Chris Ferguson is the WSOP Player of the Year and I Hate Everything

The 2017 World Series of Poker Europe is wrapping up in the next couple days and normally, I would say that this is a time for the poker community to celebrate another successful festival, but something has me down in the dumps. You see, I get a kick out of good people succeeding. The flip side of that is that I don’t like to see thieving assholes get rewarded. We already had that happen here in the United States a year ago and that has now happened in the poker world. Chris Ferguson is the World Series of Poker Player of the Year.

We are living in the darkest timeline.

Ferguson clearly had a successful WSOP, both in Las Vegas and in Razvadov, Czech Republic, though to be honest (and I always am), much of his run to the POY title was built on volume. He had 17 cashes in the traditional, Las Vegas portion of the WSOP with only two final tables and no wins. Most of his cashes were for just four figures. Now, I would very much enjoy winning over a thousand dollars in a poker tournament, but I wouldn’t argue that such a feat, even a lot of them, should qualify me to be deemed the Player of the Year.

My fantasy caption, “The moment Chris Ferguson first notices the law enforcement officials coming to arrest him.”

Ferguson nabbed six more cashes at WSOP Europe, finally nabbing a bracelet, the sixth of his career. At the same time, it was only a €1,650 buy-in event and there were fewer than 100 players, so as far as bracelets go, I’ll be a snob here and say I’ve seen better.

The man nicknamed “Jesus” – though nowadays it is said with an eyeroll – didn’t cash in the WSOP Europe Main Event, but when John Racener was knocked out, Ferguson clinched the POY title.

And that sucks.

This is a man who was once revered in the poker world, though looking back it is kind of sad that part of why we found him so interesting was because he could ballroom dance and whip a playing card through a carrot. He was an excellent poker player with an interesting look and brought us a once-great online poker room, but now… he can go fuck himself.

I have written in the past that Ferguson shouldn’t be banned from the WSOP, but that doesn’t mean I have to like that he plays in it. The dude allegedly stole millions of dollars from Full Tilt Poker players. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, player funds were used to pay board members and directors. Ferguson himself, received “at least” $25 million and was allocated more than $87 million. Of my money, of your money, of thousands of others’ money.

And the dude has not even apologized. Hell, he really hasn’t said anything about it. His legal team has said that any problems were the result of “mismanagement” rather than ill intent, but nobody believes that. You don’t feed yourself millions upon millions of dollars from player accounts by accident or poor accounting.

Ferguson disappeared from the poker scene for five years, never issuing a statement, never giving us a simple, “Shit, I feel bad we fucked up.”

But then he returned like nothing happened and one of the only things we heard him say this summer was insulting. When Andrew Brokos confronted him last year, informing Ferguson that he had $60,000 tied up for over two years, Ferguson had the gall to act like all was well because he got his money back (apparently, he didn’t get all of it).

Chris Ferguson is an asshole. Have I mentioned that?

Now, I can understand why the WSOP has avoided any discussion of Ferguson’s transgressions, but it is pretty funny how much it is dodged in the official news article about his WSOP Europe bracelet win. His absence from the WSOP is described as a “well-publicized” five-year “hiatus.”

But wait! Here’s my favorite part:

In fact, he said the time away may have even helped his game:

“I just cleared my mind. For five years I hadn’t really thought about poker. I didn’t really miss poker. It had been a big part of my life. I had actually been planning to take a break from poker, and it turned out to be bigger than I expected. I’ve always found that when I take a break from something, and you come back to it, you come back to it with a fresh perspective, and often you’ll do better.”

Oh just go ahead and fuck right off.

If anyone celebrates Chris Ferguson for his Player of the Year title, they should be ashamed of themselves. I’ll give his closest friends a pass, but they had better not smile about it publicly. If there is any sort of public ceremony or prize presentation, the only people who attend better be protestors.

One day, when my kids experience something truly disappointing, I will point them to Chris Ferguson’s winning of the WSOP Player of the Year as a harsh lesson that life isn’t fair.

(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the owners and publishers of FlushDraw.)

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