Everybody ready? Here we go, on the count of three. One…Two…Three…
Of all the people from Lex Veldhuis’s Twitch community who have travelled to Namur for Lex Live, only one of them has had others frequently coming up to them and swearing. All in the name of fun, I should point out.
That person is Croaks, also known as Adrian, and he’s one of Veldhuis’s Twitch moderators. As a cornerstone of the community, we caught up with Croaks at the welcome party to find out how he got into Twitch, what it takes to be a moderator, and the history behind his namesake meme.
PokerStars Blog: Hi Croaks. Where does that name come from?
Croaks: I was looking for a PokerStars username, and I didn’t know the English meaning of the word back in the day. I just wanted something English-sounding, that sounded kind of cool. Somehow Croaks got in my mind. I don’t know how!
Do you still play on PokerStars?
Yeah, I play a lot. I’ve actually been playing a lot the past two weeks, lots of Spin and Gos, grinding six-max hyper turbos. I usually don’t play during streams because I’m busy with other stuff. Sometimes I play one table because I’ll try and get on the same table as Lex to try and troll him! Those are usually $11 hypers. But normally I just get to my own grind afterwards.
I bet it’s quite common for viewers to register tournaments purely for the chance of playing on the same table as Lex and getting on stream.
Yeah, especially in those hypers! They usually only have a few hundred runners, and you’re just waiting for there to be a spot open on Lex’s table. The chances are pretty good to end up on his table.
How did you come to start working with Lex?
It’s a long story. It started off with me discovering Twitch poker in general, back when Jason “JCarver” Somerville was doing his streams, and I watched him for a long time. Before Lex had even started streaming I was a big part of the community, talking in chat, watching streams etc. When Lex started streaming I was watching a lot, and I saw him becoming one of the biggest streamers in Twitch poker. Jason wasn’t streaming as much as he was focused on building Run It Up behind the scenes.
I was kind of a troll in Lex’s stream one and a half years ago, but still a very active member of the community. At some point, I think I made a joke about being Lex’s moderator. Like, “ModCroaks” or something. But then I got to be the mod! I don’t know how it happened. I think I became an honorary mod for one day or something. But after that, Lex was like: ‘Maybe Croaks is actually good at it’. That’s how it happened, and I’m still mod!
What are your working days like?
Since I’ve also been working with Jason at Run It Up Studios, this is my full-time job now: to mod. So it’s kind of like an everyday job. I get up in the morning, I get ready for the stream, just like I’d get ready for work before. It’s a real job for me.
A lot of people might not though what it takes to be a Twitch mod. What can you tell us about it?
I can understand why people might say it’s more chilled than other jobs, and I agree with that, but there are situations–particularly during Sunday streams when it gets super busy and Lex is playing more than ten tables at a time–when it gets busy on my side too. I’m keeping track of payouts, making commands in our chat, and keeping an eye on the chat at the same time. There are a few people who post stuff that shouldn’t be in chat, so I’ve got to keep an eye on it.
We heard you’ve put together a quiz for Lex Live?
Yeah, we’re going to have the Lex Live pub quiz on Saturday, and my fellow mod RuthAnnK and I had to come up questions for it. We organised it, it’s been a lot of fun. I think anyone who has been part of the community for a long time can get a good score in it, so it’s not super hard. But you’ve got to know about poker, you’ve got to know the poker pros and events from the past.
How did #FuckCroaks come about then?
Well, I was a troll. Back in the day, I’d troll a lot. I’d make small donations just so I could get a voice message on stream to troll Lex. A few other people started doing the same, so it worked out. But at some point, Lex had a stream where someone donated $10 and just said: “Fuck you”. That’s where the “Fuck you <3” meme came from. One of our regular other trolls, aside from me, he donated and said: ‘why do we say fuck you, when we could say fuck Croaks and blame him for everything bad’.
It’s fun. I’m not mad about it all. I’m a troll myself, so I just see it as a fun meme. It’s actually crazy how many people have come up to me at this live event already and say “Fuck Croaks!”. Even online, I’m not kidding, when I’m playing on PokerStars tables people ask “Are you Croaks?” or say “Fuck Croaks” every single day.
What’s it been like for you to watch Lex’s streams get bigger, both in terms of tournament buy-ins and viewers?
It’s insane. It’s great to be a part of it. He’s been doing so well. It’s become so big. When he peaked at 34,200 viewers, I could never have imagined he’d do that when I first started watching. Usually, people go to Twitch to watch games, but there were 34,200 people sitting at their computers watching a guy play cards. It’s insane. It’s awesome for the game of poker. I love poker, it’s why I do all this. I enjoy the game of poker, and I just want to see Twitch poker grow.
Lex is doing the best, and it couldn’t be going any better. He peaked at 8,000 subscribers on Twitch, as a poker streamer. A guy who plays cards. If you understand Twitch, you know how big that is.
Finally, how have you been enjoying Lex Live so far?
I’ve met a lot of people. I’ve been kind of nervous before, especially meeting Lex. He was an idol of mine. A couple of years back I watched him on the PokerStars Big Game. I was watching him with Daniel Negreanu and others, and now I’m working with him, and Jason too. That’s why I was so nervous about meeting him, but when I actually met him he greeted me like a friend he’d known for so long. Now I work with him every fucking day!
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