Alex "Assassinato" Fitzgerald is not only one of the poker world's premiere players, he is also one of the most respected coaches in the game. For years he's shared his wisdom in both blog posts and magazine articles, while simultaneously tutoring hundreds of Assassinato Coaching students. Now, Fitzgerald is set to release his first-ever solo book titled The Myth of Poker Talent: Why Anyone Can Be a Great Poker Player.
Fitzgerald, who recently contributed to Jonathan Little's Excelling at No-Limit Hold'em, has partnered with D&B Publishing to create the book, which will come in at 336 pages and release in the United States in August 2016 and Europe a month later.
"The Myth of Poker Talent is a unique book and is the culmination of renowned poker trainer Alex Fitzgerald’s work with over 1000 students over a 10 year period," D&B Publishing states. "Alex has discovered what makes a winning poker player and here’s the good news… It has nothing to do with poker talent. If you want to excel at the game you’ll need to buy this book, study Alex’s method and work hard – but you don’t need talent. Alex’s method focuses on understanding generic poker situations and not specific hands. As a highly experienced teacher, he expresses his ideas in simple, easy-to-understand language."
The Myth of Poker Talent will teach you:
- A “model of poker” built from scratch
- An understanding of every poker tool
- Why much of what experienced players think they know is actually wrong.
PokerNews recently caught up with Fitzgerald to learn a little more about his book project:
PokerNews: For those who may not be familiar with your career, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Fitzgerald: I didn't come into poker like most of the kids these days. My parents didn't put me in school only to watch me drop out. I really wanted to go to university as a kid, but I was pretty poor. My family was on food stamps back before everyone and their mother was on them. My mom is disabled and my father couldn't be around. We lost our childhood home. I finished my senior year of high school in a friend's garage, without heating or plumbing. It was in Casino Road, Everett. Google it sometime. It was a real charming abode.
I got into poker not because I thought I was smart enough to do it. I just didn't know of any other way to make money. I was working every job you could imagine to make ends meet. I moved Persian carpets, mowed lawns, cooked at a fast food restaurant, worked security, and went up to Alaska for a couple months to fish commercially. Poker started as some pipe dream to get out of all of that. I can't believe how far I've come. Since I went pro in 2006 I've lived in four different continents, visited 40 countries, final tabled EPTs, multiple WCOOPs and FTOPs, and pretty much any other major you can think of online. Most people where I'm from dream of going to the Bahamas for a few days on their honeymoon. My wife and I get to go every year. I'm really the most blessed person I know.
How did the opportunity to write a poker book come about?
Jonathan Little and D&B Publishing contracted me to make a chapter for Excelling At No-Limit Hold'em. I had pages and pages of notes around my office anyway. I need them for when I do lessons. I wanted an excuse to put them together and provide them to the public. They provided me a good reason to do so, and I got to work. I was surprised how much I had to write to put everything together, but I found I really enjoyed the process, despite all the time it took to do all the graphs and hand range analyses.
When the book came out a number of people were kind enough to say they enjoyed my chapter and they wanted to read more from me. D&B approached me and we decided to give the people what they wanted.
What interested you in writing a poker book? How come it's taken so long?
I want to leave a legacy. In chess they follow every strategist with great respect. In poker it seems we want to tear down the people who can teach us the most. I want to leave a book with a date on it. When inevitably the first poker historians seek to untangle the early online era I want them to read what exactly my contributions were.
I've had many of my ideas ripped off without citation, and that's extremely frustrating. It was literally my life's work taken from me. Now I have an opportunity to get everything out there with my name on it.
The reason it took so long is it's been hard to find time. I have the world's largest tournament strategy consultancy with over 1,000 clients. The day-to-day work is enjoyable and rewarding, but very time consuming.
What sort of things can readers expect to find in your book?
The vast majority of poker literature and videos are worthless. It's a guy who has run good for two years telling you how aggressive he is. It does nothing for anyone. Many times people tell you what to do, but don't describe the methodology they used to come to their reasoning, so when the game changes again in three months you're using dated information.
This book will teach you how to think as a professional poker player and come to your own conclusions. I will give you the most complete blueprint I can to teach you how I play, but I'll show you how I came to my ideas, so you can make changes if you so desire. I am encouraging you to out think me and improve upon my model; I'm not trying to convince you why my ideas are the best. I want you to test them yourself and find they are the best.
Will your book be geared to any audience in particular (i.e. online vs. live players, cash games vs. tournaments, etc.)?
My book is for anyone who has wanted to be a professional poker player but was told they didn't have the right stuff. My work is for anyone who has been convinced that you have to possess some intangible talent that the "best" players supposedly have.
What I've written will show you that there's a good reason most "prodigal" poker players drop out after three years, or just become washed out regulars. There's a great over appraisal for skill, whereas every poker professional who has lasted a decade with me works their ass off.
The study they do is not beyond the comprehension of anyone who understands eighth grade math. The best players just do more of it than anyone else, and in fact 99% of the "professional" population has never worked on their game in this way, and that's why longevity eludes them.
My book is designed to show you how anyone can become part of that top percentile and start making a career from this game.
Can you tell us a bit about your coaching business?
I consider myself a very disciplined and solid professional poker player, but my real pride and joy is coaching. I have 1,000+ clients from 60+ countries. I teach most days of the week. My focus is on how to beat tournaments.
I love what I do. I get exposed to every poker playing culture around the world and hear all of their ideas. I highly doubt there's anyone on planet Earth who has watched as much online tournament poker as me. The practice and the teaching has brought my game to new heights, and I've been blessed enough to have many successful players come from my tutelage.
If your readers would like to contact me about a private lesson I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
What's next for you as far as poker is concerned? Where will we see you next?
I don't get out to many live tournaments anymore. I go to Vegas for the last couple weeks of the summer, just due to the sheer number of high stakes tournaments you can play. I go to the Bahamas too for the PCA. My wife met some locals the first year I took her there, and we've really enjoyed meeting up with them and seeing our friends from poker too. It's also just such a beautiful locale. I don't really go for the poker tournament. After growing up in the freezing Northwest without heating I'm still like a little kid when it comes to clear oceans and white sand. I can't get enough of running up and down it with my fat jiggling like some Baywatch episode from hell.
As far as actual poker, I'm still loving kicking back, drinking energy drinks, listening to talk radio, watching football, and playing high stakes tournaments. Can't imagine that's going to end anytime soon.
For more information, visit dandbpoker.com.