Born on April 11th 1963 to two learned American citizens with doctoral degrees in Mathematics, Christopher Phillip Ferguson was destined for greatness. His father, Thomas Ferguson, is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), teaching game theory and theoretical probability. Ferguson followed in his father’s footsteps by enrolling in UCLA and attaining a PhD in computer science, with specific focus on virtual network algorithms. He spent 18 years of his life as a university student; 5 years as an undergraduate and 13 years as a graduate student. Ferguson is commonly referred to by his nickname as “Jesus”; this emerged from his signature long brown hair and beard. He is well known for his dancing abilities, owning a swing dancing club in UCLA, and his talent in throwing playing cards fast enough to cut through a number of fruits and vegetables.
Ferguson discovered poker when he was 10 years old, and developed his skill while he was enrolled at UCLA. He would mainly play online matches while in college, and began playing in tournaments when he was 31 years of age (in 1994). The following year, Ferguson participated in his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) event, but it wasn’t until 5 years later that he won the main event in the year 2000, earning him a cash prize of 1.5 million US dollars. He entered the WSOP main event again in 2004, and finished in 26th place, cashing in 120,000 US dollars.
In 2005 and 2006, Ferguson entered the National Head-up Poker Championships, and emerged runner-up both times to Phil Hellmuth and Ted Forrest, respectively. However, in 2008, Ferguson finally managed to beat Andy Bloch at the final table of the same event, thus earning himself the title.
Ferguson perfected the art of playing poker at an alarming rate, to the point that he earned 5 bracelets between the years 2000 and 2003. As if that wasn’t enough, he won three WSOP circuit events, earning him over 1.3 million US dollars, bringing his overall WSOP earnings to about 4 million US dollars.
Considering the fact that Ferguson was a computer genius with a love for poker, it was only natural that he developed Full Tilt Poker, one of the largest online poker websites in the world.
Ferguson rose to fame after becoming a familiar name in the WSOP circuits and making it to numerous final tables. He is relatively quiet in his demeanor, a rare trait in the poker scene. His many cash wins also brought him to the limelight.
However, the fact that Ferguson had a scandal based on his online poker site, Full Tilt Poker, got him noticed globally. It was reported that many players were unable to access or withdraw their funds from the site; whereas the owners of the site were cashing in millions of dollars. This issue was reported to the relevant authorities, and on April 5th 2011, the website was shut down.
Nonetheless, people still remember Ferguson for a few positive contributions that he made to the entertainment industry. For one, he was a guest on Poker Night Live, and explained to the audience how he managed to turn $1 into $10,000 through online poker.