A Tribute To The "Ambassador Of Poker"
When Mike Sexton won the 2006 WSOP Tournament
of Champions, he had to beat two great players at
the end of a grueling final table: Mike Matusow who
placed 3rd and Daniel Negreanu who was runner-up.
Mike won $1,000,000 for 1st place, and decided to
donate $500,000 to charity. He selected five worthy
causes and donated $100,000 to each one:
(1) Paralyzed Veterans Of America
(2) The Buoniconti Fund
(3) The Woulded Warrior Project
(4) The Special Olympics
(5) Children Incorporated
1ST POKER AMBASSADOR
Mike Sexton has been a poker visionary and pioneer
for many years. Just look where poker was in the
past and where it has come to today. Who would have
ever dreamed such a big leap was going to
happen for all of us, who love to play poker?
The answer is very simple: My brother, Mike Sexton. Of
course I'm very proud of him, for all he has done for
the poker world… what brother wouldn't be?
TOC Creator & Founder
Before I describe the various factors that set the stage
for Mike Sexton's career as a poker visionary, I would
like to let many of the younger players know that my
brother was a professional poker player for 25 years,
before he was ever seen as an announcer on TV.
One of the most common things I'll hear, especially
from a young player is: "I didn't know your brother was
such a good player himself." The pros that have been
around for a while know Mike was a great player for
many years. He started out as a seven-card stud
hi/lo-split player and Omaha hi/lo split player.
To continue my brother's story as a poker visionary,
we will look at what happened to his dream of the
Tournament of Champions the last two years and
when and how PartyPoker and the World Poker Tour
entered the picture. Poker on the Internet and on
television was just around the corner and Mike Sexton
was about to be tabbed as the starting quarterback in
Television in the poker world has been the driving
force behind poker's popularity. Today there are so
many TV shows featuring poker, that if you record
them all on your DVRs each week, you'll run out of
room! The expansion and growth of these shows has
been stunning. Equally as stunning is the one TV
show in America that has been on the longest, that
has turned into the pro's poker tour. Most people know
it was this show that was the first to use the small
cameras in a big way,
Mike Sexton was a professional poker player in the
'70s, '80s and '90s, winning a lot of tournaments along
the way, including a WSOP gold bracelet. Who could
have ever guessed that he would become poker's
"First Ambassador" (as voted by his peers), a major TV
star as commentator for the WPT, now in its seventh
season, and a true pioneer for the Internet poker
world? Of all of his accomplishments, what he did for
PartyPoker and ultimately for the entire poker
world may be his most amazing contribution of all.
I doubt if we will see the likes of Puggy Pearson again
in our lifetimes. We've all heard stories about his
behavior at the poker tables from the past, but there
was another side to Puggy that most people never
saw. He had a soft heart, especially for a gambler
down and out, or a dealer that was sick, or a player's
spouse that passed away. There are many times
Puggy could be seen passing his hat around the
poker room for someone in need, and Puggy himself
would donate the most. He considered all gamblers to
be family, and never missed a gambler's funeral.
|Las Vegas visionary Steve Wynn has had one sign on
his desk for many years, a quote by Jonathan Swift
that says: "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible."
My brother, Mike Sexton, was the creator and founder
of the original Tournament of Champions. His vision
of where poker was headed was truly ahead of its
time. For the record, the TOC was held over three
years: 1999, 2000 and 2001.
This period preceded the poker boom as we know it
|WPT CEREMONY OF CHAMPIONS
There was quite a poker ceremony held at the Bellagio
last Monday, April 21st, in the Vegas showroom that
hosts the "O" show six nights each week.
The occasion was special, as it honored all the World
Poker Tour's individual champions from the first six
seasons. It was hosted by poker's funniest and most
dynamic announcers,Mike Sexton and Vince Van
Patten. Besides the individual champions from each
season, being brought onstage in groups to receive
their beautiful Tiffany silver WPT bracelets, there were
some great moments shown on a huge screen that
highlighted victories and special moments from
season to season.
|A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
BY MIKE SEXTON
he first-annual Card Player Player of the Year awards
show was held in Hollywood, California, on Feb. 15,
2006. The event, created by Card Player's Barry
Shulman and sponsored by Bodog.com, was put on to
honor the player of the year as well as other poker
standouts. It was a first-class, gala affair that was a
night to remember.
I'm so happy to tell you some great news............my brother,
Mike Sexton, has become a father for the first time. I've
never seen him so happy. His lovely wife, Karen, delivered a
healthy 8 lb 6 ounce baby boy on Aug. 21, 2008. His name
is Ty Michael Sexton.Here are a few pictures of Ty taken at
Mountain View Hospital this morning. He is already wearing
his Ohio State Buckeye hat on his 1st day on earth. As you
probably know, Mike was a great gymnast when he went to
Ohio State himself.
MIKE & KAREN SEXTON,
HAPPY NEW PARENTS
"A First Class Gentleman-
A Tribute To My Dad".
Sometimes in life something happens that stops your
world right in its tracks….to a screeching halt! This
past week my Dad, Ray Sexton, passed away. He had
a wonderful life at the age of 88, soon to have been 89
on August 17th. With his health deteriorating and
doctors telling the family he simply wasn’t a candidate
for any type of surgery…..we all knew the end of his
remarkable journey was fast approaching here on
earth, and a new journey was going to begin in heaven.