While the greatest Canadian casinos now typically offer poker, it wasn’t so long ago that this service was more of an exception than the rule. At least, that was the case with online gambling establishments. However, with the advent of PartyPoker, poker’s popularity skyrocketed, and it is now one of the most played games at online casinos throughout the world. Mike Sexton, who was not only a creator but also the television announcer for the World Poker Tour for 15 years, deserves some of the credit for this.
As the creator of the site and a formidable player in his own right, he has earned the title of “Ambassador of Poker” for his devotion to the game.
A close friend, Linda Johnson, shared the sad news that he had gone away on September 7, 2020. At his passing, he was 72 years old and surrounded by family and friends.
Essential to the Field
Mike Sexton is often regarded as the game’s most influential player. He lived through the game’s meteoric rise to fame on television and participated heavily in the game’s revolutionary shift to the internet. Many have credited him with being the musician who united traditional and contemporary styles of performing.
He was also the face of the World Poker Tour from 2002 through 2017, appearing at every major event. This means that for more than a decade, whenever high-level card players thought about cards, their minds immediately went to him.
Playing It Online
Mike was an integral part of PartyPoker’s evolution into the wildly successful platform it is today. In 2001, he co-founded the site with Mike O’Malley and the two of them attempted to do something completely new.
O’Malley writes that Mike persuaded the site’s executives to hold a Million promotion, which enticed new players with large tournament payouts. Since fewer newcomers paid to participate in the sweepstakes than had been anticipated, the effort was unsuccessful, costing $500,000. Nonetheless, the site was able to attain phenomenal success after hosting a second tournament with the same cash prize and forming a deal with the World Poker Tour.
According to a recent tweet shared by O’Malley, the game would not have achieved the same level of success and would not be one of the most played games at the best casinos in Canada if not for Mike Sexton.
As news of the Ambassador’s death spread, tributes poured in from mourners all around the globe. Because of how much he cared for Sexton, tournament director Matt Savage admitted he was unable to cope with the news of his death.
David Williams, a professional poker player, has said that knowing Sexton has revolutionized his life and that he is confident that many other professional players would agree. At the end of the message, he expressed his desire that his friend’s entire hand of cards be active and that all of his pots be filled with monsters.
The Ambassador was not only one of the greatest players of all time, but also a legend in the sport for his tireless advocacy. In tournaments all across the world, he reportedly won almost $6.7 million. This includes a championship in the 2006 World Series. Most people remember him for his victory because he gave away $1 million (half of his total) to charity.