Poker Legend Mike Sexton Dies Aged 72

September 15th, 2020 2.00pm

Poker can be found at some of the world’s leading casinos, but many players remember the time when the popular game wasn’t as widely available as it is today. Well, at least when it comes to online casinos.

Many will say that the turning point was the launch of partypoker back in 2001, which helped increase the popularity of online poker. One of the people responsible for the place online poker has in today’s world of online gambling was Mike Sexton, the founder and later the announcer of the World Poker Tour television show.

A True Legend of the Game

In addition to founding the world-famous poker card-room, Sexton was a fantastic player himself, which earned him the nickname the Ambassador of Poker.

Sadly, Sexton passed away last week at the age of 72. According to a statement made by Linda Johnson, his close friend, the poker star died surrounded by his loved ones.

Mike Sexton was, without a doubt, one of the most important persons in the history of the game. He gave a tremendous contribution to the popularization of poker, both on television and online. Many credited him for being the crucial link that bridged the gap between the two forms of playing, bringing together old school and new school to create the modern poker segment.

But his work didn’t stop there. Sexton also worked as the World Poker Tour spokesman, being present at every tournament from 2002 to 2017. He was there at every major event for more than a decade and a half, becoming the most recognizable face in the world of poker.

Online Revolution

The key moment in the development of online poker was in 2001 when Mike Sexton and Mike O’Mally founded the partypoker website. Together, they have managed to do what no one had done before, completely revolutionizing the game. In years to come, partypoker became one of the most popular online gaming sites, and Sexton was a crucial figure in those efforts.

Speaking about the early days of partypoker, O’Mally once said that Mike had personally convinced the site executives to launch the Million promotion, which offered staggering tournament rewards to new players.

The first tournament wasn’t so successful, resulting in a loss of nearly £390,000. However, the second one, organized through a partnership with World Poker Tour was a huge hit.

O’Malley recently explained that Sexton and his charisma gave a key contribution to the game’s rise in popularity. Without Sexton, O’Mally added, online poker would be a completely different segment.

Saying Goodbye to the Legend

After the news of Sexton’s passing was announced, fans from all four corners of the world flooded the internet with messages of condolence. Matt Savage, director at World Poker Tournament, said he was feeling grief-stricken and pointed out that the Ambassador was like a brother to him.

Poker player David Williams explained Sexton had changed his life and added many professional players could also say the same thing. Williams said he was sure that all Sexton’s cards were still live, wherever he might be, and stated all of his pots were monsters.

Mike Sexton made a crucial contribution to the promotion of poker, but we mustn’t forget that he was one of the best players in the history of the game as well. During this career, he earned more than £5.2 million in various tournaments, including a win in the 2006 World Series. On one occasion, the Ambassador donated half of his winnings, around £780,000, directly to the charity. Sexton was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame more than a decade ago.

 

 


Sexton will be remembered as one of the figures behind the rise of online poker