Chris Ferguson Wins WSOP POY and Angers the Unforgiving11 months ago
The World Series of Poker announced via Twitter that Chris Ferguson has won the coveted Player of the Year award following his outstanding performances in Las Vegas over the summer and at the WSOPE in Rozvadov.
Six cashes at the WSOPE that included a gold bracelet in €1,650 PLO Hi-Lo 8 or Better added €39,289 ($45,677) to his live tournament winnings that are fast approaching $9 million. That came on the heels of a 2017 WSOP at the Rio that was marked by 17 cashes and two final tables, punctuated by a runner-up finish in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship for $151,700.
Ferguson's closest pursuers for the POY title - John Racener and Ryan Hughes - were left in the dust for good, meaning that 'Jesus' will be awarded a free entry to the $10K buy-in 2018 WSOP Main Event and his smiling face plastered on a banner on display at the Rio with other POY winners of years past.
There are a number of poker players who don't want to look at that face and remain incensed that the former Full Tilt co-owner is allowed to play poker at all. The mismanagement and thievery that went on at FTP still rankles many - even six years after the fact.
While some players remain angry for financial reasons, others that include Daniel Negreanu seem to be more perturbed over Ferguson's silence regarding the FTP fiasco. He never tried to explain his side of the story, nor did he offer an apology for the harm caused.
The anger increased and much of it was directed at Phil Hellmuth when the Poker Brat recently posted a photo of he and Ferguson together with Chris' new WSOP bracelet, the sixth of his career. Along with welcoming Ferguson back to the WSOP winner's circle, Hellmuth's tweets proclaimed a belief in Chris' innocence and also saw Phil admitting to being "a forgiving person."
Replies to the Poker Brat's tweet were not so forgiving, as the majority of them attacked Ferguson and Hellmuth. A few were congratulatory toward Ferguson, recognizing his outstanding accomplishments this year, and sometimes urging the haters to get over it and move on.
Ferguson's choice to remain mum over the scandal is not that surprising considering that anything he might say certainly won't appease everybody. Will telling his version of what really went down at FTP make the haters happy? Will an apology do the trick and result in open arms and a welcoming environment all around?
Doubtful on both counts, as it's almost certain that his critics would still be upset that he waited so long to address the issue. That isn't to say that remaining silent is the right thing to do. I'm just saying that it’s understandable from his point of view because Ferguson is pretty much damned if he does talk and damned if he doesn't at this point.
Whether you're inclined to be in Hellmuth's camp and of a forgiving nature, or on the side of the haters, there is no mistaking that Ferguson had a helluva year at the WSOP and deserves the Player of the Year award. Whether or not he deserves your congratulations and forgiveness .... is up to you to decide.
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