Question & Answers Series: Part One

I’ll be doing these Q&A blogs from time to time, so send any questions to me through the Contact Page and I will try and get to them!

What are some of the most common mistakes poker players or new to poker make?
Playing higher than your bankroll and skill level dictates and playing too many hands are definitely the biggest mistakes that you see. Beyond that there are really too many mistakes that people make to mention things like playing too passive, not being selective enough with your aggression and not adjusting to opponents in general. We all make mistakes and have leaks though; you can still make a lot of mistakes and win at poker. Becoming a better player is all about reducing your error rate and fixing your leaks. Improving your thought processes and learning from your past misjudgements are what it is all about.

What do you do to improve your game?
These days most of my poker study revolves around watching videos, reading forum posts and chatting with other players about hands, situations and concepts.

For an absolute beginner I think books are a great thing, but they can only teach you so much. Actual experience is very important, I think is putting the hands in is something that is easily forgotten. As you play a session note down some spots you have trouble with and go back and look at them later.
Ask plenty of questions and try and surround yourself by players better than you or those who are following the same progression you are. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know anything or look like an idiot or anything like that.

Another thing I have been looking at a lot lately is studying specific opponents and what makes them tick. I look for mistakes they make and also what their tendencies are that trouble me.

What keeps you motivated?
I would say that I am very easily motivated when I am doing something I am passionate about. And thankfully I am blessed with the freedom and time to mostly pursue things that I love. I’m a very competitive person, mostly with myself. I’m all about setting personal bests when I’m doing something or pushing to learn more whether it be in sport, a hobby, poker or life.

When it comes to poker, money is obviously a pretty good motivator, but my drive comes from beyond that. Being a winner and not a loser, whatever the stakes, is something that pushes me to improve. Just the satisfaction you get from being a winning poker player is pretty fulfilling. Poker is a tremendous challenge, just when you think you are starting to get your head around everything, new situations will arise where you will get completely lost. Studying hard and then coming to the realisation later on that your study has paid off in a certain instance is gratifying. Poker is ever evolving and impossible to master and that is why it is very hard to lose interest in it. Recognition is certainly something that doesn’t appeal to me when it comes to poker; I couldn’t care less if I was completely off everybody’s radar, that would actually be how I’d like it.

One thing I have noticed has really fired me up lately is hearing and seeing the results of some other people. When I see others around me doing well especially through hard work and dedication, then that inspires me to put my head down and try and do just as well.

What relaxes you after a tough day?
I have a few things I like to do to unwind. I like sports and exercise so going on a run, to the gym , playing cricket, indoor soccer, basketball or having a kick of the footy are all up there with things that I like to indulge in.

I also enjoy having a laugh, so I’ll watch a funny TV show or movie before bed so I can forget my woes. My favourite TV shows are The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, Curb Your Enthusiasm, How I Met Your Mother and a few others.

Beyond that… taking a bath is definitely up there with things that chill me out. Spending time with my girlfriend is of course something that I enjoy. I don’t mind playing video games every now and then either, but they can sometimes be frustrating.

When did you start goal setting and why, what is the importance of it, how has it benefited you, and how do you do it?
I can’t say when my goal setting started, because even as a very young kid I would have aspirations for the future. I would say a lot of my goal setting is just as result of my personality type. I’ve always been someone that is not only interested in pushing myself, but also very organised. I think that even without goal setting I’d still get a lot done and have many hops and dreams, but goals keep my focussed for the most part.

How do I do it? I guess I’m in-tune with what I want to get out of life and very decisive for the most part. I’m realistic about what sort of time frame I can achieve things in, so setting deadlines comes easy. At the end of the day my number one goal is to enjoy life, so if a goal isn’t going to plan or taking longer than expected I don’t beat myself up about it.

What some of your life goals?
I have a pretty wide and varying list. It includes all kind of random things like owning a pet turtle, going zorbing, a year without fast food, learning to juggle and buying a $1 lottery ticket everyday for a year. Then I have a lot of standard goals like travelling some more, paying off my student debt, bowling a 200+ game and finding my life’s work.

You have a degree in finance and you didn’t want to go into the finance industry?
I graduated in 2006 from my Commerce degree. At first I didn’t seek a job because I wanted to do some travel, which I did. Over the course of time I came to the realization that the corporate world probably wasn’t going to be for me. In all honesty, I really don’t value money highly enough to put myself through all that. Working for someone else really doesn’t appeal to me all that much. I would much rather make less money, have less security and be a whole lot happier working on my own projects. As for what the future holds, I really do not know, but I definitely want to start up my own business or acquire a franchise or something in the near future.

If you won $1 million what would you spend it on if you had to spend the lot within 24 hours?
Can you buy a house in 24 hours? That is the one big ticket item that I would want the most I would say. Beyond that if I couldn’t buy securities or invest the money in some other way I would probably try and spend it on things that might appreciate in value over time. I’m really not one for buying luxury cars or fancy watches or anything like that. So I would probably have a lot of trouble deciding what to blow a cool million on. Maybe I’d end up giving some to somebody who needed it a little more than I or paying off my parents mortgage or something.

If you had a choice would you still have your name as Andrew or would you change it?
Tough one, no I think I’d keep it. There are so many nicknames that can be spawned from not my first name and my surname and so many people call me different things, I’m not really sick of my name.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

3 Comments + Add Comment

  • What if you bought 365.25 lotto tickets in one day?

    I just gave you an easy life goal accomplishment in 1 day. You can thank me late.r

  • before you ask.

    sell action on the last ticket, obviously.

    I’m in a 3/4 if all the numbers you pick start with 1 and are consectuvive.vieive or howeverythefuck you spell that

  • That defeats the purpose! It is kind of like an advent calendar where you get one chocolate per day :p

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