Chris Ferguson Wins WSOPE Bracelet, Poker Social Media Erupts with Scorn and Contempt

November 2nd, 2017 by Chad Holloway

Poker pariah Chris Ferguson shook the poker world Wednesday night when he captured his sixth World Series of Poker bracelet at the the WSOPE in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. He also took a commanding lead in the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year race with the win, and received congratulations from Phil Hellmuth. The rest of the poker world was not so kind.

Touchdown Jesus? Chris Ferguson won his sixth WSOP gold bracelet Wednesday night, and immediately faced backlash on social media for his feat. (Image: WSOP)

Return to WSOP Winners Circle

The WSOP Europe Event #7, €1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, drew just 92 players, creating a €132,411 ($153,941) prize pool. In the end, the 54-year-old known as “Jesus” came out on top to win his first bracelet since 2003. If there’s any silver lining for the Ferguson haters out there, it’s that his first-place payout was only €39,289 ($45,677).

Ferguson, who didn’t play the WSOP from 2011-2015 in the wake of Black Friday and his involvement with Full Tilt Poker, moved to ninth on the WSOP’s all-time bracelet list, with six total.

“For five years, I hadn’t really thought about poker,” Ferguson told WSOP officials in a rare interview. “I didn’t really miss poker. It had been a big part of my life. I had actually been planning to take a break from poker, and it turned out to be bigger than I expected.”

Personally, I’ve always found that when I take a break from something, and you come back to it, you come back to it with a fresh perspective, and often you’ll do better.

The win marked his sixth cash in seven events at the WSOPE, and 24th cash overall for the 2017 WSOP, which includes both the ongoing WSOP Europe and this past summer’s series in Las Vegas. He now has 1,178.53 points on the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard with just a few events remaining.

His next closest competition is John Racener and Ryan Hughes, who sit with 999.76 and 994.35 points respectively. Both are in Rozvadov and will likely need bracelet wins of their own to take the lead.

Ferguson has already received a €10,000 Main Event seat at the WSOPE for finishing the summer with the POY lead. If he holds onto his lead, he will also receive a $10,000 seat into the 2018 WSOP Main Event.

Are You Kidding Me?

One man who seems to be pulling for Ferguson is 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. After Ferguson’s win, the “Poker Brat” snapped a selfie, used the hashtag #Positivity, and tweeted: “Welcome back to the WSOP winners circle Chris Ferguson.”

Ferguson responded with a tweet of his own: “Thanks, Phil! Need a few more to catch up to you though, sir! I appreciate the warm welcome, just wish everyone else would be warmer as well.”

As expected, Hellmuth faced immediate backlash for his tweet.

“Couldn’t find time to grab a selfie with Harvey Weinstein, Chris Brown, or Bernie Madoff? Next best thing I guess,” said Daniel Negreanu, an outspoken critic of Ferguson. “I’m a pretty forgiving person but the person kinda has to ask for it and this guy brazenly has put up a middle finger to everyone in poker.”

Jason Mercier responded: “Is Ferguson bringing u positivity? Or are u bringing it to him? Confused here.”

Hundreds of players offered their two cents on social media in response to Ferguson’s win.

“Would be really pleased to never hear of him again, especially from WSOP, unless it involves his writing a check to pay those he stole from,” wrote Sam Brackstone.

Another user named “Morris” echoed those sentiments, but also placed blame on the establishment. “Why is he allow to play in the WSOP after robbing so many poker players? This is a disgrace. True poker players should boycott WSOP.”

(It should be noted that all Full Tilt players received their money back, years later, as part of a settlement negotiated with PokerStars and the DOJ.)

For their part, the WSOP largely glossed over Ferguson’s misdeeds in their winner recap by primarily lauding his accomplishments and simply writing that “he took a well-publicized hiatus from poker.”

Unfortunately, Ferguson’s win overshadowed some other great stories from the event, such as India’s Divanshu Khurana, a student from nearby Munich, making the final table in his first-ever live tournament, and American pro Rex Clinkscales making a push for his first bracelet.

