In the build-up to the highly anticipated Lex Live 3, we’ll be introducing you to a different member of Lex Veldhuis’ Twitch community every week.
This week our guest is Ben “TheBenMartin98” Martin.
Martin is a 21-year-old student from Guildford who has attended both Lex Live 1 & 2, where he became a prominent member of Lex Veldhuis’ community. He’s also a Twitch streamer in his own right who grinded hard during PokerStars streamers Georgina “GJReggie” James and Mason “Pyefacepoker” Pye’s #DareToStream challenge.
While he considers himself a low stakes player, Martin has enjoyed some success both live and online, most notably with an 11th-place finish in a $109 PKO edition of the Sunday Million back in June 2019, good for an $8,000 score. Last year, Martin also appeared on the Poker in the Ears podcast for a round of Superfan vs Stapes.
Here we chat about his university life and career goals, his poker journey so far, and what he’s looking forward to Lex Live 3.
PokerStars Blog: Hey Ben, can you remember when poker first enter your life?
Ben “TheBenMartin98” Martin: Hey! Yeah, I first discovered poker during my first year at University. Before that, I had never really encountered it at all besides reading about it once in The Dangerous Book For Boys when I was about 12 and thinking it seemed way too hard for me. During my first year at Uni, some of my flatmates started playing in the flat a few nights a week for £5 and I was really bad, to begin with. I lost almost every time, but I enjoyed every moment of it.
The journey from there has been quite amazing for me. Over the past year, I have had quite a lot of success in both online and live poker which has helped me pay my way through my final year at University and given me the opportunity to attend Lex Live 1 and 2. I still play with my friends in home games or when we visit Aspers Casino together, but the majority of what I play is online on PokerStars.
What are you studying at university?
I’m in my final year at the University of Surrey studying Economics and Maths. I’d always been interested in Maths from an early age and after I studied Economics in sixth-form I realised that they were the subjects that I wanted to study at University.
I’ve thought about a few different career paths while I’ve been studying, from working in hedge funds to teaching maths in schools, but right now I’m thinking about working with children in outreach, which I did during my placement year last year. That’s currently my plan for what I’m going to do when I graduate, but honestly, I would love to be a part of the poker industry in some form, either as a player or some other form of professional in the industry.
How did you first discover Lex?
I first discovered Lex about two and a half years ago, near the beginning of my poker journey, and I’ve been subscribed to his channel for 25 months. When I discovered him I was getting more and more into poker and I had just found Twitch in general, so I started watching Lex. It wasn’t until later that I found out who he was and watched all of the old TV poker clips which just made me keep watching from there.
I think Lex is the best person on Twitch poker and a really good ambassador for the game too. The thing I love the most about Lex’s channel is how much he cares about the community and the interaction he has with others in the chat.
What does this community mean to you?
I have met some really great friends through Twitch poker and Lex’s channel in particular and that’s one of the reasons why I think Lex Live is so amazing, it really does help you make friends for life and gives you life-changing experiences.
This community is one of the most important things that I have in my life right now. Everyone genuinely looks out for each other and you end up finding people that aren’t just “online friends” but real-life friends who are important parts of each other’s lives. At Lex Live 1 I got to meet people and form the relationships that now mean so much to me, and this was only furthered at Lex Live 2, so I can’t wait to see what happens at the third instalment.
Having attended both LL1 and LL2, what are your some of your fondest Lex Live memories?
Lex Live 1 was great and I loved just being able to explore the Namur area, go out to eat and get to know members of the community. Lex Live 2 allowed me to improve on all of this. I had the opportunity to attend my first ever football match, saw a private screening of the Joker movie with just members of the community in attendance, and played my first live 6+ Hold ‘Em event which was very fun.
I also took part in some old school prop betting with someone else who attended the event which resulted in me running around the casino trying to prevent “Zeeth” from losing a set amount of money in an hour, while “PhantomPoker” was trying to get him to lose the money. Lex was giggling in the background at how much it was stressing me out! I won the bet in the end but I learned my lesson about prop bets for the future.
Is there anything, in particular, you’re looking forward to playing?
I think there are two really interesting new additions to the schedule that I will hopefully be able to play: the Tag Team Match and the Sit & Go Battle Royale. I may not be able to play the Tag Team as I’ll definitely be playing the Big Freeze the same day, but I am really looking forward to whatever the Sit & Go Battle Royale involves as the community sit & gos are one of the best aspects of the poker at Lex Live events. They allow you to play with the community and put the fun back in poker. There’s nothing more fun than winning a huge pot off Spraggy (I think he’s hated me for this ever since).
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about coming to LL3?
If someone was thinking of coming to Lex Live 3 but they’re undecided, perhaps because they’d be travelling alone or they’re nervous about social situations, I would say “DO NOT WORRY!”.
Going to Lex Live 1 was the best decision I’ve made and I had to make the trip by myself even though I hadn’t met anyone from the community before. Even if you are travelling alone and you’re nervous, you will be welcomed into the community with open arms, and if you are a poker/Lex fan you will have lots of fun.
What do you like to do away from poker/Twitch?
The vast majority of my time is taken up with university work as I am in my final year. When I’m not at Uni I’m usually hanging out with my friends and playing pool at the pub.
Any goals for the near future?
In the near future, I want to get back to live streaming poker on my Twitch channel. I streamed a lot in December for the #DareToStream challenge run by “GJReggie” and “Pyefacepoker” and when I got back to Uni in January I felt very burned out and had exams to study for, so I haven’t streamed since December. I am looking forward to building my community back up and having some fun on the Twitch streets!
Another poker-related goal I have is to do everything in my power to try to win a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC). In late 2019 I was trying everything I could, including playing multiple Moneymaker Tour events and participating in the #DareToStream challenge, and I plan to continue trying to win one this year. Hopefully, I’ll #RunLikePred.
You can win your seat to Lex Live 3 on PokerStars from just $0.75. Click here to open an account and get started.