his is my first article for PokerNews.com, so I would like to introduce myself to the readers.
My name is Tom Sexton, and most people in the poker world have heard of my brother, Mike
Sexton. Take it from me, Mike is the greatest brother in the world, and is probably as much
responsible as any single individual for the poker boom or renaissance we've all enjoyed
these past few years. I'm so proud of Mike for all of his accomplishments and contributions
to the growth of poker. When you talk about class in the poker world, Mike has set the bar
as our Poker Ambassador beyond belief.
I have a lot of stories I'll be sharing with you in my column you're going to enjoy, including
the day my brother called me and said "Park The Cab!"
About four years ago, I was driving a cab in Las Vegas, and had just dropped off a fare at
the airport. As I was leaving the airport, my cell phone rang and Mike said, "Where are you
right now?" I explained I was in my cab on duty and just dropped my passenger off at the
airport... Mike said next... "I can't believe it - Party Poker just sent me the first 15 million
dollars... so Tom, PARK THE CAB, you're never going to have to drive a cab again!"
Believe me, when you drive a cab, you can only dream about getting a phone
call like that, but it never happens. For me it did happen, and I remember, I
almost got a speeding ticket driving to base! Driving a cab is a real dose of
reality, where you'll experience people at their best and worst.
It is flat out a pretty dangerous job, but occasionally, there are things comical
that happen that are simply off the chart!
Going back about 12 years ago, I was driving a cab in Lake Tahoe, and
loaded a sweet grandmother about 75 years old at the Hyatt Hotel in North
Lake Tahoe, who needed to get to the Reno airport to catch the last flight
going to Chicago. There was a snow storm, and the drive is pretty
treacherous over Mt. Rose, where your cab is sliding back and forth going
over this huge mountain.
Most people will tell a cab driver to slow down, as they hope to get to their destination in one piece. Not this sweet grandmother... instead she said, "Can you
step on the mettle and get there any faster? I can't miss this last flight going to Chicago, as my grandkids have a four-hour commute to pick me up, and I have
no way to get a hold of them." I assured her we would get there on time, and things looked good as we circled around the airport entrance headed for
American Airlines. About 500 yards away, I couldn't believe it.....
I got a flat tire! She got out of the cab with me and said, "Oh no, don't tell me we got a flat tire - I'm going to miss my flight." I offered to quickly
change the tire, and that is when she said, "Look, I only weigh 92 lbs. and only have this one little bag." She pulled out a fifty-dollar bill, snapped it
twice, and said "I'll give you a fifty-dollar tip if you give me a piggyback ride right now to American Airlines!"
I said, "Are you serious?"
And she said "Yes, we've got to go now!!"
Fifty-dollar tips are hard to come by driving a cab, so I said, "Hop on." If you can, envision a grandmother riding piggyback on a cab driver's back
trying to catch a flight, while the driver's tongue is hanging out, not in the shape he used to be in, while people driving by had their heads turned in
amazing disbelief. It was a sight to behold and one of those classic comical moments in my career driving a cab. She was so happy she made it,
though, as she gave me a big hug, and had quite a story to tell her grandkids how she caught that last flight to Chicago!
Anyway, Mike, I'll always be grateful for your phone call to park the cab. You're the best!
The Cab is Parked,