My personal poker tutoring session from Chris “Jesus” Ferguson.

Reports & Blogs by Vampire Killr Posted

If you have been reading recently, then you know that I had an opportunity to attend the Howard Lederer poker camp in Las Vegas, from March 31st to April 3rd. Without question, the highlight of the poker camp was the opportunity to play in real poker tournaments with some of the world's most respected poker professionals. Tournament winners are awarded prizes such as $50,000 in cash, and players can also win a seat in the the 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP 2005). This poker camp is the real deal. (You can read my full review of the camp here)

On the first day of the camp, five minutes into the second round, guess who filled up an empty seat at my tournament table? None other than Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. Chris Ferguson is a professional poker player with multiple gold bracelets from WSOP victories, including a bracelet for his first place finish in the 2000 World Series of Poker main event. It's no coincidence that his nickname is Jesus. He has one of the most recognizable faces in poker, which bears a remarkable resemblance to a certain Biblical character.

So, Chris Ferguson sits down in my game, and everyone at the table is scared. Some of us wouldn't admit it. But, the truth is, we have seen this guy make some of the most amazing poker plays ever on television. Nobody wants to be his next victim. It's pretty surreal to actually have the guy take a seat at your tournament table.

This is where it gets good. This is where I take a pot off Jesus.

When Jesus sits down, he's in the big blind at seat 8. I'm in early position at seat 1. The blinds are $25/50. When action gets to me, I look down at my hand, and I'm holding pocket 4's. There's no question in my mind. I had to make a play with my little pocket pair against Jesus. I limped in for $50.

I get two callers, then action moves to Jesus – and he CHECKS! Hot Damn! -- I'm about to see a flop against Chris Ferguson. At this exact moment in my life, I wanted nothing more than to flop a set. Unfortunately, I didn't get quite that lucky.

The flop came down 7,7,6 rainbow. Blinds check. Action moves to me. Based on that flop, I'm feel'n alright about my pocket 4's. It wasn't the set I wanted. But, it wasn't a bad flop. I bet out $100. The two callers fold. Action moves to Jesus. Without hesitation, Jesus mucked his cards! BOOM! There it is ladies and gentlemen. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, champion of the World Series of Poker, just laid down his hand, heads up, to ME! That's respect, baby! Respect! I was pretty stoked.

Unfortunately, sitting at a tournament table with a true professional poker player is never candy and roses. This is where it gets bad. This is where Jesus takes a pot off me.

Blinds are now at $50/100. Jesus is in middle position. He is short-stacked. I'm in late position, with a slightly above average stack. Action moves to Jesus. He raises to $300. No callers. Action moves to me. I look down, and what do I see? Two very pretty picture cards. K,Q off-suit. I look at my chip stack. I look at Jesus' chip stack. It was time to make another play. I raise to $600. Blinds fold, and without hesitation Jesus moves all-in for $1,300.

Here it is poker players. With my larger chip stack, I have Jesus covered. I can call his all-in and potentially bust him out of this poker tournament. The table erupts in excitement. The television cameras converge and surround my table. Before I know it there is a microphone in my face and the poker tournament host is asking me what I'm going to do. The poker room stops. It listens to the play-by-play.

“I Call” -- Those are the last words I remember saying. Honestly, I couldn't see anything but white light. It was probably the television cameras and spotlights everywhere. I didn't know what the hell was going on. We flip over our hands...

Uh-oh. I'm in trouble. Jesus flips over A,Q offsuit. I basically have three outs (any King). I'm screwed.

A Queen did hit the flop, but I didn't get any other help. Jesus had me out-kicked. He doubled up, and he sent me into a four hour short-stack marathon. I finished the tournament inside the top-50 players (out of a field of over 300). Unfortunately, this wasn't good enough, because only the top-18 players were in the money. But you know what? I could care less. I played against Jesus.

As a side-note, Chris Ferguson is a hell of a nice guy. During the break after he put that beat on me, I walked up and asked him how I played the hand pre-flop. He told me that my raise was fine, but that the amount I raised was probably wrong. He said I should've raised essentially the pot (which would've meant a $600 raise to $900 instead of a $300 raise to $600). This made sense, especially because he was short-stacked.

Of course, I told him about – and he promised to check out the site. So, with that said – Nice hand Jesus! But you better watch out. Because the next time we go heads up, I won't be so easy on you :)

Last Edited: