Chris Ferguson

Poker Source: What is your favorite childhood memory?

Chris Ferguson: [Chuckles] I don’t know if I have any specific ones. I always liked getting into trouble. Only a little bit of trouble, not too much trouble. I had a wonderful childhood. I had a fantastic childhood.

I always loved school. I guess maybe my favorite childhood memory was of my French teacher, who, oddly enough, was probably the funniest person I’ve ever met in my life. It would be very difficult to give you a flavor of how funny he was, but he put on a show for the students. Over the course of basically his entire lifetime, he pretended to be someone else. He pretended to be this complete idiot. He pretended never to remember anyone’s name and it was just a blast. That’s when I realized I loved school, because every time I left his classroom, I was just in a great mood and having a great time.

PS: How has playing poker changed your life?

Chris Ferguson: I don’t know if it’s changed my life; it IS my life. In the sense that it’s always been my life. I was a student and after I graduated from UCLA, I went straight into poker. So, I feel it has always been part of my life and I don’t think that it’s changed my life. It IS my life, and in a sense, it always has been.

PS: What has been your biggest extravagance since turning pro?

Chris Ferguson: I might go out to a nightclub once in a while [laughs] and spend some money on my friends, but that’s about it.

PS: If you weren’t a poker player, how would you be earning a living?

Chris Ferguson: You want me to say dancing? I don’t think I’d be…I’m not a professional dancer, and I don’t think I’d want to be. I think I’d probably be in the stock market. But no matter what, I’ll always be dancing, but probably never professionally.

I used to teach dancing, by the way, but that I didn’t even do professionally. I did that for the UCLA dance club.

PS: What is the worst part of being recognized?

Chris Ferguson: I love being recognized. But every once in a while, you need to get somewhere and you’re really in a hurry, and that’s the only time…otherwise I love it. If I’m in a hurry and have to get somewhere, I really hate being rude to people, so I really love giving people the attention.

It’s getting a little bit harder, especially during the Main Event. I have a lot of stuff going on right now, so it’s a little bit difficult and right now there are really a lot of huge poker fans out there. I love having the fans.

PS: What was the lowest point and highest point in your poker career?

Chris Ferguson: Lowest point was three days ago, getting knocked out of the Main Event at the World Series. This is absolutely the biggest tournament there’s ever been in history. Every year it’s historic, but this is a very special year. It’s way bigger than it’s ever been. So I think that may be a low point. I’ve never had any real low points, so we’ll go with that one.

The high point has to be winning the World Series in 2000.

PS: Where is your favorite place to hang out when you’re not playing poker?

Chris Ferguson: I go dancing. I don’t just hang out. Whatever city I’m in, I’ll find a nightclub to go to. Usually, when I’m playing poker, I’m not in L.A., so I have to ask the locals what are the best places to go. Often, I’m in a casino, so there might be a place to go right there, but otherwise I have to find somewhere to go, and it’s usually easy enough to do.

PS: What is your most significant or proudest non-poker accomplishment?

Chris Ferguson: I think probably founding Tiltware, the company that designed the software for Full Tilt Poker. That’s probably one of my biggest accomplishments. I think we’ve created a very successful company here and I’m extremely proud of everyone involved with the company.

PS: Who would play YOU in the Chris Ferguson Story?

Chris Ferguson: Johnny Depp. He’s my favorite actor, so I’ve got to go with him.

PS: What is your least favorite interview question?

Phil Gordon, looking on: That one!
Chris Ferguson: We’ve hit a new low! [laughs] No, let’s see…something like, “Who do you fear most at the table or who’s the best player?”

Originally published July 20, 2005