Bit About Me Series – Early University

Getting A Part Time Job
Once high school was over I set about getting a part-time job. I wasn’t really big on getting into retail or hospitality because I really didn’t want to have to deal with the general public. I ended up finding something that was actually pretty perfect me. I got a job as a shopping trolley collector at a major mall. I could be outdoors and keeping fit all while getting paid. I ended up doing it for about a year and it was actually a very physically demanding job. I would often times walk around for 8 hours in the middle of summer, hauling lines of like 20 trolleys at a time. All the while avoiding cars, pedestrians and breathing in disgusting fumes. My ass and thighs have never been as toned since I quit.

Starting University
I got a score that was way above my expectations at the end of high school and was able to get into the University of Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Commerce. Through the end of high school I was kind of aiming at RMIT Banking and Finance, which in retrospect may have been better given that it specifically was focussed on Finance and it also had a year of industry placement involved in it. I chose Melbourne though, because it has a bit more prestige and higher entrance score so it must be better right?

In first year I did a lot of economics, accounting and management subjects, not all that much finance. Though I had a constant fear of failure I actually ended up doing fairly well at the end of it all. I did make a few friends in first year, some of whom I still keep in contact with. For the most part though, Uni wasn’t all that much of a social experience. I generally wanted to go there and leave as soon as I could.

Throughout the first year of Uni I was having my first success at running a web site for profit. I had a site called HoboClicks, it was a “get paid to program”, not unlike EmailCash and those types of things. Basically, I accumulated a membership database of about 500 people. They were the motivated to receive advertising by getting paid to click links and do surveys. Advertisers paid me to promote their links and in turn I paid some of this on to the members and kept a profit for myself.

I didn’t make a killing, but it supplemented my income from the trolley pushing job and by the end of the year I decided to quit and let HoboClicks support me. That didn’t really last for long, because I fell into poker not long after.

Meeting Hui
In my time at HoboClicks I accumulated numerous contacts within the industry of making money through the internet. One of them was Hui Zhang, who for just about my entire HoboClicks career I assumed was just a random Chinese scammer (there tended to be a lot of them). One day we actually go to talking in depth and I found out he lived in Sydney. Over the following months we go to know each other a lot better, he got me involved in a few other investment opportunities and then eventually in a way he showed me poker.

My Poker Story
It was late 2004 and Hui was in my ear about signing up to this poker site and getting a free $10. The web site was Absolute Poker and after much deliberation I decided I couldn’t lose so I gave it ago. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and I lost the $10 pretty much straight away, but the software was on my computer and the seed was planted. Not long after they started showing World Poker Tour Season 1 on Australian Cable TV. I got hooked on watching it and eventually went back to Absolute Poker and played a lot of free money sit and go’s and freeroll tournaments. At first I was so dead set against depositing any real money for fear of “becoming addicted to gambling”. As I played a long summer of free poker though I slowly educated myself that poker tournaments weren’t really that much of a ‘gamble’ if you had somewhat of an idea of what you are during.

I eventually took the plunge and deposited $50 into my account and ended up doubling it to $100 over the course of a month playing 2 or 3 $1 sit and go’s at a time. My real breakthrough though came when Hui scored me a free $20 at Bodog. I used it to play cash games instead of tournaments, and in no time I had turned $20, into three figures, then four figures… I slowly learned strategy and about bonuses and my move through the micro stakes was very slow. I have no idea what my win rate or stats were, purchasing Poker Tracker was still a while off.

Trust A Mate Poker Tour
At the end of 2004 and throughout 2005 I organised a heap of poker home game events. There were a core group of about 20 players who would come along and it was generally a lot of fun. We called it the Trust A Mate Poker Tour (named after a web site I run). We would go around to various people’s houses throughout the weeks and play a one or two table tournament. A lot of the time there was no cash involved, it was just for fun, towards the end we started to introduce money and things got a little more interesting.

In my next Bit About me I will take a look at the latter half of University and possibly life beyond study.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

3 Comments + Add Comment

  • That was quick.

    Very interesting. I recall the Absolute Poker days, that was back on my old computer. Good times, good times.

    I was the same with uni, go in, hear lecture, go home. Much more interesting 😉

  • Thanks for the motivation :p

  • Nice post

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