It took Chris “Jesus” Ferguson about seven years to issue a 42-second video apology for the Full Tilt Poker fiasco. Hopefully he wasn’t working on writing it the entire time.
Regardless of his motivations, the poker community responded harshly to his attempt at reconciliation. This summer will mark Ferguson’s third year back at the World Series of Poker, after he took several summers off after the Full Tilt scandal.
The government said that Ferguson allocated himself $85 million in distributions for his work at the poker site, while about $160 million in U.S. player deposits went missing after the platform shut down. Years later, money began being returned thanks to rival site PokerStars more or less bailing out Full Tilt through its own $731 million settlement with the feds.
Ferguson settled with the federal government in 2013 without admitting to any wrongdoing. He maintained that he was unaware of any wrongful activity at the company.
Here’s a look at some of the most eye-popping responses on Twitter from poker community:
Daniel Negreanu: “It took all this time for Chris Ferguson to come up with THIS apology? So heartfelt. Had me in tears. My prediction: this doesn’t actually help his cause. Quite the opposite.”
Joey Ingram: “Chris Ferguson releases a statement to the poker world… thanks for your timely response Chris.”
Brian Berthiaume: “I’ll be banned from the Rio if they ever seat me next to Chris Ferguson.”
Lance Bradley: “Chris Ferguson, 10 seconds after the camera stopped rolling, ‘Phew, glad that’s over with.’”
Shane Schleger: “Is this Chris Ferguson apologizing…or is this AI, created by Chris Ferguson, apologizing?”
Mike Schneider: “That Chris Ferguson apology video though. It’d have been cringeworthy years ago. Today, 7+ years later, oh my.”
Paul Haley: “It’s been 7 years, I think we’ll figure out JFK before we get a real explanation from Ferguson.”
Dan Shak: “[E]ven if Chris had no knowledge that the $1.8 million he was receiving every month was coming from player funds, how does he after April 15 continue to allow non-Americans to deposit money in a bankrupt company?”
Dan Smith: “It feels so pathetic to walk away with $X Million and have nothing better to do then spend your time somewhere you are extremely hated.”
Mike Gorodinsky: “Honestly just feel bad for the guy. You can tell he really loves poker and wants to play, doesn’t seem like the type who was really coveting extra money with FT, but just doesn’t have the charisma/public awareness to come out of the situation unscathed. Meh.”
Eric Froehlich: “I guess [Black Friday] did effectively end my poker career and completely changed my life forever since I lost so much of my networth that day to never be seen again, but at least I have this.”
Terrence Chan: “There is quite an ‘Al-Qaeda will cut my head off if I don’t say this’ vibe to the whole”
Justin ‘Stealthmunk’ Schwartz: “I don’t understand it. He must have a weird sense of humor. He’s reading like it’s someone who told him to make this video/script. Worst PR in world? Friend trolling him? Low emotional IQ?”