Chris “Jesus” Ferguson is a man who can definitely put the fear in most occasional players. Looking like he stepped out of a classic Western, Chris Ferguson has established himself as one of the most well known players in the world of poker. But images can be deceiving. If you dig just a little deeper, a whole different picture of Chris Ferguson is revealed. The man who won 5 WSOP bracelets is one of the most humble and pleasant players in the world of poker and he stands out from the rest in many more aspects than just the visual one.
Chris Ferguson was born in Los Angeles, in 1963. He was familiar with the game before his tenth birthday and, when he found the early, chat based, poker games in the 1990s, he was hooked. After a few years of online gaming, Chris thought it was time to try his luck in a live event and, in 1995, Ferguson had his first WSOP experience, earning money with a fifth place finish.
Chris Ferguson’s Tournament Breakthrough
By this stage, Chris had definitely gotten a taste of tournament play in the big picture. But, it would take awhile before his entry to the real big leagues. About five years. In 2000, at the 31st edition of the World Series of Poker, Chris won the $2,500 7-Card Stud event. The year after, he beat T.J. Cloutier in the Main Event final and the victory meant that Chris had written his way into the poker history books.
Inspired by his success, Chris continued to take part in the WSOP. He won his third title the following year, this time in the Omaha Hi/Lo Split Eight or Better and, in 2003, came the fourth (Omaha Hi/Lo Split Eight or Better) and fifth (1/2 Limit Hold’em and 1/2 7-Card Stud) titles. One can hardly dispute the fact that Chris Ferguson is an extremely well rounded player who dominates several different poker variants.
Chris is perhaps the most successful poker player of the last ten years and it is not just in WSOP context that the charismatic American has shown his qualities. Chris is also an excellent heads-up player. After two straight second place finishes, in the 2005 and 2006 NBC National Heads Up tournaments, respectively, his first outright victory in the prestigious tournament came in early March of 2008. Ferguson beat Andy Bloch in the final.
Chris Ferguson gets a Doctorate
Patience, mathematics and strategy. These form the basis of Chris “Jesus” Ferguson’s poker playing. That’s in addition to a father who teaches gaming theory at the university level. With that in mind, perhaps it isn’t so strange that Chris has made a name for himself as a tight poker player who rarely, or never, takes big risks and a fairly educated guess would be that his view of poker is largely founded on his interest in strategy and tactics.
Chris is an educated gentleman who spent a number of years at university. His main subject during his 18 year (!) long university studies was Computer Science, in which he holds a Doctor’s degree. And it is clear to see that Chris applies his knowledge of the subject when at the poker table. His playing style could be described as tight, cautious and completely calculating, with most decisions based on careful analysis and predetermined possibilities. As opposed to the majority of his competitors, Chris Ferguson takes no needless risks.
Going his own way
Even those who know almost nothing about him realise that Chris Ferguson stands out from the vast majority of poker players. But, as mentioned previously, it is not only his appearance that distinguishes Chris. As opposed to a large percentage of players that regularly take part in the various tournaments, Chris is completely uninterested in other kinds of poker and casino games.
Ferguson isn’t the kind that is drawn to cash games or the roulette table should he find himself leaving a tournament. Instead, Chris tends to dedicate himself to dancing, for which he has developed an intense interest over the years. Just how many poker players would turn down an enticing cash game to go social dancing instead is debatable, but in all likelihood, the number would not be too high.
Another interesting side of Chris is his interest for games at the absolute lowest levels. Here we have a player who is clearly able to hold his own at the absolute top, but instead of taking part in heated cash games, would rather choose to play online tournaments with blinds of $0.01/$0.02. His reason: seeking new challenges. To understand the whole, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson is a good example of not being able to judge a book by its cover. Something that poker players over the years have certainly been forced to find out.