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When I began this website in 2006, weblogs were being a great deal much more of a “thing.” Heck, so was poker, especially online poker.

The Illegal Net Gambling Enforcement Act was nonetheless a few months absent from slithering into our life in the lifeless of night as a surreptitious nutritional supplement to one more, unrelated invoice. And it would nonetheless be virtually 5 yrs before Black Friday came alongside to raze the online recreation down to the felt (below in the United States, that is).

I’d been participating in online for some time before I began the website. I was also eagerly consuming other weblogs, textbooks, journals, podcasts, message boards, and everything else connected to the recreation. Like some (or most) of you, I’d guess.

For a selection of yrs I possibly performed at minimum some poker pretty much every single day. I also spent virtually every spare second looking at about poker — finding out approach, understanding about the game’s prolonged and vibrant record, and looking at news about gamers and tournaments.

I was as fascinated as any individual by all of those “poker celebrities” of that “boom” era, way too, and early on received a kick out of the idea I was participating in the similar recreation they were being. Total Tilt Poker’s prolonged-functioning “Learn, Chat and Participate in with the Pros” campaign was a good 1, encouraging numerous to get included and even consider they, way too, could increase their game titles and move up to bigger and greater factors — not as opposed to the professionals with whom they figured out, chatted, and performed.

1 of the numerous, numerous promotions Total Tilt Poker ran way back all-around 2009 or so was called “The Chris Ferguson Challenge.” If you performed the micros back then you absolutely remember it. It included Ferguson, 1 of the site’s founders (and 1 of the core “red pros” representing FTP), embarking on a nifty “challenge” in which he experimented with to construct a bankroll of $10,000 from very little at all.

He began out with freerolls and won entries into little buy-in events, then by subsequent rigid bankroll administration suggestions (and continuing to earn, of program) he did right after busting a time or two take care of to constructed that $10K roll which he then donated to charity.

In 2011, the full idea of “The Chris Ferguson Challenge” took on a distinct connotation subsequent Black Friday, and especially right after the later amendment to the civil grievance that extra Ferguson (among others) to the record of those accused of wrongdoing.

Allegations versus Ferguson were being in the end dismissed many months right after PokerStars purchased out the website, compensated the DOJ an massive settlement, and also managed to get money back to FTP gamers right after yrs of uncertainty pertaining to whether or not or not the revenue in those accounts may be shed eternally.

The dismissal swept absent the situation of lawful culpability for Ferguson and others, but the ironic juxtaposition remained. “The Chris Ferguson Challenge” presented a lesson in how to transform a small (very little, in reality) into a whole lot. Total Tilt Poker meanwhile presented a lesson in how to transform a whole lot into a small (into a whole lot considerably less than very little, in reality).

Immediately after the final of the FTP-connected settlements were being ultimately completed in 2016, each Ferguson and Lederer turned back up at the Environment Sequence of Poker right after a six-calendar year absence. Most with any memory of the Total Tilt debacle were being considerably less than delighted.

The pair then came back again this summertime, even boldly participating in a tag-staff party alongside one another. Even though Lederer has however to money the moment because returning to the tables, Ferguson has thrived, cashing 10 times at the 2016 WSOP, then a history seventeen times at the 2017 WSOP. (John Racener also cashed seventeen times in Las Vegas at this year’s WSOP.)

That good results encouraged Ferguson to carry on a quest for WSOP Participant of the 12 months in the lately completed WSOP Europe series in Rozvadov. There he managed to obtain six much more cashes which include a bracelet earn to clinch the award.

Back again in 2016, Ferguson responded to issues about his return with a curt non-response: “I’m just below to enjoy poker.” Immediately after winning his bracelet final 7 days and clinching Participant of the 12 months, he pointed out how the prospect of winning POY offered a form of challenge he wished to attempt: “I was just making an attempt to sneak in… just progress a small bit making an attempt to get a few much more [POY] factors. And it is just form of transpired. It is the ideal way,” he claimed.

Ferguson’s new challenge — and his assembly it with good results — managed to be the central tale of the WSOPE, thieving notice and headlines absent from others like Niall Farrell and Dominik Nitsche (who every won significant rollers) and Principal Occasion winner Marti Roca.

Again, numerous were being considerably less than enthused by these a transform of events. Certainly, even though the first “Chris Ferguson Challenge” was genuinely inspiring, this new 1 form of has the opposite result.

Photo (adapted): PokerNews

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