Mike Sexton is a 65-year-old professional poker player loved to talk about: “the man who discovered poker to the world”. Michael is the winner of the WSOP gold bracelet, the winner of the WSOP Tournament of Champions, the host of the popular TV show World Poker Tour, as well as the author of the book “Shuffle and give away”. In addition, Sexton sometimes writes articles for the Gambling Times and Cardplayer magazines. Many poker veterans consider him one of the best players of all time. Sexton was included in the Poker Hall of Fame in 2009 for his huge contribution to the development of poker.
The first steps in poker
Mike Sexton was born September 22, 1947 in the small town of Shelby, Indiana. He got involved in card games, including poker, pretty early on. At the age of 12, he started moonlighting as a newspaper boy, only to lose all his pay to his friend Danny Robinson in his spare time. Still, Mike says those were the best poker lessons of his life.
Sexton is choosing a new profession
Michael graduated from Ohio University, where he earned his degree in tourism. In 1970, he joined the Army and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. After graduation, Sexton got married and became a sales manager. At first everything was fine, the job suited him, but then he realized that playing cards can earn much more. It was poker that separated Mike first from his wife and then from his job. In 1977, he devoted himself completely to poker. He also became a baseball coach in a small league, which prevented him from getting to the WSOP, as the schedules of world series and baseball tournaments coincided in time.
WSOP gold bracelet.
In 1984 Sexton took part in the WSOP tournament for the first time, where he took 5th place and received $8,400. A year later he moved to Nevada to be closer to Vegas. After moving to Nevada, he regularly competed in WSOP tournaments. In 1989, he won 1st place in a 7 Card Stud tournament, for which he received his first gold bracelet and $104,000. And his life of card games fascinated him with his head.
Popularization of the game.
After achieving success in poker, Sexton began to pay more attention to the promotion of the game as a whole than his game. He believed that big money would come into the game and poker tournaments would start to be broadcast on television. Mike’s predictions were destined to come true. “I never doubted that poker would grow. “It really is the most American game. When I talked about poker shows in the ’80s, everybody laughed, no poker player except Helmut knew what I was talking about,” Sexton recalls.
After winning the prestigious Four Queens tournament in 1996, the owner of “Cardplayer”, Linda Johnson, invited Mike to write for the magazine. He did not hesitate to agree and kept a personal column for 10 years.
The WPT Champions Tournament and “voice”
In the late 90s, Sexton caught fire with the idea of creating the Tournament of Champions. “I always thought that poker should have a tournament like the Champions Tournament of Golf. I wanted a tournament with only the world’s strongest poker players in it,” says Mike. Obsessed with the idea of creating such a tournament, he began to travel around the country to persuade like-minded people to organize it. Mike was the one who started the idea for the WSOP Tournament of Champions.
Since 2000, Mike has been working as a consultant for the renowned Party Poker Room. Since 2003, he has been the indispensable “voice” of the WPT tournament.
Determined and indestructible.
Mike Sexton dedicated his life to his favorite card game and made poker more popular. One of the most respected players of our time, Doyle Brunson, says about Mike in the following way: “He did a lot for poker. As long as I’ve known him, he’s always tried to promote the game. He’s made a really big contribution to the game. I think he’s a unique person who can do anything.”
What is Michael Sexton proud of?
Currently, Sexton continues to participate in various major poker tournaments. Looking back on his career, he says he is particularly proud of his WSOP gold bracelet and his victory in the Champions Tournament. Still, there’s nothing like hitting the Poker Hall of Fame.