Full Tilt Poker Team - Chris Ferguson

Chris Ferguson

chris-fergusonIn 1999, Chris Ferguson got kicked out of UCLA. He was 36, and had spent more than half his life there. After 5 years as an undergrad, and another 13 years as a PhD candidate getting a doctorate in Computer Science, he was told it was time to leave the nest of academia. He went reluctantly.

But he didn't go far. A year later and only 300 miles away, it was new school meets old school as Chris Ferguson defeated TJ Cloutier to win the main event in the 2000 World Series of Poker. You could almost argue that this is when Chris' poker career began, but that's a hard moment to define, even for him.

Chris Ferguson can't remember a time when he wasn't playing cards, but he might say his poker career started in the 4th grade, when his trip queens lost to a heart flush costing him thirty-five cents in a hand of five card draw. Chris was determined never to go broke again.

In high school, Chris Ferguson was making $2/hr playing with friends every weekend in a nickel-dime game. Soon, they would make their first pilgrimage to Vegas, where Chris Ferguson had only two losing trips in 22 visits.

Chris got interested in other things until 1989, when Chris discovered the IRC Poker Network. On IRC, hundreds of players from around the world gathered in a text-only chat room to play poker. There was no money involved, only ego. Chris Ferguson had two goals then: The first was to never go broke, even for play money. The second was to be at the top of the tournament leader board. When Chris stopped playing on IRC in the mid-nineties, his name had been in the 1 or 2 position on the board consistently for a few years.

It was 1994 when Chris Ferguson made the decision to really apply himself and his knowledge of game theory to poker, concentrating only on tournament play. Chris Ferguson started off playing in the small tournaments in and around LA. Not wanting to play over his bankroll, Chris Ferguson wouldn't enter a World Series event prior to 1995. In 1996 Chris Ferguson won a satellite into the main event and has played every year since. In the next three years, Chris would have 12 money finishes, making the final table 7 of those times, but never finishing higher than 4th place.

Until 2000. The Championship Event was his second bracelet that year, following a $151,000 win in the 7-Card Stud Event. A well-rounded player, his next bracelet was in 2001 in Omaha Hi/Lo Split, followed by two more wins in 2003.

In 2002, Chris Ferguson returned to the world of online poker, when Chris Ferguson decided to put together a team to design the software for and represent Full Tilt Poker. Chris Ferguson continues to play an integral role on the design process, hoping not only to create the best deals and best software in the business, but also to give all players including the smaller ones a chance to improve their games, and maybe bring something new to the table. Something that maybe Chris can learn from someday.

Because although UCLA may have told him it was time to go, Chris has never really left school.

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