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Christopher Philip Ferguson (born on April 11, 1963, in Los Angeles, California) is an American professional poker player. In his career he has won five World Series of Poker bracelets, including the bracelet for the 2000 WSOP Main Event, and is the winner of the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship.

Early life

Ferguson attended UCLA where he earned a Ph.D. in computer science (focusing on virtual network algorithms) in 1999 after five years as an undergraduate and 13 years as a graduate student.[1] His Ph.D. advisor was Leonard Kleinrock. Ferguson's parents have doctoral degrees in mathematics and his father, Thomas Ferguson, teaches game theory and theoretical probability at UCLA. His style is highly mathematical, using a strong knowledge of game theory and developing computer simulations to improve his understanding of the game.


Ferguson was playing poker before age 10. In college he honed his skill on IRC playing poker for play money in chat rooms. In 1994, he began playing in tournaments in California and in 1995, he entered his first World Series of Poker. Ferguson beat T. J. Cloutier at the main event of the 2000 WSOP to win the $1.5 million prize.

In 2004, Ferguson helped launch the online poker site Full Tilt Poker.

Ferguson finished runner-up to Phil Hellmuth in the 2005 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. He made the finals again in 2006, but again finished second, this time to Ted Forrest. In 2008 he made the finals for the third time, this time defeating Andy Bloch and winning the title. He has the most wins in the four-year period of the tournament, with an overall match record of 16-3

As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $7,300,000.[2]

World Series of Poker bracelets

Year Tournament Prize (US$)
2000 $2,500 Seven Card Stud $151,000 [3]
2000 $10,000 No Limit Texas Hold 'em World Championship $1,500,000 [4]
2001 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight or Better $164,735 [5]
2003 $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight or Better $123,680 [6]
2003 $2,000 1/2 Limit Hold'em - 1/2 Seven Card Stud $66,220 [7]

In addition to these bracelets, Ferguson is the only player to have won three World Series of Poker circuit events.[8]


Ferguson is nicknamed "Jesus" because of his trademark long brown hair and beard.[9] He is a relatively quiet player who often adopts a similar motionless pose in situations where he could be "read". He adopted his trademark wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses consciously, trying to disguise the fact that he was a college student.[10]


On television, some interesting truths about him have been revealed, including his presidency of a swing dancing club at UCLA, as well as his ability to throw playing cards fast enough to cut through bananas, carrots, and even melons. He claims to have painstakingly turned $1 into more than $20,000 on an online poker site over six months, as a personal challenge. He talks about this in an evening as a guest on Poker Night Live, which can still be seen on the channel's online video player. Similarly, to show that it could be done, he turned $0 into $10,000 on Full Tilt by first winning freeroll tournaments, and then playing with the prize money. Despite passing the $10k target the challenge continues and was at one point over $20k. [11]

Although his nickname is "Jesus", taken from the central figure of the Christian religion, Ferguson is an atheist.[12]


External links

Template:World Series of Poker Winners Template:National Heads-Up Poker Championship Winners