Video Vibes: Lex Veldhuis Talks About His Role in PokerStars’ New ‘Level Up With Lex’ Feature

PokerStars launched the “Level Up With Lex” training option in early December. The feature gives players personalized strategy advice from site ambassador Lex Veldhuis using artificial intelligence and personalized videos.

Level Up WIth Lex offers a high-tech approach to honing a player’s skills. Veldhuis’s tips focus on improvement and education based on that player’s actual playing style. 

After two months, players from around the world have had a chance to check out the feature. Veldhuis recently spoke with PokeScout about Level Up and his role in developing the strategy tool.

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A unique PokerStars training development

Level Up With Lex offers PokerStars players their own virtual coach. The technology reads and analyzes hand histories to detect mistakes as players play at the online tables.

Veldhuis believes the feature doesn’t just offer players a chance to improve, but is also an entertaining way for players to work on their skills.

“I think what really sets Level Up With Lex apart is that it’s a player-supporting tool that makes the community’s experiences in poker more pleasurable and fun,” he says, “while giving them highly personalized advice that’s easy to take on board, using innovative technology.”

The option can also be especially helpful to new players and shorten the time needed to see tangible results.

“I think that when you start playing poker it can be very daunting,” he says. “What hands do you play? What’s the strategy for a good starting hand – especially in real money games? I think the learning curve can be quite imposing.”

Veldhuis also likes the personalized aspect – giving players a coach in their corner.

“I think something that can help you not feel alone is getting the video from Level Up With Lex that points out some mistakes,” he says. “It also triggers a little bit of thinking about the depth of the strategy and really shows the depth of the game.”

Lending his voice

As one of the most popular Twitch poker streamers, educating other players is a big part of Veldhuis’s platform. PokerStars thought those aspects made the Dutch poker pro a good fit.

He also likes new players being able to watch one of his Level Up strategy videos and then heading to his Twitch stream to ask for even more advice.

“I think it’s a really cool first step to show them that they can find more information elsewhere, be helped and taught, and that they can share their interest in poker with like-minded people,” he says.

The actual video and voice production was a lengthy process. Beyond recording, he also made suggestions on voice lines and helped work on the wording in certain contexts.

“But all the learning content was done by the wonderful team that has a lot of experience working with the tool, knowing what works best and giving the right information for players,” Veldhuis says.

“I did about 20 hours of voice recording, which was quite funny. I must admit, it felt a little bit awkward at first – being on a Zoom call with four other people and having to say the line three or four times with different types of emotions. It was a fun process.”

The Level Up With Lex host battling it out at the live poker tables. The new toolk has received positive feedback so far. (photos courtesy PokerStars)

A helping hand

Educating other players has always been a part of Veldhuis’s platform. That motivation may come from his own days as a beginner in the game.

Early in his career while playing $1/$2 tables, Veldhuis wrote to a few poker pros asking for some advice. Some actually responded and Veldhuis found that extremely motivational and appreciated their efforts. The Level Up With Lex feature now allows him to extend some of his own efforts to help other players as well. The response may even serve as a springboard for even more strategy content from Veldhuis.

“It was an ‘all in this together’ kind of feeling and I think that’s really powerful,” he says. “I already have that through Twitch because I give people a lot of advice, which I enjoy, but Level Up With Lex is in a more traditional educational way.

“It’s not as reactive as when I’m streaming live, I’m speaking and interacting with the audience. Level Up With Lex is actually something that people use without me knowing and the most surprising thing is that it’s really triggered some sort of creativity for me and a sense of new things I would like to try.

Feedback and leveling up

There’s no shortage of strategy content available to players. However, Level Up brings something new to an online poker platform. Players get a video review of their play right in the software client.

So far, Veldhuis has been pleased with some of the feedback he’s received on the feature. For example, a friend playing Spin & Go’s and watched the video advice.

The player found the option a non-intrusive way of receiving feedback and a nice way to examine his playing habits.

“He said what it showed in the video was that what he was doing was actually a big mistake and he felt the challenge to play better next time,” Veldhuis says. “So that was pretty much the best feedback I could have gotten, so I was glad to hear that, and online in the Twitch chat I’ve had community members who have had experience with it and really liked it too.”

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Appealing to new players

Level Up is currently available for players at PokerStars Sit & Go tables. The company continues taking in feedback from players. For now, the tool is meant for beginners looking to improve their experience.

As more operators look to bring in new players and appeal to recreational players, Level Up With Lex offers a unique part of those efforts. The tool is meant to make players’ first poker experiences more pleasurable, safe, and fun.

Those who see improvements have a better chance of cashing in tournaments. That offers operators a chance to keep more players in the game and having fun.

“Generally, the thing I hear is that it’s a playful way to try and get better and I really think that poker should be like that,” Veldhuis says. “I think if you keep it as easy access for people and give them tips and point out bigger mistakes in a playful way, I think that goes a long way. So I’m really glad it’s being received that way.”

Lex Veldhuis encourages players to visit his Twitch channel and offer their own feedback on Level Up With Lex. he notes: “I have a very welcoming, chilled community, so there’s always plenty of advice from them as well.”

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