Incredible stories keep emerging from Lex Live 2 in London, and today we’ve created one more.
The Lex Live Adventure was a scavenger hunt in which members of Lex Veldhuis’ Twitch community each received a card. On each card were a bunch of tasks that needed to be completed (and the card then stamped) before 10:30am this morning.
One of the 24 who completed his card was Northern Ireland’s Tom Parsons. But you might know the 21-year-old better by his Twitch name, “Predator410”.
“We all thought the prize would be a t-shirt or something,” Parsons tells PokerStars Blog, referring to the fact that the prize had been kept a secret.
“So when Lex told us the prize was a Platinum Pass, I just started shaking.”
Yep. The winner would receive a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship 2020.
“My favourite task was probably the one where we had to take a photo of ourselves with the Lex cardboard cutout,” Parsons tells us. “I took a selfie of me kissing Lex, and then people on Twitter like Fintan Hand were like, ‘Mate, I can’t believe you’ve done this’.”
— Tom Parsons (@PredPoker) September 30, 2019
Parsons then won a single-hand flip out to book himself a seat the six-handed Lex Live Adventure finale. With so much on the line and a winner-take-all format, the super-hyper-turbo Sit & Go was remarkably relaxed. The thing is, after 15 minutes, there was going to be an all-in flip, so having chips was key.
Parsons knew this, and when he picked up queen-jack offsuit, he decided to go for it. “I knew it was an above-average hand, and that if I picked up chips prior to the flip, I could still survive even if I didn’t win,” he tells us.
The queen-jack doubled up through ace-eight suited, just in the time for the flip. You can check that out below:
Parsons emotions were clear for all to see as the news he’d be heading to Barcelona for the PSPC 2020 sunk in. Lex arrived on stage to present his Platinum Pass, and the two embraced, knowing they’d be setting off on this journey together from here on out.
“This has just been the most ridiculous day of my life,” he says. “100 percent. I haven’t eaten all day, and I’m not even hungry anymore. How could I feel anything else but complete euphoria right now?”
A STREAMER WITH A DREAM
Under the name “Predator410”, Parsons is actually a Twitch streamer himself.
“I was on Twitch one day in January 2018 watching game streams, and I saw a channel which had an EPT broadcast on. I played a few freerolls and thought poker was really fun,” he says. “I wasn’t playing much though, just watching Fintan and Spraggy’s duel streams, and then I heard about Lex and started watching him and became a part of his community.”
Then—as fate would have it—an opportunity arose for a journey which, bizarrely, has been completed here at Lex Live 2.
“Around the time I discovered poker was when they announced the first PSPC to the Bahamas. I thought: ‘Hmmm, maybe I do want to play more poker’, and then two weeks later they announced Jason Somerville’s Run It Up Next Top Streamer competition, which had a Platinum Pass for the winner. I really wanted to win one.
“I figured if I’m going to start playing poker, I might as well stream alongside it, and people can watch me learn both.”
Parsons finished in the top ten, narrowly missing out on the Platinum Pass. It was worth it though, as it meant he met his now good friends and fellow streamers, Georgina “GJReggie” James and Mason “PyeFacePoker” Pye, both of whom are now PokerStars streamers.
“From day one we were always in each other’s streams,” Parsons tells us. “We’d have like three viewers each, and it was each other. Now they’re both signed with PokerStars. Amazing.”
Back home in Northern Ireland, Parsons is an International Politics student and doesn’t get a chance to play live poker. Playing on PokerStars became his passion, and he’s had some success despite only playing for a year.
“I play the micro stakes, and I started a bankroll challenge with $50. Now there’s usually more money in my PokerStars account then there is in my actual bank account. I’m paying rent, working, studying, so all the money just disappears. Streaming has actually been a nice boost to my income. When subs come in, that can sometimes pay my rent for a month.”
That, and poker winnings, of course.
