I know everybody is looking forward to the start of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event this weekend and might not really be focused on the present. I know lots of people in the United States are a bit hungover from the Independence Day revelry yesterday or simply exhausted from battling traffic and crowds and spending four hours to watch two minutes worth of fireworks. But it’s time to pay attention. Chris Ferguson is second in the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year rankings.
I implore all of you playing in WSOP events the rest of this summer and later this fall at WSOP Europe in Rozvadov, Czech Republic: please don’t let Chris Ferguson win the Player of the Year award. I will admit, it is not an easy thing to target someone at a poker table and in virtually any other circumstance, I wouldn’t really even condone such behavior. You don’t want to play sub-optimally just to try to knock Ferguson out, but at the same time, you need to do what you can to prevent him from earning more POY points.
Like any poker fan, I used to like Chris Ferguson. He has clearly been a great poker player, he was an intriguing, quietly charismatic personality, could fuck up a banana with a playing card, and he was quite gracious to me personally when I interviewed him at the WSOP back in 2005. But as we all know, he was a central figure in the disappearance of millions of dollars in Full Tilt Poker player funds and, unlike his co-scum, Howard Lederer, he has never really apologized or fessed up to any sort of wrongdoing.
I have gone on record to say that he shouldn’t be banned from the WSOP, but that doesn’t mean we should be happy he is there, let alone doing well.
Right now, he is second in the WSOP POY standings with 693.42 points, trailing only John Racener and his 729.92 points. There is plenty of opportunity remaining for Ferguson to climb to the top spot. What’s kind of bullshit, too, and shines a light on what may be a weakness of the scoring system, is that Ferguson hasn’t even performed all THAT amazingly at the WSOP. He has simply grinded out loads of tournaments, making lots of small cashes. Certainly, consistently cashing at the WSOP is an accomplishment of which to be proud, but does it deserve Player of the Year?
So far, Ferguson has cashed 14 times at the 2017 WSOP. That’s a lot of times cracking the money bubble, to be sure. Only three of those cashes, though, have gone for more than four-figures. Now, while I would LOVE to make a four-figure cash in a poker tournament (I did once, I swear!), it’s not that significant of an accomplishment in a major tourney.
Ferguson’s best run this summer was in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, where he finished 4th for $150,929. That’s great! Other than that, though, he has only one other event where he even finished in the top-40. To be fair, Racener hasn’t performed all that much better, with the same number of cashes and lots of four-figure winnings, but at least he has four top-21 finishes, including one bracelet.
Chris Ferguson is close to winning the World Series of Poker Player of the Year. Do we really want this for our children? Is how we’re going to Make America Great Again?