LEX LIVE 3: Meet Simon ‘Mzzlaar’ Steenstra – the LL2 PLO champ seeking his second trophy

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 Simon Steenstra, better known to the Beaker Army on Twitch as ‘Mzzlaar’.

Hailing from Gouda (known for its namesake cheese) in The Netherlands, Mzzlaar is a 31-year-old Process Operator working in an oleochemical factory. To save you having to Google it (like we had to), an oleochemical is any chemical that has been derived from fats and oils. You’re welcome.

When he’s not at work, though, Mzzlaar is busy working on his poker game alongside friends and fellow community members. That hard work has already proved fruitful, particularly at Lex Live 2 back in October when he chopped the £100 Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) event with none other than PokerStars Ambassador Kalidou Sow. For that victory, he banked £1,440, having already won £840 earlier in the festival by reaching two final tables.

We spoke with Mzzlaar to find out how he discovered Lex, what the atmosphere is like at a Lex Live event, and why his trophy needs a friend.

PokerStars Blog: Hey Mzzlaar, are you looking forward to Lex Live 3 in April?

Simon ‘Mzzlaar’ Steenstra: Hey! Absolutely. I have attended both Lex Live 1 and 2, and I’ll do everything to ensure I never miss a future edition.

What do you enjoy the most about Lex Live?

The atmosphere is unlike any other poker event. The poker tournaments are very well organised and thought out, and every event is fun to play. But for me, the social aspect really stands out. Conversations at the table were nice, engaging with the players and also with Lex himself, never be scared to say hi to this champ.

Speaking of champs, you won yourself an LL2 trophy, right? That makes you the first Lex Live trophy winner we’ve spoken to, other than Spraggy.

Yeah, my most memorable moment is when I managed to win an LL2 trophy in the PLO tournament. I had already enjoyed some very good runs in the tournaments before, finishing fifth in the Knockout tournament and third in the 8-Game, but finally ‘took this one home’ after making a deal with [PokerStars Ambassador] Kalidou Sow when we got to the heads-up with equal stacks.

Kalidou Sow settled for second against Mzzlaar at LL2

Honestly, I would have loved to play it out against that crusher, but agreeing on a deal which granted me the trophy was something I couldn’t pass on. The trophy means a lot to me. I dust it off every morning, and now my goal is to find it a ‘friend’ at LL3.

What does the community mean to you?

Honestly, this community honestly is the best. I’ve made a lot of friends through it. I remember when I first met a few members of the community in real life, beforehand I was really nervous and stressed about meeting so many people I didn’t know, but from the moment we said hey it felt like I already knew them well and I had a great time. I can’t wait to see them all again in April.

What do you enjoy most about watching Lex on Twitch?

Of course, the poker part is my favourite part, especially when I come home from work late and he is still streaming, which usually means a deep run. I like the chill moments where you can really engage with both Lex and the chat, and also the moments of pure hype and craziness.



Did you discover Lex on Twitch or were you already familiar with him?

I first discovered Lex on TV, watching him play on High Stakes Poker. I later discovered my Dutch hero was streaming on Twitch. One day (around 3.5 years ago) Lex did a money giveaway which I won, and I then immediately spent it on a subscription to his channel. I’ve been subbed ever since!

As for my own poker playing, I was already playing a bit with friends occasionally, but always very casually, nothing serious. Lex has had a big impact on my poker dream and has inspired me to chase it.

You’ve clearly got some poker chops. How often do you play yourself?

I play poker on a regular basis, but not professionally, just as much as my job and social life allow me to. I try to attend a few nice poker events every year including the Lex Live stops, plus maybe a series in the Dutch and Belgian casino’s, or even at King’s Casino in Rozvadov.

Mzzlaar in action

Although I see myself as a hobbyist, my ambition always drives me to dive deeper into every aspect of poker. I’m lucky in that I have dedicated friends around me and we all push each other to get better. We discuss hands and study together often, which really helps me stay motivated. The results are quickly building up!

What about away from poker? Any hidden talents the community might not be aware of?

I like travelling a lot! I do dedicate a lot of my free time to poker, but luckily it is quite easy to combine those two. Another big passion is music. I love making music, playing my piano, or just listening to all kinds of music.

Any goals for the future?

My current goals in terms of poker are to establish a nice bankroll and build it up to a level that allows me to grind live tournaments up to a €1,000 buy-in. This will take some time, and for now, I have a lot of tournaments I can play already at the €200-300 level. My short term goal is to study more and work harder to get to the next level.

Article originally posted on PokerStars Blog
by Jack Stanton