Sexton Was the WPT

I highly doubt I am ever going to be honored by any of my places of employment. I mean, Dan Katz’s Poker News Daily sounds incredible and, frankly, better than the current, boring name, but it’s just a pipe dream. The closest I’ll ever get to having my name on something is if I carve it into the joists in the crawl space. But then, I’m not Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton. On Tuesday, the World Poker Tour announced that the WPT Champions Cup will henceforth be called the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.

Sexton was the World Poker Tour’s lead commentator for its television broadcasts, teaming up with Vince Van Patten from the Tour’s very first season. During the poker boom, he was the voice every poker fan associated with the game. Sexton stepped down from his position in 2017 to serve as chairman of partypoker.

Jumped on the internet poker train early

Speaking of partypoker, Sexton was also the face of the poker site during said poker boom, back when it was called Party Poker, capital letters and all. At that time, pre-UIGEA, partypoker was the top dog in the industry, with commercials all over television.

Sexton was poker’s greatest promoter, but not a huckster. He radiated a joy for the game that was genuine and people could tell. He still does, but as he’s not on TV anymore he’s just not front-and-center like he used to be. But nobody really is, except maybe on Twitter.

His honest, exuberant promotion of poker earned Sexton the nickname, “The Ambassador of Poker.”

And so, in honor of Mike Sexton’s impact on the World Poker Tour and poker itself, the Champions Cup will bear his name.

Better Than the Hall

In Tuesday’s announcement, Sexton reacted to the news:

I was thrilled to get my name on the WPT Champions Cup in Montreal in 2016. In 15 seasons in the WPT commentator booth, I can attest first-hand how difficult it is to win a WPT Main Event. I thought being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame would be the greatest moment of my career, but to have the WPT Champions Cup named in my honor and be part of the experience for all WPT champions moving forward is truly the highest peak in my 40 years in poker. Thank you to the World Poker Tour for this humbling distinction.

“Mike Sexton embodies everything the World Poker Tour stands for,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “His class at the table, humility towards fans of the game, travel to all corners of the globe, and his contributions away from the table have all benefited the game we love.”

Though Mike Sexton is no longer a member of the World Poker Tour broadcast team, he is making a return of sorts to the booth, contributing his voice to the WPT World Online Championships. The 12 championship events of the series are being live streamed with commentary; Sexton will be a guest announcer for some of them.

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