If you can get yourself to London this week, you definitely should.
Lex Live 2 is heating up, with just a few more Day 1 flights of the £230 buy-in, £100K guaranteed Main Event still to go.
While the likes of Lex Veldhuis, Benj “Spraggy” Spragg, Fintan “easywithaces” Hand, Chris Moneymaker and Kalidou Sow have made their own way here, alongside hundreds of members of Lex’s Twitch community, a select few managed to win their way to the big smoke through online qualifiers on PokerStars.
We had a chat with two of them to find out why they wanted to be here, and what it means to them now that they are.
Glenn van Ingelghem
31 years old, from Belgium
With two young daughters and another on the way, life at home is pretty busy for Glenn van Ingelghem. Combine that with his job at a medical company as a Technical Coordinator for anesthetic machines, and it doesn’t leave him much free time.
“Gaming is the only way I can relax,” van Ingelghem tells PokerStars Blog. That, and watching Lex Veldhuis on Twitch.
“I was really attached to his stream a few years ago, so I became a helping hand in the channel as a Moderator. From then on I had the most fun in my life and the most success in poker so far. Lex kind of taught me how to play low stakes and grind up to the medium stakes which I’m playing now.”
However, getting divorced put a strain on his personal life. Poker (and Twitch) took a backseat, but his passion for the game never waned.
When the chance to qualify for Lex Live 2 rolled around, van Ingelghem jumped at it. He still remembers the feeling when he realised he’d won a package.
“The moment I knew I won a ticket the adrenaline was really rushing true my veins. I won the Triple Threat for $3K, so I decided to take a shot for the package. On my first bullet, I ended up fifth, just three spots away from winning a package. I was very disappointed because I really wanted to attend Lex Live 2.
“The week after I gave it another shot and managed to win the package. It’s a dream coming true for me. It was really a way for me a way to show I had happiness back in my life. In my mind, it became a confirmation that everything is falling into place.”
Van Ingelghem is now in London for Lex Live 2, and as he tells us, live events are rather new to him.
“I’ve only played some Dutch Open bounty tournaments at the Holland Casino in Breda. It’s the nearest casino to where I live.”
That’s not to say he hasn’t had some good online results though. “My biggest achievement in poker is a fifth-place finish in the $1,050 Thursday Thrill on PokerStars, during which I played with David Peters on the final table,” he tells us.
As for catching up with Lex, van Ingelghem can’t wait.
“I can only tell you that in the hardest moments of my life, he was the guy that cheered me up,” he explains. “I’ve met him two or three times now as I was a Moderator of his channel. I will always remember the surprise we arranged for him. The mods of that time (Delloor, RuthAnnK, brodady, MPADAM, Extempore and bizzo) sent him a beer basket for his birthday two years ago. When I met him for the first time I knew he was just one of us. A guy who likes to entertain, troll and knows how and what he wants to do in life.
“I’m really looking forward to this event and meeting everybody from Lex’s community.”
28 years old, from Vlissingen, Netherlands
Rocco Blanc is a real estate broker who loves to travel, particularly when he can combine it with a poker trip. Lex Live 2 is perfect, then, because not only can he do that, he also gets to catch up with an old friend.
“Lex is actually a real-life friend of mine, so it’s awesome that I can come and support him in London at his own tournament. I couldn’t make it to the first Lex Live but I was told the people and community around Lex’s stream and Lex Live are really nice. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and having some fun in London!”
With some live tournament success already under his belt, we’re sure Blanc will have a blast this week. He hopes Lex does too.
“I think Lex is playing a very important role in the current poker community in which he is doing an amazing job.”
As for the Main Event, Blanc is calling his shot early.
“I’ve had some lives cashes but my biggest tournament scores are from online poker. I plan on winning Lex Live in London though!”