Chris Ferguson’s WSOPE Win Divides Poker Community

November 3rd, 2017 | by Kaycee James

Action from the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) caused a stir on November 1 as Chris Ferguson clinched his sixth bracelet.

Chris Ferguson

Chris Ferguson (pictured) wins a WSOPE bracelet and sparks controversy on Twitter after posing with Phil Hellmuth. (Image: wsop.com)

Since he made a tentative return to the live tournament scene at the 2016 WSOP in Las Vegas, former Full Tilt executive Ferguson has been maligned by his peers. Still angry for the role he played in the site’s downfall following the Department of Justice (DOJ) shutdown, many players have made it known they don’t appreciate his presence.

Despite the backlash, Ferguson has cashed 33 times since the summer of 2016. His latest win in Event #7 of the WSOPE has helped him climb to the top of this year’s Player of the Year leaderboard.

Jesus Resurrects his WSOP Career

After lining up alongside 91 entrants in the €1,650 ($1,915) Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, the player nicknamed Jesus managed to scope the $45,677 top prize after beating Stanislav Wright heads-up.

As well as extending his lead over John Racener in the WSOP POY leaderboard and taking his career earnings just below the $9 million-mark, Ferguson’s win sparked a heated reaction online. As news of the result filtered through the industry, various gifs and comments started to appear on Twitter.

For those with first-hand experience of the Full Tilt breakdown, the win provoked an angry reaction with messages containing words such as “scumbag” and “thief.” However, in among the vitriol was a smattering of well wishes.

Some Can Forgive and Forget

Kevin Mathers offered a simple congratulations, while Phil Hellmuth took things a step further and posed for a picture with Ferguson. Prior to the DOJ’s move against Full Tilt, Hellmuth and Ferguson were often invited to the same tournaments and events.

This relationship doesn’t appear to have dwindled during Ferguson’s five-year hiatus as the two can be seen smiling in a photo with a caption from Hellmuth that reads: “Welcome back to the @WSOP winners circle Chris Ferguson!!”

While Hellmuth might have forgiven Ferguson, it seems others haven’t. In fact, the tweet appears to have brought Hellmuth some heat from his peers, not least from Daniel Negreanu.

“Couldn’t find time to grab a selfie with Harvey Weinstein, Chris Brown, or Bernie Madoff? Next best thing I guess,” tweeted Negreanu.

For his part, Ferguson thanked Hellmuth and wished that everyone would be “warmer” to him. Whether or not the WSOPE bracelet winner has served his time may be up for debate, but it seems the social media jury isn’t ready to offer Jesus much forgiveness just yet.

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