Although Chris Ferguson goes by the nickname “Jesus” on account of his hairdo and general appearance, the name “Professor” would probably suit him much better, as it would give a more accurate measure of his playing style and analytic capabilities.
Born in 1963, in Los Angeles, California, Chris Ferguson has been brought up in a family of intellectuals. His father, Thomas Ferguson is a teacher at UCLA, and of all things, game theory and probability calculus are his specialties.
Chris himself went to UCLA, where he earned a Ph.D. in computer science. Couple that up with his interest in poker, and you’ll find it perfectly understandable why he became one of the world’s first online poker players. He played online way back when there were no such things as graphical user interfaces and fancy tournament lobbies. He played through Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or whatever other means the technology of the day offered him.
It was in 1994 that he became serious about poker. He began playing in tournaments in California, honed his skills for a while, then, in 1995, he played in his first ever WSOP. It took no fewer than 5 years for him to break into the ranks of the select few with WSOP bracelets to flaunt around their wrists. His first WSOP bracelet came in 2000, in the $2,500 7 Card Stud event, but that year would carry a special significance for him, because when all dust settled in the wake of the Big Dance that year, he was the one left standing with the single most coveted piece of jewelry in the poker world. To make the achievement all the more impressive: he beat none other than T.J. Cloutier in the heads-up stage, and took down a $1.5 million prize.
In 2001 he won another WSOP bracelet, this time in the $1,500 Omaha Hi Lo split Eight or Better event. In 2003 he took down two more bracelets, one in the $2,000 Omaha Hi Lo split Eight or Better event, and one in the $2,000 ½ FL Holdem, ½ 7 Card Stud Event.
To compliment his 5 bracelets, he garnered 56 WSOP cash finishes. He’s had a WPT final table too, and 7 WPT money finishes.
Chris Ferguson is best known in the online poker community for having worked with Full Tilt Poker in the development of its software. An interesting trivia about Ferguson’s Full Tilt connection is that a while back he launched a challenge, making it his objective to build up a $10,000 bankroll playing at Full Tilt Poker with a $0 starting bankroll. He did manage to get a roll started by playing in freerolls, and he did indeed achieve his $10,000 target within a year.
In the national Heads-up Poker Championship, Chris Ferguson finished in second place twice, once in 2005 and once in 2006.
He finally managed to win the title in 2008.