LEX LIVE 3: Meet ‘viTNE’, who overcame anxiety to bond with this community

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 Gardar Svavarsson, better known to the Beaker Army on Twitch as ‘viTNE’.

The 29-year-old from Norway had never attended a live poker event prior to Lex Live 2 back in October 2019 and was very open about the anxiousness he felt leading up to it. “I’ve always been scared of meeting new people and my self-esteem has always been close to zero. I struggled with bullying and had a really rough time growing up,” he wrote in a blog post when he got home, having had the time of his life at LL2. You can read that blog post here.

You might also recognise him from the Lex Live Adventure sit & go, which was streamed live from Aspers Casino and saw Tom ‘Predator410’ Parsons win a Platinum Pass. viTNE will be back in London this April to see his friends, play some poker, drink some beers, and give out some hugs.

We talked to viTNE about what inspired him to write that blog, the impact Lex Live 2 had on him, and more.

PokerStars Blog: Hey viTNE, Lex Live 3 is just around the corner. Excited?

Gardar ‘viTNE’ Svavarsson: Hey! Absolutely. I can’t wait to meet the community again, both old and new faces.

There will be many people attending LL3 who have never been to a community event like this before. They might have some nerves. What would you say to them?

Lex’s community is just amazing. It’s pure and made out of gold, and so welcoming. Getting to know this kind of a community is mind-blowing! I’m so glad that I found it. If you’re coming to LL3, don’t be shy. We’d like to get to know you!

What were your favourite parts of LL2?

Definitely just meeting the community and getting to meet Lex for the first time. I also got to play live for the first time [Lex even gave me a ticket to play the Main Event!]. I got to talk and interact with the community every day.

I also loved the scavenger hunt [viTNE was the only participant to complete all 10 tasks, and won a special Beaker trophy for his efforts]. I also enjoyed [PokerStars AmbassadorMason ‘Pyefacepoker’ Pye‘s daily hugs and all the beers. Everything was great.

viTNE with his Beaker trophy

When you got home you wrote a detailed blog post about your time at LL2. What inspired you to write that?

The main people who inspired me are my mother, ‘Milkovw’ & ‘new_dave’. The day I got home, I sat down with my mother and I talked about my experience and she saw how good it was for me. I then decided to write it all down and post some of my photos. Each one had its own little story.

Milkovw and new_dave had also written amazing blog posts before me, and they encouraged me to write mine. The community’s reaction was amazing, I had nothing but good feedback (even though I misspelt a lot!). It warmed my heart and felt good, so maybe I’ll write one about LL3, I’ve not decided yet.



How did you first discover Lex?

Back in the day, the World Series of Poker uploaded three or four new episodes per week on YouTube every summer. I saw Lex playing and he made five bluffs in a row or something like that. It was many years later that I’d discover him on Twitch.

My favourite thing about watching Lex on Twitch is when he’s going deep in a tournament and we’re all railing and sweating him. Every hand matters. Every pot matters. Next thing you know he’s playing Sway and we’re on the final table. Goosebumps are rising. We’re all hoping his hands hold up, and when he ships it the hype in Twitch chat is just amazing.

viTNE with Lex Veldhuis and TjennoE

Do you play poker yourself?

Yeah, I guess I’d have to go back to around 2006 which was when I first found poker on Facebook. After that, I started playing for real money but I always struggled to have bankroll management. I was always playing too high or playing cash games and going broke. So I played on and off for the past 10 years, before depositing $10 on my PokerStars account.

I ended up chopping a $2.20 Bubble Rush tournament and the day after I won a $7.50 Bubble Rush. After that, I joined Lex’s community and Croaks and I became Bubble Rush buddies. From then on I was very aware of bankroll management and set limits on PokerStars so I wouldn’t blow my bankroll. I’ve been an active player ever since.

I also have to say that before finding Lex I never had a good sleeping schedule, but around 18 months ago I finally managed to turn that around. These days I grind the morning schedule with Lex. Even though he is playing higher buy-ins than me, I’ll occasionally meet him on the tables in the lower stakes tournaments.

What do you like to do away from poker?

I’ve always been a big gamer, so I enjoy playing games when I find something interesting to play. I also enjoy spending time with my little sister and her children. My nephews are amazing! I also help out my mother whenever she needs me. My family comes before any grind in the world.

Article originally posted on PokerStars Blog
by Jack Stanton