm sick of live cash games, I'll go play tournaments. There's always a form of poker that's interesting. I think it's a really stagnating process if you keep quitting and starting again as you're never fully into it, and I think it's important to just go for it if that's what you want to do. I'm not going to have some setback demotivate me; I'll just try something that can motivate me again.
I hear you've been playing more mixed games...
I started this year where I registered for some WSOP events that I'd never played before and I thought it was so much fun, so it was a nice change for my WSOP. I'm really getting into that right now.