Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson is arguably the greatest WSOP player of the decade and – with his sharp suit, Stetson and flowing hair – poker’s most recognizable character
Name: Chris Ferguson
DOB: April 11th 1963
Tournament winnings: $8m
Greatest moment: Winner of 2000 WSOP main event
By 1999 Chris had spent 18 years studying at UCLA and gained his Ph.D. in computer science. He’d already been playing poker for many years, starting on an IRC channel long before the mainstream online card-rooms we have today.
After leaving university he spent more time playing professionally. He was never motivated by money but instead loved the challenge of testing game theory and finding winning concepts, often done by spending months creating and using computer programmes that analysed various situations. His analytical and mathematical approach gave him instant and constant success and in 2000 he won the WSOP main event beating T.J. Cloutier heads-up.
A further 4 bracelets have followed and a total of 59 cashes, putting him 3rd for most cashes at the WSOP behind Phil Hellmuth and Men Nguyen. He’s also famous for his $10k challenge where he started with a zero bankroll playing freerolls, followed by micro stakes, and gradually moving up, It took 9 months to make $100 and another 9 months to get to $10k, showing the world that even small stakes players can succeed with skill, a strategy plan, strict bankroll management and dedication. It’s hard to imagine how such a polite and affable gentleman has achieved so much success in such a cut-throat industry.