Is Chris Ferguson Taking More Heat than Deserved from the Poker Community?

For some strange reason that isn’t based on logic, I want to one day see the poker community and Chris Ferguson kiss and make up. But I realize the odds of that happening are about as likely as me winning the Main Event this year, and I won’t even be competing in the tournament.

Ferguson, for the first time since 2011, issued a public apology, if that’s what you want to call it, for failing to prevent the Black Friday scandal at Full Tilt Poker, the poker site he co-owned. After seven years of silence, this 42-second video is all he’s willing to give the poker community which once adored him.

Chris Ferguson reaches out to the poker community from Chris Ferguson on Vimeo.

Forget the fact he appears to be held hostage in the video. It’s simply unacceptable that a man in his position, someone who had millions of fans and an impeccable reputation in poker, still continues to refuse to accept responsibility and share details of what really went down at Full Tilt Poker on Black Friday, seven years later.

This is not a contrite apology. If he was truly sorry for accepting a multi-million-dollar bonus when his company didn’t even have the reserves available to pay its customers, he would have released a lengthy statement and said things like, “I made some inexcusable mistakes,” and, “taking that bonus check before we paid our customers was unacceptable and I’m truly sorry.” But he didn’t. Instead, he gave us basically a, “gee, guys, I’m totally sorry and all, please don’t beat me up at the Rio this summer. Okay, thanks, bye.”

Ferguson is a highly intelligent human being. But he’s socially inept. I don’t know if he’s been diagnosed with social anxiety or some other mental illness. I just know that he’s one of those geniuses that are clueless when it comes to public relations and reputation management.

It just boggles my mind how he could have thought this video, after seven years of no explanation or apology, would convince anyone to forgive him. If anything, by drawing attention to himself like this, he brought out all the “I hate Chris Ferguson” trolls that moved on years ago.

We need more, Chris. This is unacceptable. The poker community deserves a contrite apology and a lengthy, detailed explanation of this “Full Tilt Poker story” you claim we don’t know. If there really is a story that the public is unaware of, tell us. And then explain why it took so long to share this story.

Whether he was responsible for the players not being paid in a timely manner or not, he owed the poker community an explanation years ago.

I know this isn’t a popular opinion but I don’t think Ferguson is a bad guy. I think he’s a bit greedy, like most people. I also think he isn’t fit to run a company. But I don’t believe he intended to screw anyone over. Or, maybe I’m just being a bit naive because he was one of my favorite players before the Black Friday scandal.

I still hope one day he’ll be formally welcomed back by the poker community. But if isn’t willing to give us more than 42 seconds of a pseudo-apology, he doesn’t deserve the respect of poker players and fans. Get it together, Chris. You’re better than this. At least I thought you were.

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