2017: Return of the Poker Legends
It may well have been a year of German domination at the highest levels of poker, but it has also seen glimpses of past-heroes taking to the felt on the comeback trail.
Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson has become one of the most divisive poker professionals in the world, with fans of his obvious skills balanced by those who believe he was aware of and made millions from the goings on surrounding the Full Tilt poker scandal which cost players some $444million in funds.
Born in 1963, he came from and continued with a family mathematics background – something which he worked into his own playing style at the poker table – and which has rewarded him with 6 WSOP bracelets and $8,971,790 in tournament earnings over the past two decades.
His biggest victory came in 2000 when he took down the WSOP Main Event, a $1,500,000 scoop when he beat TJ Cloutier heads-up, which launched him into the poker elite, a marketability he used to great effect when he helped to launch Full Tilt Poker in 2004.
Along with Howard ‘The Professor’ Lederer, Andy Bloch, Jennifer Harman, Phil Ivey and others, Ferguson helped Full Tilt to become the biggest site in the world, paying out millions to its star players and directors. When Black Friday suddenly hit the poker world in April 2011, however, it was discovered that many of these payments were taken from player funds, not company funds.
The fallout from the scandal engulfed Ferguson, but there are many who believe he escaped incredibly from the situation, giving up only a small part of his poker fortune when he settled his case with the US Government in 2013. After 3 years away from the tournament scene, Ferguson returned to the World Series in 2016 amid quite some controversy.
He has consistently refused to apologise or fully explain his part in the Full Tilt debacle, insisting he simply wants to play poker – something he has been very successful at since his reappearance, taking down his 6th WSOP bracelet in 2017 and becoming the WSOP Player of the Year for his consistent performance throughout the 2017 WSOP season.
His long hair which gave him the ‘Jesus’ nickname, as well as his trademark black clothes and cowboy hat have helped Ferguson to become one of the most instantly noticeable players of the poker boom years and for a long time he was a regular on the biggest TV poker shows.
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Ferguson’s bust-out was met with more boos, his arms in the air celebration at taking down 4th spot disrupted by Levy shouting “Shame!” and a few other choice words which can’t be printed on this ‘family’ website!
The victory brought Ferguson his 6th career gold bracelet and his 5th cash of the WSOP Europe series.
The World Series of Poker announced via Twitter that Chris Ferguson has won the coveted Player of the Year award.
Will 2017 forever be remembered in poker history as the year of the min-cash?