Ponzi schemer issues half-ass apology. Man in black goes emo and asks for sympathy. Pariah digs deeper hole. Pick whatever lede you want. The poker community lost their collective mind on Thursday when word got out that Chris "Jesus" Ferguson released a brief statement with a so-called apology. It's been seven long and lean years since Black Friday, and while some players still have a raging inferno of a grudge burning inside them, the majority of the community either forgot about it, or put the incident behind them in the past. Well thanks to a short video clip, everyone got to relive the fallout of Black Friday and the Full Tilt Scandal. It was like reliving the moment you got shot by an armed robber. It was like ripping off the bandages on an unhealed wound and yanking out the stitches with a boxcutter.
The timing of the video -- a week before the WSOP, seven years too late, and the actual length of 42 seconds -- sent the poker community into a frenzy. Folks who've been pissed off for seven years, really lost their shit. Everyday boom players who put the tragic incident out of their minds were treated to a bout of Black Friday/Full Tilt Scandal PTSD. Even the average player with ostrich tendencies pulled their heads out of the sand for a moment to scream, "WTF bruh?"
Jesus said you should forgive your neighbor 70 times 7. That's the real Jesus, by the way. Jesus Christ, son of God. It's in the Bible, and the quote is not literal. Jesus didn't want you to forgive your neighbor 490 times and then hold a grudge on the 491th time. Jesus wanted you to forgive. All. The. Time.
Jesus Ferguson asked for forgiveness from the poker community. At least, I think he did. Is that what was going on in the video? For a hot second I thought a mob of irate poker players (comprised of PocketFivers and 2+2ers) stormed Jesus' secret compound and held him hostage while making him read that weird statement. If you look closely, you can see the secret SOS message he sent by blinking in Morse Code.
Then again, if the forum guys made him read a statement, it would be a waaaaaaaaay funnier script and have at least one reference to nutsack and T.J. Cookier.
Joey Ingram was crushing Twitter yesterday once the news broke.
If you're a part of the biggest Ponzi scheme in poker history and it takes you 7 years to release a ridiculous 40 second video, maybe it's best you just stay away from the poker world and focus on throwing cards at fruit full time— Joey Ingram (@Joeingram1) May 24, 2018
Jesus Ferguson should have stayed silent... at least until the "real" story of Full Tilt Poker came out. When will that happen? Did the FBI seal the files until 2061? Is there a documentary in the works by Alex Gibney? Or are we waiting for a special live for TV event when Geraldo Rivera discovers a secret bunker in an undisclosed location in the Nevada desert, where he'll crack open a vault stuffed with Full Tilt Scandal secrets and Ted Binion's hidden silver bullion?
I'd pay good money to read an in-depth investigative book from a real journalist like Haley Hintze, because I'd love to hear the truth. I don't give a shit about apologies, I just want to know… 1) what went down, and 2) how we can prevent this from happening again.
I'd love to say in a perfect world, we'd get our money back... but it's never gonna happen. A few folks got repaid (apparently out of Isai's pocket via the fines they paid) but a lot of others got stiffed, while there's no shortage of online poker players who still have a mouth full of bile that they still haven't been able to swallow seven years later.
Seven years. That's seven years too late.
"It's never late for an apology." That's coded recovery language you'll often find hanging on the wall at your local group support meeting. Amends is something that makes addicts/drunks/junkies-turned-sober people feel better about themselves so they can get a clean slate on life and eliminate the guilt from their past actions to focus on staying sober now. That's self-serving for the ex-drunk, but it does jack shit for all the people that were collateral damage over the years.
"Sorry I puked in your car and started a fight with the cops for no reason whatsoever and you got tossed in jail. But that was then, and I'm a new person now."
Classic manipulation technique. Fuck with the victim by claiming to be their victim. The worst kind of newly-minted sober person is the self-entitled twat who thinks they can get a pass for being an utter asshole by simply saying the words: I am sorry. Amends is a baby step forward toward redemption, but that's it. A baby step. Unless there's a substantial and sincere follow up... it's all for naught. I'm willing to work on reforming past relationships, but only if it's worth repairing. Most of the time, it's empty words and the actions (or inaction) speaks for itself.
This video only made things worse. Jesus kicked a sleeping dog. He kicked thousands of sleeping dogs, and bears, and gorillas. Even dinosaur bones buried deep below the Earth for millions of years are rising up and the Jurassic skeletons are voicing their dissent.
This fucking guy had balls enough to step back into the Rio for a full slate of WSOP events last summer and he pulled off Player of the Year despite the tremendous backlash and everyone rooting for anyone else: John Racener, Ryan Hughes, John Monnette, or Mike Leah.
The black hat always symbolized the bad guy in western films. Jesus Ferguson wore a black hat. He also had devil's magic at his disposal and could slice and dice fruit with stunning accuracy. Jesus Ferguson lived up to the bad boy, pariah archetype. He went on a lam for a few years but brazenly rode back in town. Black hat and all. And the villian in the black hat rode out of town with more money.
Jesus Ferguson's 2017 WSOP POY banner is gonna be hung from the rafters for everyone to see. It's like your parents proudly displaying a photo of you with tons of zits during the most awkward phase of your teenage years. It's an embarrassing and humiliating phase of my life that to forget, but thanks for conjuring up fucking awful memories. While we're at it, let's bring up severe childhood traumas like the time you sent the family dog to live on a farm upstate?
Jesus Ferguson made an apology and all I can say is... fuck you, pay me.