I first opened this website in November 2000, one of the first things I did was get a photo for the main page with my friend, reigning
World Series of Poker Champion, Chris Ferguson. I did this for two reasons. The first is the obvious one of having the world champ on
my site. The second is more obscure: in my poker life I have at one point or another thought I "held over" exactly three players
(holding over someone is to have abnormally good luck against them). When I told this to two of those players they both said (I'm not
making this up): "You don't hold over me." So that is the pitiful limited nature of my "holdoverability". Chris
is the third player in this cursed trifecta.
Windows - Mac
Back in 1994, Chris and I got head-up in a
Lowball tournament at the
Bicycle Casino. We managed to get
in that position by very different routes. Chris was the massive chip leader all night. He could do no wrong, making hands, reading
bluffs, making bluffs, everything worked. On the other hand, I was on fumes for hours. At two tables, Chris was to my immediate right,
raising almost every hand with his mountain of chips. Since I only had a few chips in front of me, Chris' raising was a terrible
problem. I was going to have to get a hand and show down a winner -- no chance to steal the blinds, no chance to bluff, just show the
best hand, and quick. But then when we are six handed at our table, Chris folded a hand. Finally I could make a move. I looked down to
find 88433 -- two pair is not exactly a Lowball dynamo. The big blind was two chips, and I only had five chips altogether. But the two
players in the blinds only had a few more chips than me, so I raised, hoping I might win the blinds, and if I was put all-in at least
I could split two pair (making it less likely I would pair and less likely my opponent would make a hand since there was a good chance
they would need one of my discards). To my disappointment, the big blind called me, but he did not put me all in (I think he had three
chips left). When the big blind drew one, I immediately switched gears and decided to "snow" my hand by rapping pat. Since we
were four players out of the money I figured the big blind would not just throw away one of his three chips to see my hand, especially
since I was (apparently) playing very tight -- entirely due to Chris' constant raising and the putrid cards I was getting.
Sure enough, the big blind checked after the draw, I bet my pathetic lone chip into the pot, and was very relieved when my opponent
folded. Miami John Cernuto and Mike Sexton were watching the end of the tournament (from the rail...). John says: "That has to be a
six." Since I hadn't played any hands for so long they thought I had a monster. So I flipped over my ratbag two pair. Sexton got a
big kick out of John's backwards "read" and my from-out-of-left-field snow.
I managed to make the final table with a few chips. It wasn't until we were four handed that I wasn't the lowest stack at the table.
Finally I got head-up with Chris... and I had by far the best
rush of cards in my life -- a five times better rush than
I ever had before or since. Four consecutive times it was my big blind Chris would raise, I would reraise and draw one to wheel, make the wheel,
then bet and get called by Chris. Four wheels in the big blind in a row! Besides that I made two sixes, and had an obvious betting
hand virtually every time. I'd bet, Chris would call, and I'd show some ridiculously powerful hand. I never even got the chance to
bluff! Chris' great fortune for the rest of the tournament completely evaporated. I won virtually every hand.
Chris Ferguson: the solitary universe of poker players I hold over! Too bad poker doesn't have more World Champion, computer science
PhDs for me to beat up on... :)
Also see Shirley Rosario's Chris Ferguson profile in
Danish, plus Poker Pages
Chris Ferguson tournament results