After doling out their inaugural awards earlier this year, the World Poker Tour announced yesterday that former WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton and French poker legend Bruno Fitoussi will be the next recipients of the WPT Honors Award.
“The World Poker Tour is incredibly proud to have Mike Sexton and Bruno Fitoussi as the second and third recipients of the WPT Honors Award,” Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, commented during the announcement. “Mike and Bruno have made extraordinary contributions to the World Poker Tour, but it is their remarkable efforts to the greater poker industry that makes them truly deserving of the WPT’s highest honor. Mike Sexton’s belief in the vision of our show helped to lay the foundation for the World Poker Tour, and without him the WPT wouldn’t be what it is today. Bruno Fitoussi was responsible for the WPT’s first European stop, held at the Aviation Club de France, and he is one of the most important figures in our game’s history. Without Bruno, poker in all of Europe, not only in France, wouldn’t be the same.”
Sexton was an easy decision selection for the prestigious honor. Besides serving as the announcer for the WPT, alongside co-host Vince Van Patten, from the inception of the WPT to this year, Sexton continually demonstrated his dedication to the game and to those who are involved in it. He was one of the first who leapt into online poker, serving as PartyPoker’s ambassador from the days it opened its doors, while simultaneously continuing a highly successful live tournament career.
In 2006, Sexton won the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, defeating Mike Matusow and Daniel Negreanu in one of the longest of any tournaments in WSOP history, and won a bracelet in 1989 in Seven Card Stud. Sexton topped off his career in 2016 when, taking advantage of rules that allowed for him to play in a WPT tournament, he captured a WPT championship in winning the WPT Montreal at the Playground Poker Club and challenged for the WPT Player of the Year award after finishing fourth at the WPT L. A. Poker Classic in February.
Fitoussi is valuable not only to the French poker scene but also to the international poker community. He literally brought Texas Hold’em to France’s largest poker club, the Aviation Club (which has, unfortunately, been closed due to French laws), and was instrumental in bringing the WPT to the venerable French poker room. That tournament was one of the biggest in Europe until the arrival of the European Poker Tour to the continent.
Fitoussi has traipsed the globe with the game of poker, coming up just short of grabbing some of poker’s biggest honors. He finished in 15th place in 2003 in the WSOP Championship Event (the Moneymaker Year) and finished just short of the final table in the first-ever WPT World Championship, earning an eighth place finish the same year. All totaled, Fitoussi has earned 67 tournament cashes worldwide (including two at this year’s WSOP) that have earned him over $2.8 million in career earnings (courtesy of the Hendon Mob database).
Sexton and Fitoussi will join longtime WPT tournament director/host Linda Johnson as holders of the WPT Honors Award. Johnson was given the inaugural award in February, with her long service to the WPT, her work in the world of poker and her charitable efforts cited as the highlights of her career. Like Johnson was, Sexton and Fitoussi will be honored by the WPT in an intimate dinner ceremony in Las Vegas on an undisclosed date later this year.