Veldhuis goes vertical at EPT Barcelona

Lex Veldhuis
Dutch Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis is among the leaders at EPT Barcelona going into Day 2.

Day 1b of PokerStars EPT Barcelona could not have gone any better for Dutch Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis.

Using the hyper-aggressive style he showed on the recent ESPN WSOP Main Event Day 1a broadcast, he rushed out to a massive chip lead and will look to better his seventh-place finish at the WSOP's $40k anniversary event as the Spanish leg of the EPT moves on.

"I was like 20 minutes late today and when I finally sat down I won big pot after big pot," Veldhuis told PokerListings. "I had a few set ups in my favor, but I did have one that didn't go my way. I ran ace-king into aces, but my sick running hotness evened things out."

Watching Veldhuis play is rarely boring. Known as RaSZi online, he can often be found mixing it up in as many as half a dozen hands an orbit and three betting ultra-light in a fearless attempt to amass a massive stack as quickly as he can.

However, he claims there is a method to his madness.

"It's so table dependant," he explained. "Sometimes I'll do that, but it will have to be at a really tight table where there is a lot of scared money. This table today I've been playing kind of tight. The people at the table are kind of familiar with my style of play, so I cannot play so erratically.

"I have to hope I catch some hands, play a little tighter than they expect, show up with a hand more often and trick them into calling - which was happening a lot more often today."

This bait-and-switch style of poker is something Veldhuis says he's hoping he can learn to do a little more as his career in the game continues.

Alexander Veldhuis
'I have a lot of self control problems.'

"I have a lot of self control problems," he explained. "Usually I think I'm going to play really tight because these people know me and then I just go crazy the whole day.

"It's something I should learn and implement in my game more, because when people are familiar with my crazy style, I can tighten up. I guess I'm still learning to do that."

His performance in the WSOP has been discussed ad nauseam on the online poker forums, with Veldhuis being vilified for raising with any two and showing a number of massive bluffs.

But, again, despite the fact it appeared like uncontrollable aggression, Veldhuis says it was all a part of a plan.

"I really think the reason I could keep bluffing was because I kept showing the bluffs," he said. "They were thinking I wouldn't do it again and they kept folding.

"I really think I coerced them into folding by showing the bluffs. I think if I wouldn't have shown any bluffs I would have gotten called more in the end.  People get curious."

And as far as those who disagreed with his cocky style are concerned, Veldhuis is less than concerned.

"It doesn't really matter if people agree or disagree with my style," he said. "When people say nice stuff it's good to hear, when they say bad stuff that's their opinion. But it is kind of strange when they call me a douche bag or a scum bag."

Like him or not, when Veldhuis builds a big stack early in a tournament like he has here at EPT Barcelona, he's a dangerous player.

"When I have a 100,000 chip stack I feel like I can have a 30,000 chip buffer and still have a better than average stack if I lose it," he said.

"So I have like 30,000 to play around with. When it's done I'll play a little tighter, but until then I try and put a lot of pressure on people and I seek out the people that also have big stacks, because they won't really want to get it in with me in a marginal spot.

"The bigger the stack, the bigger the pressure, because you can basically knock anyone out."

Veldhuis' run at EPT Barcelona glory will continue Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CEST and PokerListings will have comprehensive coverage on our Live Tournaments page.

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