Chris Ferguson: Wikis


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Chris Ferguson
Chris Ferguson 2.jpg
Ferguson at the 2007 World Series of Poker
Nickname(s) Jesus
Hometown Pacific Palisades, California
Born 11 April 1963 (1963-04-11) (age 46)
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s) 5
Money finishes 59 [1]
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
Winner, 2000
World Poker Tour
Titles None
Final tables 1 (+1)
Money finishes 10 (+1)
Information accurate as of 12 July 2009.

Christopher Philip Ferguson (born on April 11, 1963) is an American professional poker player. He has won five World Series of Poker events, including the 2000 WSOP Main Event, and the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship.[2]


Early life and education

Ferguson was born in Los Angeles, California.[3] Both Ferguson's parents have a doctoral degree in mathematics and his father, Thomas Ferguson, teaches game theory and theoretical probability at UCLA.[4]

Ferguson attended UCLA where he earned a Ph.D. in computer science (focusing on virtual network algorithms) in 1999 after five years as an undergraduate and 13 years as a graduate student.[5] His Ph.D. advisor was Leonard Kleinrock.[6]


Ferguson was playing poker by the age 10. In college he honed his skill on IRC playing poker for play money in chat rooms. In 1994, he began playing in tournaments in California and in 1995, he entered his first World Series of Poker. Ferguson beat T. J. Cloutier at the main event of the 2000 WSOP to win the $1.5 million prize. In 2004, he entered the WSOP main event, earning $120,000 for his 26th place finish (out of 2,576 players). Also in 2004, Ferguson helped launch the online poker site Full Tilt Poker.[7]

Ferguson finished runner-up to Phil Hellmuth in the 2005 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. He made the finals again in 2006, but again finished second, this time to Ted Forrest. In 2008 he made the finals for the third time, this time defeating Andy Bloch and winning the title. He has the most wins in the four-year period of the tournament, with an overall match record of 16-3.[citation needed]

In 2008, Ferguson cashed for US$677,905 at the WSOP,[8] a number that greatly exceeded his 2007 WSOP cash total of $84,562.[9] As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $7,800,000.[10] His 59 WSOP cashes account for $4,031,499 of those winnings and put him third for most cashes at the WSOP, behind Phil Hellmuth and Men Nguyen.[11]

He claims to have turned $1 into more than $20,000 playing online poker over six months as a personal challenge. He talked about this as a guest on Poker Night Live.[citation needed] Similarly, to show that it could be done, he turned $0 into $10,000 on Full Tilt by first winning freeroll tournaments. Despite achieving his goal, Ferguson has continued the challenge and was at one point over $20,000.[12] He has developed an algorithm for deal making for players who reach the final table in Full Tilt Poker's online tournaments.[13]

He is a relatively quiet player who often adopts a characteristic motionless pose to avoid providing information to his opponents. He adopted his trademark wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses consciously, trying to disguise the fact that he was a college student.[14]

His style is highly mathematical, using a strong knowledge of game theory and developing computer simulations to improve his understanding of the game.[7]

Ferguson is nicknamed "Jesus" because of his trademark long brown hair and beard.[15]

World Series of Poker bracelets

Year Tournament Prize (US$)
2000 $2,500 Seven Card Stud $151,000 [16]
2000 $10,000 No Limit Texas Hold 'em World Championship $1,500,000 [17]
2001 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight or Better $164,735 [18]
2003 $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight or Better $123,680 [19]
2003 $2,000 1/2 Limit Hold'em - 1/2 Seven Card Stud $66,220 [20]

In addition to these bracelets, Ferguson is the only player to have won three World Series of Poker circuit events.[21]

Personal life

His interests include his presidency of a swing dancing club at UCLA, as well as his ability to throw playing cards fast enough to cut through bananas, carrots, and even melons.[22]


  1. ^ "Chris Ferguson player ID". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  2. ^ "2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship". Bluff Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Chris Ferguson". Retrieved December 12, 2009. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Brooks, Michael (May 2007). "Time enough for countin'". NewScientist 194 (2604): 52–53. 
  6. ^ "PhD students supervised". Leonard Kleinrock. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  7. ^ a b What Would Jesus Bet? Alec Wilkinson, The Sporting Scene, The New Yorker, March 30, 2009
  8. ^ 2008 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Standings,
  9. ^ 2007 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Standings,
  10. ^ "Hendon Mob tournament results: Chris Ferguson". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  11. ^ World Series of Poker Earnings,
  12. ^ "Chris Ferguson Challenge". 2006-11-26. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  13. ^ Automatic Tournament Deals,
  14. ^ "Chris Ferguson interview". 
  15. ^ ""Jesus" origin". 
  16. ^ "2000 $2,500 Seven card Stud". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  17. ^ "$10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  18. ^ "$1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  19. ^ "$2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  20. ^ "$2,000 1/2 Limit Hold'em, 1/2 Seven Card Stud". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  21. ^ "Chris is first to three Circuit wins". 
  22. ^ Texas Throw'em #1 - #5

External links

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