Most casino games require a good deal of risk on the player’s account. This is true even of poker. It is a game of precise strategizing to be sure. But if you need the prize, you have to stick your neck into danger. Likewise, most poker players who make it big know how to juggle risk and reward. Some of them are the cold and calculating type – a good example would be Chris Moneymaker. Others, however, make for some very colourful personalities. And for this, probably the prime example in recent poker history is yet another Chris — Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson. There is not much explanation for the ‘Jesus’ moniker other than his staple appearance.
Chris likes to wear his hair long, and a long brown beard to go with it. That is, however, remotely not the most interesting trivia about Chris Ferguson. He is one of the most famous personalities in the Poker world, and not exactly in the positive sense. To draw a parallel, Chris Ferguson’s reputation would be akin to that of Vince McMohan in the wrestling world. In this article, we will take a look at who Chris Ferguson is, and the reasons for his fame/infamy.
Chris’ proclivity to the realm of poker started in early childhood. Some would say that even his parentage was a helpful factor in it. Chris was born to doctorate parents in LA, California. His father’s area of expertise is of note in p[articular. Thomas S. Ferguson had a keen interest in game theory, and he was a teacher of theoretical probability in UCLA – the same university Chris himself would get in later on. It is quite likely that Chris Ferguson had helpful pointers propel him towards more strategic gameplay early on. Anyhow, he started playing poker as early as the age of 10.
Chris’ college years were the heyday of online cardrooms, which presented a very opportune moment to say the least. Of course, it was before the actual boom of online poker interest in the early 2000s. Nevertheless, he played the early prototype of online poker today: poker in the IRC chat protocol environment. Needless to say, this is likely where Chris found the practice room to hone his skills and become a better poker player than most gamblers were in the 90’s.
And sure enough, this mathematical background and years of practice paved the way for Chris’ successful pro poker career. He was nothing short of a poker wunderkind back in the day. Chris entered his first WSOP in 1994, still a college student. Likely, this is where he picked up his trademark ensemble of hat and sunglasses. It was to hide the fact that he was a college student. Furthermore, it helped his gameplay by concealing his expression. As most poker enthusiasts will know, Chris continues to wear a pair of glasses and the cowboy hat almost as a fashion statement. This mysterious look is all the more compatible with Chris’ way of gameplay.
Despite how he might look at a glance, Chris Ferguson is prominent in his calm table manners and mathematical gameplay. Remember that this is in the 90’s and 2000’s, an age defined with a cheesier, louder style of branding and advertisement where the composed nature of mathematical poker play was still a rarity.
Chris Ferguson has had an impressive poker career through and through, with a string of accolades on the way. Till date, he holds six WSOP bracelet and a total of about $6,000,000 winnings from WSOP cashes alone. The most recent of these bracelets was in the 2017 World Series – which contributed to his title of the ‘Poker Player of The Year’ in the same year. This, of course, remains a rather touchy and controversial topic. Because by then, an infamous scandal marred Chris’ reputation.
The Full Tilt Poker Scandal
Chris Ferguson was one of the founding contributors of Full Tilt Poker when it went online in 2004. It was the biggest online poker cardroom of the 2000’s, if you discount the other big name, PokerStars. The customers of Full Tilt Poker, however, all gradually learned of its many dodgy tactics. As the 2011 proceedings of a federal criminal case against Full Tilt Poker revealed, the whole company was a global ponzi scheme.
The court investigations confirmed that Howard Lederar and Rafe Furst were very much culprits in the Full Tilt Poker scandal. Chris Ferguson, as we discussed, was an investor as well. But Chris’ involvement in the actual mismanagement and/or fraud remains a topic of debate. Whether he was indeed an evil megamind to exploit thousands of common people or not, his popularity seems relatively unfazed. The 2017 ‘Player of The Year’ title all but confirms this. After all, he is also the eccentric quite ‘Jesus’ in a cowboy hat with the card throwing talent to cut through fruits at ease.
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