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Jesus' journey from $0 to $10k
He may not be able to walk on water like his namesake, but Chris "Jesus" Ferguson can take nothing and turn it into $10,000.
It does sound a bit miraculous, but Ferguson started an account on Full Tilt Poker with absolutely no money and in the past 16 months has turned it into more than $10,000. It's not that he didn't have the cash to put into playing online, so it wasn't about the money.
"Chris is doing just fine," says the Full Tilt Poker site. "Instead, it's an exercise in bankroll management."
His first step in the process was just playing in freerolls until he earned enough to move up to play in games with a real-money buy-in. Even after getting into real-money play, it wasn't smooth sailing for the poker pro.
"Starting out, I'd often manage to win a dollar or two, but I'd quickly get busted and have to start over again," Ferguson said on the poker site. "It took some time but, after awhile, I was eventually able to graduate to games that required an actual buy-in."
He spent seven months playing with a wildly fluctuating bankroll before it finally settled down at about $6.50 in November. Then he hit it big with a $1 buy-in tournament, making it to second place in a 683-person field to win $104.
"Even today, people don't believe it's really me when I sit down at Full Tilt's small-stakes games," Ferguson said. "They ask what I'm doing down here, and often tell me stories about how they turned $5 into $500 or $100 into $1,000."
He said usually the stories end with the person going broke as well, which isn't surprising considering the players are trying to quickly build a bankroll by gambling.
"They'd play in a game that was beyond their bankroll, and if they happened to win, they'd move up to a higher limit and risk it all one more time," Ferguson said. "Inevitably, they'd lose a few big hands and go broke."
To prevent that from happening to himself, Ferguson followed a few basic rules to keep himself on track:
He never bought into a cash game or sit-and-go with more than 5% of his bankroll. The only exception was that in the lowest limits he could buy into any game with a $2.50 or less buy-in.
He wouldn't buy into a multi-table tournament for more than 2% of his bankroll, and he could enter any multi-table tournament with a $1 buy-in.
During a No-Limit or Pot-Limit cash game, if the money on the table got to the point where it represented more than 10% of his bankroll, he had to leave the game when the blinds reached him.
By sticking with those rules, Ferguson not only met his initial $10,000 goal this month, he exceeded it. Earlier this week, he had more than $13,000 in his bankroll.
You can check out his progress at the Chris "Jesus" Ferguson Challenge page , or join Full Tilt Poker and you could be playing right alongside him as well as several other pros who play at the poker site.