Chris Ferguson remains one of the most controversial stories of the 2016 World Series of Poker. While some players hoped that his appearance in the $10k Stud was a one-off deal, Ferguson has instead played a robust schedule this summer.
At this point, he has seven cashes with four deep runs and a 4th place finish in the $10k NL Six-Max. To the dismay of many poker fans, Jesus is back from the dead and doesn’t appear to be leaving anytime soon.
Now the focus has shifted to trying to get Ferguson to apologize for his actions related to Full Tilt Poker. Actually, some would be happy is he would just say SOMETHING other than he’s here to play poker.
While I can understand the desire of some to have Ferguson repent for his “crimes against the poker world,” it doesn’t seem that he believes that he has committed any wrongdoing or even that he cares.
F*** You and Your Apologies – He’s Here to Take More of Your Money
Ferguson made it clear from the first event he entered that his intention was to play poker and that’s exactly what he has done to this point. That’s pretty much the ONLY thing he has done besides sign autographs, take pictures and hang out with supporters.
On multiple occasions, he has been asked about Full Tilt or whether he wants to apologies and his responses have equated to a bit fat “F You” to the poker world. In other words, he is here to take more money from the poker world, just a little less than the $25 million he received as part owner of Full Tilt.
You say my statements are a bit harsh? I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Writer’s Note: I wrote this piece before Andrew Brokos’ encounter with Ferguson during the Crazy 8’s Event this weekend. Brokos tweeted that Ferguson apologized to him for his money being tied up for two years. While that is hardly a public apology, I do include this information for completeness. With that said, that was an apology to Brokos and not a public one to the community.
CF: Did you get it back?— Andrew Brokos (@thinkingpoker) July 2, 2016
Me: I had $60k locked up for two years. No interest.
CF: sorry about that. But you got it back?
Why Hasn’t the “Rest of the Story” Been Shared?
Several of Ferguson’s supporters have been saying that there is “more to the story” than what we have been told. If there is more to the story, why haven’t some of these supporters given us some details? Are these details protected under Ferguson’s deal with the DOJ? Is there some secret that they are hiding?
If there is more to this story and if it is something that can legally be shared with the public, then why not do so? It seems to me that Ferguson at some point could have said that he is at the WSOP right now to play poker and after the series is over, he will sit down with PokerNews, or his media outlet of choice, and tell the world his side of the story.
But that is not the case. He’s just here to play poker and his supporters are the ones telling us there there’s “more to the story.” Until we get some details, this just sounds like spin from people trying to protect Ferguson.
What Will An Apology Accomplish at This Point?
I asked Daniel Negreanu on Twitter what a Chris Ferguson apology would accomplish at this point. Negreanu and other seem virtually obsessed with getting Ferguson to make an apology to the poker community for his involvement in Black Friday despite his apparent disinterest in doing so.
And would anyone really believe him at this point? @RealKidPoker— James Guill (@compncards) July 1, 2016
So what would an apology at this point accomplish? One person told me that it would mean that he acknowledges that he wronged the poker community. And doing THAT accomplishes what? Does it restore the $400 million that Full Tilt squandered? Will that take the funds he received as an owner and return them to players?
So if Ferguson typed up a apologetic statement and read it to the public, would that would make everything ok? Furthermore, would anyone truly believe him after his recent comments or rather his lack of comment?
If you’re wanting Ferguson to apologize because of some antiquated notion that an apology makes everything alright like when we were kids, you need to let that go. Ferguson clearly doesn’t care and his apology would be as believable as a Bill Clinton fidelity pledge.
Let’s Quit With the Threats Already
There were reports that the Rio had to beef up security during the $10k Six-Max Championship final table because there were threats against Chris Ferguson. He believed that those reports were exaggerated, but knowing the hatred against him, it wouldn’t be surprising.
There’s no reason to make threats against Ferguson, no matter how much you hate the man. Ferguson was a member of a company that monumentally screwed people out of their bankrolls. While that may be unforgivable, it should not be the catalyst for violence.
I appeal to everyone’s better judgment and suggest we put an end to physical threats against Ferguson. You want to boo him? Fine. Call him a jerk? Fine. Play J-2 and crack his pocket aces? Go for it. Let that be how you get back at him and let Karma and whatever God or deity you worship handle any “punishment.”
Q: For those who think Chris Ferguson shouldn’t be allowed in WSOP events, how do you feel about players supporting him? (on his rail, etc)— Lance Bradley (@Lance_Bradley) June 26, 2016
Is There Redemption in Ferguson’s Future?
If this were a normal sports story, there would be fans around the world grasping for some type of glimmer of hope that Ferguson could be redeemed and welcomed warmly back into the poker community.
The problem is that this the poker world. Most everyone involved in poker knows the story about Full Tilt Poker and that Ferguson was involved. Those of us that played at Full Tilt had to go through the hassle of trying to recoup our bankrolls. Some of us never did and others received less than what was owed.
Even if Ferguson came out tomorrow and gave a heart-felt apology complete with tears and the poker version of “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” there are many of us that would still tell him to go to hell.
At this point, Ferguson’s reputation is irreparably damaged with most poker fans and his actions of the last few weeks have added fuel to that fire.
Will Chris Ferguson continue to be a regular part of the poker community after the 2016 WSOP? Who knows.
Will he be welcomed back with open arms? We put the odds at 400 million to 1 against.
If you happen to be seated at Chris Ferguson's table at the WSOP, help him understand WHY people deserve an apology for trusting him.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) July 1, 2016