Christopher Philip Ferguson was born in Los Angeles, California on April 11, 1963. Born into a family of brilliant people, his parents both hold doctoral degrees. His father, Thomas Ferguson, is a professor at UCLA where he teaches theoretical probability and game theory. Game theory is the study of decision making, and may be a reason as to why Chris is such an amazing poker player. He attended UCLA himself from 1981 until 1999, where he received his undergrad and a Ph.D. in Computer Science. He had spent half of his life in academia, and by that time they were ushering him out the door. It didn’t take him to long to find a vocation, since a year afterwards he won two bracelets at the 2000 World Series of Poker.
Chris Ferguson’s Poker History
Chris Ferguson played poker ever since he was 10, and this continued on while he was at college. He had already played in the World Series of Poker but before his big win in 2000, he still wasn’t in the limelight. It was during the 2000 WSOP, in the No Limit Texas Hold 'em World Championship, where he defeated T. J. Coultier, a fan favorite and old time poker pro. Many dubbed that face off as a clash between the old school and new school of poker. Ferguson won $1.5 million, as well as the fame that came along with winning such a prestigious event. He also won that year the Seven Card Stud event, making it two bracelets in one year. He proved his worth yet again at the 2001 WSOP, making off with more than $160,000. He had another two bracelet wins at the 2003 WSOP, making off with over $180,000.
He has continued to participate in the WSOP, but has been unable to get another win. He has played in other tournaments, like the World Poker Tour and National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Ferguson, in 2005 at the Heads-Up championship managed to get to the final table, but was unable to take the win and remained in second place. He participated again in 2006, where he met the same fate and got second place. It wasn’t until 2008 that he finally won the Heads-Up championship. Part of his rise to glory was his playing style. Ferguson is known for using a very mathematical and calculated approach; he uses the resilient game theory knowledge. As he is a Computer Science Ph.D. he has also developed many computer simulations so that he could improve his understanding of poker.
Chris Ferguson, Full Tilt and the Controversy
As Ferguson gained popularity, and money, he decided to take advantage of his computer knowledge and his love for poker. It was in 2004 that he helped launch the popular online poker site, Full Tilt Poker. He would play all the time on the website, where he would practice his game theory. He even claimed that he could turn $1 into $20,000, so to prove his point he showed off his skills on Full Tilt by making $0 turn into $10,000. He appeared on the talk show Poker Night Live. With great success also comes great scrutiny. In 2011, the US Department of Justice amended an existing complaint against him, and Full Tilt Poker. It was said that Ferguson, and two other Full Tilt members, were running a Ponzi scheme on their customers. Ferguson has denied these allegations, and nothing has come of this controversy as of yet.
Chris Ferguson Overall Success
He mainly played in the World Series of Poker, where he has won a total of bracelets, and has had a whopping 63 money finishes. These money finishes account for over $4 million of his total winnings. When he won the 2000 WSOP main event, he managed to get the highest ITM that year. He also participated in the World Poker Tour where he has been to 2 final tables and had 11 money finishes. As of 2010, his total live tournament winnings were over $8,000,000; this means that half of his winnings actually came from his money finishes. He is a cold and calculating player, and will continue to play on Full Tilt Poker, and in the big name tournaments.