Phil 'The Poker Brat' Hellmuth Gets Lambasted for Defending 'Jesus'

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The other day we reported on how Chris "Jesus" Ferguson finally got around to apologizing for his role in a 2011 ponzi scheme that left customers of Full Tilt Poker screwed until the U.S. Government stepped in to rescue them. described the "apology" as 42 seconds of nothing really.

At least one prominent player, Phil Hellmuth, came to Ferguson's defense.  Hellmuth was once the face of another company that got caught up in a similar ponzi scheme at the same time as Full Tilt Poker, UltimateBet.

Hellmuth tweeted this weekend:

Here is a video from Chris Ferguson. It’s a shame that so many of the younger poker players have JUDGED Chris so harshly. I believe that the whole truth about Full Tilt Poker will come out, and I believe the “Haters” will be surprised

Of course, the incident occurred just seven years ago so that there are plenty of not-so-young people who feel similar disdain towards Ferguson.

Before the ponzi scheme involving UltimateBet, there was an insider cheating scandal that would later be profiled on the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes.

Unlike Ferguson, who was seen as having a stake in Full Tilt Poker, Hellmuth was viewed as more of an unwitting pawn.


Although the Ultimate Bet cheating was not carried out by Hellmuth, both he and Annie Duke, two of the most famous poker faces back in the day, were recruited by (Russ) Hamilton to promote Ultimate Bet. Both became mired in the controversy which surrounded UB, continuing in their roles for the site, despite many calls for such high-profile players to distance themselves from the wrong-doings.

Duke did not get off so easy as many suspected she had a more intimate role in the scandal, not to mention she is the half-sister of another man accused in the Full Tilt Poker ponzi scheme, Howard Lederer. It should be noted that Lederer offered his apology a few years ago.

- Nagesh Rath,

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