It was 1994 when Chris
Ferguson made the decision to
really apply himself and his
knowledge of game theory to
poker, concentrating only on
tournament play. He started
off playing in the small
tournaments in and around LA.
Not wanting to play over his
bankroll, he wouldn't enter a
World Series event prior to
1995.
CHRIS "Jesus" FERGUSON
WSOP Gallery of Champions Poker Professional Player Biography
Chris Jesus Ferguson Professional Poker Player
Chris
Ferguson
In 1999, Chris Ferguson was asked to leave UCLA. He was 36 years old, and
had spent more than half of his life there. After 5 years as an undergrad, and
another 13 years as a PhD candidate getting a doctorate in Computer
Science, he was told it was time to leave. He went, however reluctantly.

But he didn't go too far. A year later and only 300 miles away, it was new
school meets old school as Chris defeated TJ Cloutier to win the main event
in the 2000 World Series of Poker.

Chris can't remember a time when he was not playing cards, but he might
say his poker career started in the 4th grade, when his trip queens lost to a
heart flush costing him thirty-five cents in a hand of five card draw. He was
determined never to go broke again.

In high school, Chris was making $2/hr playing with friends every weekend in
a nickel-dime game. Soon, they would make their first pilgrimage to Vegas,
where Chris had only two losing trips in 22 visits.

He got interested in other things until 1989, when Chris discovered the IRC
Poker Network. On IRC, hundreds of players from around the world gathered
in a text-only chat room to play poker. There was no money involved, only
ego. Chris had two goals then: The first was to never go broke, even for play
money. The second was to be at the top of the tournament leader board.
When Chris stopped playing on IRC in the mid-nineties, his name had been in
the 1 or 2 position on the board consistently for a few years.

It was 1994 when Chris made the decision to really apply himself and his
knowledge of game theory to poker, concentrating only on tournament play.
He started off playing in the small tournaments in and around LA. Not
wanting to play over his bankroll, he wouldn't enter a World Series event
prior to 1995. In 1996 he won a satellite into the main event and has played
every year since. In the next three years, Chris would have 12 money
finishes, making the final table 7 of those times, but never finishing higher
than 4th place.

Until 2000. The Championship Event was his second bracelet that year,
following a $151,000 win in the 7-Card Stud Event. A well-rounded player, his
next bracelet was in 2001 in Omaha Hi/Lo Split, followed by two more wins in
2003.

In 2002, Chris returned to the world of online poker, when he decided to put
together a team to design the software for and represent Full Tilt Poker. He
continues to play an integral role on the design process, hoping not only to
create the best deals and best software in the business, but also to give all
players including the smaller ones a chance to improve their games, and
maybe bring something new to the table. Something that maybe Chris can
learn from someday.

Because although UCLA may have told him it was time to go, Chris has never
really left school.

You can chat with Chris Ferguson live at Full Tilt Poker.
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