LEX LIVE 3: The online qualifier with a last name Toogood to be true

Move over, Chris Moneymaker. There’s a new poker last name in town.

Last week on PokerStars, Phil Toogood — yep, Toogood is his real last name — went from a $0.75 Lex Live 3 Step 1 satellite all the way to a $55 qualifier with three packages worth $1,050 guaranteed.

He took down one of those packages and has now booked his trip to London in April where he’ll be playing in the £230 LL3 Main Event.

If he goes on to win it, you might say it would be…Toogood to be true.

Anyway, meet Phil.


Twitch name: Toogood32
Age: 27
From: Bedfordshire, England
Occupation: Former chef, now aspiring poker pro

PokerStars Blog: Hey Phil, congratulations on winning a package to Lex Live 3! Also, congratulations on having one of the best last names in poker. What were the details of your satellite win?

Phil Toogood: Thanks! I got through a $0.75 sit & go on my second or third attempt, which got me into the $5 satellite. I didn’t have to re-buy in that either, just got through to the $55 satellite on one bullet!

Brilliant. How did the satellite go for you overall? Any interesting hands you remember?

I wish I could remember. I’m pretty sure I got a little short in the $5 satellite at first. I’ve played a fair few satellites with a similar structure and used to play Sunday Million sit & gos quite regularly so I was very comfortable with my game when everyone was super short (1-20bb deep as we got close to the bubble).

The $55 qualifier was very touch-and-go, as far as I remember. I was never super deep stacked as we got closer to the final few and I was one of the shorter stacks when we were in the final five down to the three that won the package. I just had to pick my spots. The guy on my direct left was also short stacked so it meant I could shove a lot of my small blinds (SB) into his big blind (BB). He was also playing passive so I got to see a lot of free flops blind versus blind without him showing aggression back. I think it was important to pick up chips in those spots because the SB and button when I was in the BB had the two largest stacks so I was constantly losing chips to their open-shoves Btn vs BB and SB vs BB.

Sounds like you had a good strategy. What spurred you to play those steps towards the LL3 satellite?

Like most, I was on Lex’s stream and he was advertising that they were running so I thought why not? I was already excited about the prospect of going to LL3 so if I could find my way there for cheap, I figured I may as well give it a shot.

Have you attended a Lex Live before?

Yeah, I did manage to get out to LL2 on the last day possible! I was out of town helping family while all the Main Event flights were happening and I thought I may miss the event completely but I found some free time and made it down to the last flight on the final Day 1 and I survived to make it to Day 2!

Day 2 I was put on the feature streamed table with [PokerStars Ambassador] Arlie Shaban, which was super fun. I also got to meet Lex, Fintan and that lanky fella too, I forget his name [We assume Phil means Spraggy].

Phil Toogood playing on the live stream at LL2

It was super cool to meet those guys, especially as I am trying to gain success as a poker Twitch streamer too, so meeting some of the guys that inspired me gave me a ton of motivation! It was great to meet them and other people there excited by the atmosphere of the event. Getting there late meant I did miss out on a lot of the group events but I’ll be sure to be there for all of that at LL3!

Oh, and I made the money in the Main Event, so that’s always nice.

What are you most looking forward to at LL3?

I’m just looking forward to being able to meet new people, say hi to people I didn’t get to meet at LL2, get more involved in the community events, and generally be there for long enough to soak up more of the community atmosphere and have a blast with the Main Event and any side events. A beer (or maybe even have a vodka cranberry) with the mixed-game legend that is [PokerStars Streamer] Mason “PyeFacePoker” Pye would be a nice bonus.



How long have you been watching Lex on Twitch?

I must’ve discovered Lex shortly after I got into Twitch back in 2016. I went to see if there were poker streamers. I think I found Spraggy first but naturally, after that I found others and Lex was one of the first after that. Being a big poker fan, I’ve seen just about every episode oftThe World Series of Poker Main Event coverage, High Stakes PokerPoker After Dark and The Big Game, so I knew all about the legend of the Lex Veldhuis and his bluffy ways. It was cool that I could watch someone I’d seen on TV so much live, and be able to interact with him and his insanely cool, generous community.

Toogood on vacation in San Francisco

What is it about his stream that inspired you to start streaming yourself?

He’s honest with his audience and own emotions. You can relate when he’s tilted by a situation because he wears his emotions on his sleeve, without letting it affect his game. He gives back to his community and always has ways we can get more involved or win cool things like I just have!

He also plays some of the higher stakes online tournaments and doesn’t try to hide that he isn’t the world’s number one player. He gives credit to really good players, but still works hard to be the best he can while maintaining the stream and his schedule. He just keeps it real.

What’s your poker background? Tell us your poker journey so far.

Typical start to poker: I learned in school with friends at 16. Made a PokerStars account at 18. I went to university, spent my loans on playing games I shouldn’t have been playing, and ended up living on pasta at times.

I then got to play a UKIPT event in Newcastle when I was 18 and that was huge for me, being able to play in the tournaments I’d seen on TV and see players like Liv Boeree and Vicky Coren in real life. It was a great experience. In 2015 I went to Bristol to play another UKIPT and visit a friend living there. We all were hyped to play the main event which we were buying in for with our own money, which was a lot of cash for us (£770). We went to the casino to sign up and noticed they had side events so we all played the £150 side event, which somehow I won for £3,080! Later in the week, I finished third in another £150 6-max turbo for £1,390.

Toogood’s winner’s photo from UKIPT Bristol (2015)

Although it didn’t go well in the main event I played a £109 online satellite to the Estrellas Poker Tour €1K main event that was part of EPT Barcelona, and continuing my ridiculous run I won the online satellite and in less than a week or two was in Barcelona playing a €1K! It was my first proper EPT experience and one I’ll never forget.

Since then I’ve had some success online in tournaments here and there. I’d been working part-time as a chef in 2017-2018 but since then have just focused on poker full time, especially recently trying to see if I can be a full-time poker player and streamer. I got to play another €1K in Barcelona early last year and had a decent win in the $11 Bounty Builder late last year. I’m feeling pretty confident with my game as of late.

It all sounds very promising. What are your goals for the future?

I’m going to move to London with my girlfriend (who’s in the U.S.) and stream poker more and as often as I can. I want to see as much more of the world as I can and meet and work with great people. I’m dying to go to Japan and a big win at LL3 would give me the chance to take my parents there and have an amazing holiday.

Be like Toogood: win your way to LL3, too

Article originally posted on PokerStars Blog
by Jack Stanton