“I satellited into the $109 SCOOP Main Event for $2 and cashed for $1.7K, but then I went on a horrendous downswing. That’s why all my friends were just shouting “Run like Pred!” on the rail. It became our little joke. If you were playing and running bad, you were “running like Pred”. But now I’ve won this Platinum Pass, that might have to stop!”
Parsons even has a MicroMillions title under his belt, won in a game he’d barely played before.
“Right in the middle of that downswing, I hopped in the $3.30 Fusion Poker event during MicroMillions. I’d watched OP-Poker James play it, and ran hot the whole tournament. I don’t think I lost a hand. I ended up winning it for around $800. The money didn’t matter though, it was more about the prestige.”
— Tom Parsons (@PredPoker) July 22, 2019
Now Parsons can’t wait to get back online and fire up a stream. With a Platinum Pass in hand, he’s sure to attract some new viewers.
“I really enjoy streaming, and I’ve had an amazing first year. The bankroll keeps going up–I’ve never busted my bankroll–and I’ve made so many friends through the poker community. To have this Platinum Pass now, it’s a dream.”
PLATINUM PASS WINNER PATRICK WINTERBOTTOM | BEER PONG EVENING | STREAMER SHOWDOWN | SPRAGGY WINS THE FU FLIP | ‘DAMMO_23’ INTERVIEW | WELCOME PARTY PHOTO GALLERY | POKER IN THE EARS PODCAST | HIGH ROLLERS IN TOWN | LEX LIVE ADVENTURE | MEET THE QUALIFIERS
WHY YOU SHOULD COME TO LEX LIVE
Parsons is clearly a very popular fellow here at Lex Live 2, but you get the feeling that had any other player won the Pass, he’d be just as supportive to them as they have been to him.
“I couldn’t imagine a better event to win a Platinum Pass at,” he tells us. “I had actually planned to go try and win a Pass at the Moneymaker Tour stop in Dublin, but it looks like I don’t need to worry about that now. I probably will go and play it though, just for the experience.”
You will definitely see me at LL3. Favourite memory? That's a hard one! Probably seeing @TomParsons410 win the platinum pass! He deserves it so much!!!
— Sanne Bombeek (@Sb_Antim00n) October 5, 2019
“I have minimal live poker experience, but I have a huge network of people around me who can help me improve my game. When I first started playing poker “RichyRob” was one of the first people to really help me out. Then PokerStars Ambassador OP-Poker Nick put me in my first ever live tournament. He sent me a message on a Friday, told me he was going to Dublin on Saturday, and he said: “If you can get here, you’re playing”. So he really helped me out.”
There’s one player in particular that Parsons would like to thank though, and that’s PokerStars Ambassador and streamer extraordinaire, Fintan Hand.
“He helps me every day,” Parsons says. “Whenever I’m playing I’ll send him hands, and he gets straight back to me, even if he’s on stream. I’m always asking him what I can do for him because he’s always doing so much for me.”
Lex Live and Twitch poker have created one of the friendliest and most supportive communities we’ve seen. We wondered what Parsons would say to anyone out there who is thinking of coming to the next Lex Live stop.
“You have to come to Lex Live,” he says. “Everyone you meet will say hello. Everyone wears name tags so you know who they are. It’s just been the most amazing community experience. The opportunities for people here have been so good. If you don’t play much live poker, come and play. Nobody is trying too hard, everyone’s drinking at the table and having a good chat. Everyone is having so much fun. You simply have to come to the next one.”
After a brief stint in the commentary booth with Lex (“I just started crying again!” Parsons admits), our latest Platinum Pass winner took a moment outside to call his parents and let them know the good news.
“I rang my dad because he likes me playing poker. My mum, on the other hand, hates it. She really does not like me playing. But I just spoke with her and told her I’d won €26,000 Euros and a trip to Barcelona. She was like, “whoa! No way!”
Who knows? Maybe we’ll even see Mr and Mrs Parsons at the Lex Live 3.
One thing we know for sure, though: you’ll see Tom “Predator410” Parsons at the PSPC 2020.
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