Under The Gun: Inside the mind of Alexander Fitzgerald

Alex Fitzgerald at the WPT Borgata Poker Open, 2018
Craig Tapscott
Posted on: March 09, 2024 24:00 PST

Alexander Fitzgerald is a player who has made deep runs in tournaments across the world, including final table finishes at WPT Prague and EPT Sanremo, where he won a career-best live score of $223k. Under the screenname 'Assassinato' he's also forged a fierce reputation online, with millions of dollars in tournament winnings as well as WCOOP and SCOOP titles.

But while his tournament resume is impressive, it's as a poker coachand author that Fitzgerald has perhaps become best known. His Poker Headrush coaching site has helped numerous players fulfil their potential, while his books including Exploitative Play in Live Poker and The Myth Of Poker Talent have amassed hundreds of five-star reviews.

What’s one bit of essential prep you do before a big tournament or cash game session?

"Before every tournament or big cash game session, what I find will really separate you is sleep and exercise. If you eat something that’s not too heavy, if you get enough sleep and if you do any kind of exercise before you play then you’re going to be looser, more relaxed, you’ll let the game come to you… you’ll let the moment come to you rather than trying to make the moment."

What piece of strategy advice did you get when you first started playing that you wish you had ignored?

"I was constantly told that there were hands that were too good to fold. I was told you had to go broke with certain hands, like if you had Q-Q with 34 big blinds left in a tournament there was nothing you could do, the money had to go in. But there are times when you’re dealing with players who are so tight, with easy tells to exploit, that you can get away from hands you normally wouldn’t be able to get away from."

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve seen or done at the poker table?

"I watched a guy vomit into his hands once as he’d been out drinking the night before. And this was a major tournament."

Poker pro Alex Fitzgerald at the WPT Prague event in 2016

What’s your most memorable hand?

"The most memorable hand... One time, I don’t know what got into me, I was playing an online tournament with a first prize of, I want to say $300,000. There were seven people left, I 4-bet 6-2 offsuit, bet the flop, bet the turn and bet the river. I got the guy to fold and I showed everyone after. It was really reckless but it was a lot of fun at the time."

What’s your single best piece of advice for poker players?

"Play the big pots in position, heads-up, versus inferior ranges."

If you owned a poker room, who’s the first player you’d want to sign as an ambassador and why?

"I couldn’t even tell you that, to be honest. I looked up to the veterans when I started; guys like Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson and Chip Reese would teach you about longevity in their interviews. They taught you to take what the table would give you. They taught that poker players separate themselves by how they handle the bad times. They taught that the point of the game was taking as much money off the table as possible."

Images courtesy of the WPT