Final Table Results
1 Chris Ferguson (Las Vegas, NV) €39,289/$45,677
2 Stanislav Wright (Ukraine) €24,283/$28,231
3 Eldert Soer (Netherlands) €16,607/$19,307
4 Artur Sojka (Poland) €11,693/$13,594
5 Rex Clinkscales (Las Vegas, NV) €8,483/$9,862
6 Divanshu Khurana (India) €6,347/$7,379
7 Dario Alioto (Italy) €4,902/$5,699
8 Sebastian Langrock (Germany) €3,913/$4,549

12 Responses to “Chris Ferguson Wins WSOPE Bracelet, Poker Social Media Erupts with Scorn and Contempt”

  1. okeedokalee says:

    Like Ivey he wrecked poker (FTP in particular) only contempt for the dude:(

  2. paulsmall007 says:

    yea hes a scumbag, decent poker player tho

  3. Rijckenborg says:

    In french we have a expression : “Faire porter le chapeau”
    In english it mean : to carry the blame .
    Who better wears the hat than Chris Ferguson ?
    Why nobody blame who let Chris continue to play poker for $ and bracelet ?

  4. Marcwantstowin says:

    Well I except he cost a lot of people money and time, but still one heck of a poker player.

  5. Johnny Aces says:

    Chris Ferguson. The guy who stole players money and acts like all is ok.
    How is he allowed to play in any tournament?

    And no not all players got their money from FullTilt or PokerStars.
    I was one of them. And it was in the millions.

    This guy is a disgrace. My claim with FullTilt and PokerStars was never settled.

  6. woohoo sue says:

    Time heals all wounds…I guess not!

    I had so little money on the site I was never brought to hatred of the pros paid money to endorsed the sites that were involved in Black Friday. Did everyone feel they needed to return their endorsement fees? or was it something more? If it was endorsement fees, I disagree with you all, they were paid for service they gave it …enough said! The site’s mismanagement o funds was on their part! has everyone gone back to playing on Full Tilt? If so I say “shenanigans!” This is where you make your stand! I’m sure Chris was expecting future income from them also leaving HIM high and dry as you. Maybe he should feel betrayed by the players that are back on Full Tilt.

    He removed himself from Poker for 5 years. I’m sure the hate he received was part of his decision to remove himself from this. Haters should feel redeem by their efforts to make him feel unwanted unless this was ordered by the powers that be and if so..” He paid his penance”.

    This comment is based on “”he is hated for receiving money to endorse a site” if there is more grievances than I may have a different thought.

    Congrats Chris…I know this is one of your fave games and I’m glad to see you back showing poker enthusiasts this game is is like riding a bike…you never forget.

  7. Dejange says:

    Quote: “Personally, I’ve always found that when I take a break from something, and you come back to it, you come back to it with a fresh perspective, and often you’ll do better.”
    I could agree with him, after a certain break – you could do better then previously!

  8. vinnie says:

    I have always had such conflicted feelings about Ferguson, after the whole Black Friday fiasco. Before that happened, he was easily one of my favorite pros. He was a math and computer nerd. He seemed professional and forthright. He put his money where his mouth was and demonstrated that it was possible to build a bankroll from nothing.

    It was probably because I liked him so much, that I was so angry and betrayed when he turned out to be so involved in the scandal. I want to believe that he was just sucked into things little by little, until he realized it was too late and the only way out was to keep going. But, his silence and refusal to apologize and make things right is just unforgivable.

    Good for him that he won a tournament. But, his skill as a player was never in doubt. It’s his quality as a human that he really needs a big win in.

  9. Sammy Kahn says:

    Chris Ferguson, unlike Howard Lederer never apologized for any wrong doing in the FT ponzi scheme Chris Ferguson stayed quiet and when he came back to the WSOP had AN arrogant smirk on his face. He’s a fucking asshole both Lederer and Ferguson. Ruined a lot of people’s bank rolls like my self. I wasn’t a huge winner but still had enough to play high limit games and always thought I had money there to pull out. I loved playing online poker and loved Full Tilt, for my money it was the best online poker site. I wished that both would be banned from the WSOP but they let them back in. Both came back and played together in the pairs tournament at the WSOP which shows were there heads are at. It’s like a joke to them that both got away with taking peoples money and used it for there own personal gain. It ruined Mike Matusow’s investment in the company and so many other poker pros lost there share. Karma’s a bitch Chris Ferguson, I hope you never win again.

  10. Truthteller says:

    Anyone who has anything but contempt for Ferguson is amoral, and will probably have to look that word up.

  11. elton015 says:

    Chris Ferguson is a great guy and I agrre with him that a break is valuable to refresh the mind.

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