Pro-Files: Chris Ferguson

Four Dogs

Four Dogs

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Coming Soon


It's been a while since I did one of these. My Poker Tracker crashed about 6 months ago and I lost over 100,000 hands including 20,000 or so pro hands I had collected from Full Tilt. However, since then I have re-built my library back up to a respectable level and feel like giving the pro-files series another go, and what better way to start than by profiling one of the most recognized and respected professional poker players in the world, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.

I had the good fortune of catching many of Chris Fergusons sessions during his run from zero to hero, turning zero dollars into $10,000 and we are the beneficiaries. Ordinarily the big pros play at the nose bleed levels, and even after collecting thousands of hands, one has to wonder how or if their successfull approaches to playing the game translate to the limits that most amatures are used to playing; not so with Chris. The 1200 or so hands I've collected on him are all from very affordable limits, from $2/$4 to $10/$20 including 14 with yours truly. Also, because Chris is a prolific writer we also have the ability to compare his written word to his actual (on-line) playing habits. We can see if he practices what he preaches.

In the next few days I'll try to post some of his stats, such as starting hands, positional stats, betting, raising, calling frequencies, aggression factors and perhaps some hand samples. Also, I'm not sure I can keep myself from editorializing but in the end, these are just stats and anyone is free to interpret them in any way they wish.

I encourage dialogue and in the past I have even transfered the complete hand histories to some members who's understanding of the statistics I thought might be of assitance in interpreting their meanings. I've always intended these profiles to be a continuous event and if anyone has any questions about how Chris or any of the other pros featured in the past (Mike Matusow and Ben Roberts) play a particular hand or situation, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to help.

See you tomorrow with some goodies.
 
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rainsoaked

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I'm looking forward to this. Thanks for doing it!
 
Four Dogs

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Sorry for the delay. I was going to post this first screen shot about an hour ago but my attention was unexpectedly diverted.:smile:

I'm going to start this out with what anyone familiar with PokerTracker will recognize as the MoreDetail report. For those not familiar, it is in essence, the meat and potatoes of any player profile and like a fingerprint, no two are ever the same. Some of the concepts and abbreviations may be a bit confusing to PT newcomers, so rather than reinvent the wheel I've provided a link to a PokerTracker Guide which explains what it all means.

I've got some chores to run, so for the moment I'll post the image only, sans comments. Hopefully some of the CC PT experts like ChuckTs, F Paulson or Dorkus Malorkus will be able to answer any quick questions. I admit it's a little dry and alien at first glance but it will all make more sense as we go on.
 

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Debi

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Thanks FD - this will be very interesting.
 
DaFrench1

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Makes really interesting reading, thanks for putting this up for our benefit.
 
dj11

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T'weren't no normal diversion! That's a bonerfide distraction!
 
Four Dogs

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Now that I've given you all some time to digest the first image it's time to add some positional statistics.
 

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Four Dogs

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What we can gather from this is that Chris holds position in very high regard. We see that overall he puts money into the pot about 20% of the time from all positions but as his position improves his standards for opening hands loosens considerably. In general he's only opening with premium hands, for the most part better than top 10%. In fact, in over 1300 hands I haven't found an instance where he's shown down an unpaired starting hand worse than AJs, or 88 for paired hands.

I'd say his standards for opening hands fall into 4 categories. The blinds. early position (which to him is anything farther than 2OB) then 1 and 2 OB, and finally the button.

What he's looking for as he approaches the button are hands he can steal with but that will stand up to a call, preferably from the blinds. You might see hands as bad as KJo in these positions. For paired hands, the worst I've seen is JJ 3OB and 99 2OB, but because of the lower paired hands from earlier postions I'd be willing to believe he's playing paired hands down to as low as 77. Haven't seen it yet though.

Now for the button. He no longer fears an OP call. Regardless of his hand, he will have position for all remaining betting rounds. He's now playing a whopping 29% of all his hands. I know that doesn't sound very high, but for Chris that's super loose. In fact, that's actually a whopping high nuber for anyone if you remove all the hands where someone in EP has opened with a raise. He doesn't often call these which means that in order for him to have a vp$ip of close to 30% he really must be playing any 50% hand.
He's shown down pairs as low as 66 and unpaired hands down to 98o.

Now for the blinds. Given the right pot odds, he'll call from the blind with any hand. Iv'e seen all pairs down to 22 and unpaired hands down to 75o.

I have more to say on this subject, but I've got to run. I'll be back later.
 
rainsoaked

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This stuff is good to see. I'm surprised at the number for completing the SB, though. Perhaps CF has backed off on his advice in that area. Or maybe it's that his advice was meant for new'ish players. Probably the latter since it was Learn With the Pros that he said to rarely (and carefully) complete.
 
Sunbird

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Thank you for doing this. It's very interesting information.
 
NineLions

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Thanks Dogs.

What level games were you tracking these?


Edit: Nevermind; I should just read what you wrote a little more closesly.
 
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arkadiy

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Nice diversion :O lol

Nice stats, definitely gonna be interesting ^^
 
NineLions

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The SB play is interesting. Often you can get pot odds to complete with almost anything, but not only is he playing quite a bit from the SB, he's raising a lot of those. These are largely hands folded to him (raising first in meaning no one has bet) but, he's also losing slightly from the SB, even after removing the cost of the blinds. Maybe slightly too much aggression when it's folded to him? Or is he making a point with these plays? Or the BBs know that he's a pro and play back at him from the BB?
 
Four Dogs

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Looks like we have some interest in his blind play. I'll see what I can dig up. I do know that that the blinds are the only position he ever limps from. Ever. Seriously.
Thanks Dogs.

What level games were you tracking these?


Edit: Nevermind; I should just read what you wrote a little more closesly.

Still, a breakdown would be nice.
 

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NineLions

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Some other interesting things I note from the first screen shot:

He's only betting/raising 50% of his flops that he raised; mine is normally around 75%. He's checking 36.6%! Of course, at those levels checking is a little scarier than at the levels I play.

And at all those levels he's crushing them at 18.00 BB/100

Won $ at showdown is 54%, about what you'd expect. Higher and you're leaving money on the table, higher and you're bluffing too much or overvaluing your hands.

Only 6% calls preflop gives a nice aggression level.

Zero limp/called reraise probably a function of not limping to begin with.



btw Dogs, there's some difference between the first screen shot and the last. There a few more hands in the levels summary, but the BB/100 hands and total won is quite different. The Position Statistics seems to match the last one.
 
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