VALLEY CENTER, March 4, 2005 -- After a grueling 13-hour final table, former World Series of Poker (WSOP) World Champion Chris "Jesus" Ferguson walked away with $650,220 and the championship title at the second stop in the 2005 WSOP Circuit held March 2-3 at Harrah's Rincon Casino in Southern California.
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, from Pacific Palisades, California, trailed final table competitors through much of the event but finished strong to win the final hand at 3 a.m. It was his second final table in the inaugural WSOP Circuit. Ferguson finished ninth at the WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's Atlantic City in January.
Although normally stoic and serious when playing, Ferguson waved and took a victory lap around the final table. He was clearly ecstatic with his win. Of all his poker accomplishments, this had to be among the most satisfying, as he consistently made the right moves at the right time, bet the right amounts, came back from a few beats, and ultimately triumphed against nine very tough competitors.
"I didn't win any tournaments at last year's World Series of Poker," Ferguson said afterward. "I did have a second, but now winning this one kind of makes up for that."
Ferguson, known as "Jesus" in the poker world because of his long hair, captured the WSOP World Championship in 2000. He has won five coveted WSOP gold bracelets and has finished in the money at 36 WSOP events in his career.
Finishing second at the WSOP Harrah's Rincon Circuit championship was 2003 WSOP gold bracelet winner Prahlad Friedman of Los Angeles ($361,365 in earnings). Third place went to Chad Brown, also of Los Angeles ($198,550). ESPN will televise the final table of the WSOP Harrah's Rincon Circuit championship in July.
Upcoming WSOP Circuit events are scheduled for Harrah's Rio (Las Vegas), Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Harrah's New Orleans, and the annual extravaganza in Las Vegas, culminating in the world championship of poker this summer.
The 36th annual World Series of Poker will begin June 2 at the Rio, which will host all but the final two days of the tournament. The event's final two days, July 14 and July 15, will be played at the Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas, which has been home to the tournament since its inception.
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates the World Series of Poker.# # #