Mike Sexton

Mike Sexton

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Michael Sexton (born September 22, 1947 in Shelby, Indiana) is an American professional poker player and commentator.

Early years

Sexton was a gymnast and attended The Ohio State University where he earned a degree in public recreation after changing majors from business. He jokes that he majored in poker because he played very frequently in college. He also regularly played contract bridge and taught classes on it in North Carolina.

Sexton joined the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division in 1970. The division, however, had just gotten back from Vietnam, so he never saw any action. While he was in the army he taught ballroom dancing and one of his clients convinced him to try being a salesman, which he continued to do after his two-year enlistment was up. After a while he realized that he could make more money playing poker than being a salesman, so he took up poker in 1977.

Although Sexton frequented tournaments, he was never able to make it to the World Series of Poker because he coached Little League baseball teams and the schedules overlapped. In 1985 he moved to Nevada to pursue poker full time. Sexton was a well known cohort with poker player Stu Ungar. Upon Ungar's death, Sexton was a pallbearer and speaker at his funeral.

Poker player and promoter

As of 2008, Sexton has won several tournaments, including one World Series of Poker bracelet, and over $3,600,000 in total tournament winnings. He is also in the top 10 for all time number of finishes in the money at the WSOP, with 44 cashes.
However, Sexton is better known for his promotion of various poker events and services. He is the main host of the World Poker Tour and spokesman for PartyPoker.com, an online poker room. He has written for Card Player Magazine and the Gambling Times. He also founded the now defunct Tournament of Champions of Poker, which only let tournament winners from the previous year compete.

For all of his work promoting poker, Sexton is often known as the "ambassador of poker". Because of his affiliations, however, Sexton is unable to play in some poker events. Although the number of games he plays currently is less than before, he states that he doesn't mind so much, having played for so many years. Sexton did finish 10th in a preliminary event at the 2005 World Series of Poker and also in the final 16 of Poker Superstars II.

On February 15, 2006, Sexton was recognized as the top poker ambassador at the Card Player Magazine Player of the Year Awards Gala.

On June 27 2006, Sexton won the third annual World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions event, and along with it the $1,000,000 first prize. In the final hand, his A? A? defeated Daniel Negreanu's Q? J? on a board of 10? 8? 4? A? 8?. Sexton later donated half of his post-tax winnings to five charities, and has pledged to do the same with all future winnings.

On March 20th, 2008, Sexton announced that he was becoming the official spokesman for the National League of Poker, a free to play online poker site.

Sexton talked about his partnership with NLOP saying "NLOP offers players a no-loss poker experience but still provides the chance to win prizes and to learn how to play and enjoy the game".

In early 2009, Sexton along with Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher and Lisa Tenner, created PokerGives.org. It's a nonprofit organization that offers poker players an easier way to give to charity. (Credit: Wikipedia).




Mike Sexton Re-Signs with PartyPoker, by Dan Cypra - 30th April 2009
(Credit: Poker News Daily)

World Poker Tour (WPT) Host Mike Sexton has renewed his agreement with PartyPoker, according to a statement released by the popular online poker site on Wednesday. He will act as its host, consultant, and ambassador.

For many of today’s poker superstars, Sexton was one of the first voices to bring the game to life. Alongside Vince Van Patten, Sexton has brought the WPT into millions of households around the world for seven seasons. A spokesperson for Party Gaming, which is the publicly traded parent company of the independent online poker site, commented in a press release, “We are truly delighted to renew our association with Mike Sexton. Mike is the ‘Ambassador of Poker’ and we hope he gets the acknowledgement he deserves and is inducted into the World Series of Poker Hall of Fame this year. Poker wouldn’t be as popular as it is today if it wasn’t for Mike Sexton.”

On his role with PartyPoker, Sexton explained, “PartyPoker has always had a place in my heart and is special to me. I am delighted to pen a new deal; it means so much to me. I am looking forward to representing them in events around the world and meeting the online package winners at the WSOP. I also relish my role as a consultant advising on poker room matters.” According to traffic ranking site PokerScout.com, PartyPoker is the fourth largest worldwide with a seven day running average of 4,400 real money ring game players and sees a high of just over 7,000. It is the second largest site or network that does not allow players from the United States.

At the upcoming World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, Sexton will serve as the host of PartyPoker’s suite. The WPT personality will also blog about his experiences on the site throughout the two month-long spectacle. Twenty years ago, Sexton took down a bracelet in a $1,500 buy-in Limit Seven Card Stud High-Low tournament for $104,000. More importantly, he claimed his first (and so far only) WSOP bracelet. Sexton finished fourth in the $10,000 buy-in World Championship of Pot Limit Hold’em last year for $248,000. The tournament kicked off ESPN’s coverage of the 2008 WSOP and was ultimately won by Full Tilt Poker pro Nenad Medic.

Sexton told Poker News Daily, “PartyPoker.com recently revamped its software, VIP and loyalty programs, and is the best platform on the market. Three-quarters of players have chosen to take the new table, but there is also the option of keeping the classic table design.”

Sexton claimed victory in the 1992 running of the Foxwoods Poker Finals. Eight years later, he took down the Euro Finals of Poker Main Event in Paris, the first American to do so. In 2006, he won the WSOP Tournament of Champions, besting one of the toughest final tables ever assembled. He defeated Team PokerStars Pro member Daniel Negreanu heads-up. Mike Matusow, Andy Bloch, Darrell “Gigabet” Dicken, Chris Ferguson, and Kido Pham also were among those in contention. Until Season VII, Sexton was not able to compete in WPT events. He sits in the top 15 in number of cashes on WSOP felts at 44.

Sexton is a Guest Columnist right here on Poker News Daily and has shared his thoughts on the National Heads-Up Poker Championship and the 2009 WSOP schedule with the site’s readers. He has also relived serving as an expert witness in a case in South Carolina to prove poker is a game of skill. He came armed with a video library of hands that have played out during WPT tournaments to show how a player’s skill in betting and bluffing won pots. In addition, Dr. Robert Hannum from the University of Denver spoke on the results of a study that examined 103 million hands on PokerStars. It was revealed that three-quarters of them did not go to showdown, meaning a player’s skill won the pot 75% of the time.

PartyPoker will hold the third installment of its Monthly Million tournament on Sunday. The event comes with a $640 price tag and runs on the first Sunday of every month. The month of May will also see PartyPoker hold a $1 million rake race that awards a combination of cash and WSOP prize packages and satellite buy-ins to its winners. The top 3,000 players will finish in the money when the final leader board is determined on May 31st.




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