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Poker Question And Answer: Jim Anderson

Poker Pro Talks About Second Place At WPT Event In February At Borgata


Jim Anderson has made quite a name for himself in the poker world, in recent years. Currently 18th in the Player of the Year Race, the Ohio native is gaining ground fast. He has cashed more than $470,000 in 2013 already, and has no plans of letting up, with this year’s WSOP events in sight. Now boasting over $1 million in career tournament winnings, Anderson is making it hard for other players to ignore him.

This week, Card Player sat Anderson down and asked him about his pair of monster cashes, his opinions on transitioning from known to unknown, and how he plans to prepare for the upcoming WSOP events.

Logan Hronis: Tell us about how you were introduced to the game of poker, and why you were drawn to pursue it.

Jim Anderson: Sadly, I have the same old story as most people. Friends I worked with used to have a weekly $10 sit-and-go style game. I think I chopped it heads up my first time and was instantly hooked. Fast forward a year later, and I deposited and lost most of my graduation money on Party Poker, playing small limit cash games. Over the next couple years, I eventually became a winning player. I took some beatings on the way, but I thought I had it figured out.

LH: Talk a little about the poker scene in Ohio. Have you seen it change over the years, and do you expect it to be much different after the introduction of all the new casinos?

JA: I just moved to Pittsburgh so I’m a little out of touch with the Cleveland poker scene. I hear it’s doing well though. It’ll be nice when they finally get a good tournament to come into town.

LH: Your first big live win was a first place finish in 2010, and over a half million dollars. Talk about the emotion of such a large cash, and how it affected your attitudes toward poker, if at all.

JA: It’s pretty remarkable how different I played back in 2010 after my first big win. The whole trip was a last minute thing, and I wasn’t even expecting to play the main, but I won a preliminary event and they gave a $10,000 seat to every winner. Ended up going out one night and maybe drank a little too much and lost my phone. Was stuck in Chicago playing one of the biggest tournaments of my life and I had no phone and all my friends already left. Luckily I felt like I was freerolling, so played pretty free and easy to start. The final table was loaded with talent like Shannon Shorr, Doc Sands, Brandon Adams, Benard Lee and others. Sad to admit it, but going into the final table I was just trying to move up pay jumps and get as far as I could.

LH: Compare the 2010 win to the recent second place you took at Borgata, beating over a thousand entrants, but a similar payday. Which one was more difficult for you, and which would you say you had to play better to cash where you did? Please explain.

JA: Big difference from the mindset I had going into the Borgata. I had one goal, and that was to win. Of course, the tournament where I thought I had no shot I end up winning, and the tournament I go into with all the confidence I come up short.

LH: Since you have experienced such success recently, do you think people will be more likely to recognize you, and maybe play differently against you, either currently or in the near future? If so, would you consider that an advantage or a disadvantage?

JA: I’ve started to notice a little recognition in the smaller and local games. In bigger tourneys, I’m still an unknown. I think it’s a big advantage to play against known players when you are unknown. You kind of have a good idea how they are going to play, but they think you are a random player, which is tough to play against.

LH: What advice would you give a young aspiring poker player who has yet to achieve a life changing cash? If you can isolate one or two specific things that allow you to make it deep into larger tournaments, what would those things be?

JA: For aspiring players, I would recommend studying as many hands as humanly possible. There are many training sites out there, and talking hands with friends is extremely helpful. Probably one of my biggest pet peeves is not studying or discussing hands as much as I should be.

LH: Looking to the future, how will you prepare for the upcoming WSOP and beyond? Do you plan on making any changes in volume of tournaments, etc.?

JA: For the WSOP I plan to play as many tournaments as humanly possible. Probably going to take a little R&R beforehand to get me ready.

LH: Tell us a little about your tournament strategy — whether people would mostly consider you conservative or aggressive. Has your style changed at all, as you’ve played more poker? Please explain.

JA: My tournament game seems to change constantly. I remember reading once that somebody would be happy if they played a whole tournament without making a mistake they already knew about. I can sadly say I have never done that, even in my biggest scores. I think I change gears a lot and can be somewhat unpredictable, but that’s only my opinion. Other players might think I’m pretty bad.

LH: Talk about Jim Anderson off the felt. What other hobbies and interests do you have, and what does the future hold for you?

JA: Off the felt, I’m a pretty normal guy. I like to golf a lot. I’m not good and very frustrated by it. Other than that, just hanging out with the good friends I have, and taking life one step at a time — as cliché as it sounds, it might be the truth.

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