Remembering Mike Sexton
Two years ago, poker lost the outstanding Mike Sexton, who made a huge contribution to the development and popularization of the game. Remembering Mike Sexton, his help in founding partypoker, the gold bracelet in 1989, the Hall of Fame in 2009, and working with Vincent Van Patten on Fox immediately comes to mind. Sexton worked on this TV channel for about 15 years. It was recently the second anniversary of his death, so we suggest remembering the best moments with Sexton’s participation.
Friends and colleagues called Sexton a role model. The commentator and the player has never been seen in scandals related to fraud and did not scold his rivals at the gaming table. Sexton was always modest and unassuming. Two months before his death, the American gave an interview to PokerNews, where he said: “Before WPT, you couldn’t find a place where no limit hold’em would be played permanently, poker rooms were constantly closed. Then, thanks to Steve Lipscomb and Lyle Berman, the WPT series was born, and everyone wanted to play poker, which was shown on TV. The poker world has boomed.”
In 2009, Mike was included in the Poker Hall of Fame
Exactly two years ago, Linda Johnson, also known as the “First Lady of Poker”, told the sad news about the death of Sexton, who had been battling cancer for a long time. Thousands of players expressed their condolences.
“I first met Mike in the mid-nineties in London. Over a couple of beers, he passionately outlined his vision for poker in the future: television, sponsors, and respectability. He saw the potential and wanted to raise poker from the very bottom. I thought he was crazy, so we quickly became friends. I should never have doubted him. Under the cheerful nature, he had the heart of a champion,” said Padraig Parkinson.
“Most people think the poker boom started when Moneymaker won the WSOP, but that’s not true. This happened a few months earlier when Sexton and WPT began their broadcast on April 30, 2003. That was Mike Sexton’s strength,” Mason Malmuth said.
“Mike has had a huge impact on the poker world. The game wouldn’t be so popular without Mike Sexton, and poker players wouldn’t have that much money without Mike,” Phil Hellmuth added.
According to The Hendon Mob, Sexton has won $6,708,146 since 1981. He won his first and only gold bracelet in 1989, becoming the champion of the stud hi/lo. Twice more, he became a runner-up. The commentator won the biggest money in the Big One for One Drop, finishing 9th and receiving $1,109,333.
In 2016, Sexton’s dream came true — he became the WPT champion, a series he had been commenting on for a long time. He won the WPT Montreal main event, where he earned $317,817. As a result, his name was engraved on the prestigious cup. This summer, the cup was named after Sexton.
In 2001, Sexton, together with Indian programmers, created the partypoker website, which quickly gained popularity, but because of Black Friday, the platform left the American market. Gradually, competitors bypassed partypoker, Mike sold his stake in the company, and in 2017 returned to the post of president. In 2009, Mike was included in the Poker Hall of Fame. Mike will remain in the hearts of many players as the main popularizer of poker.