The Ambassador of Poker
The World Poker Tour (WPT) announced on Tuesday that it is renaming the WPT Champions Cup after one of poker’s all-time legends, Mike Sexton. The traveling trophy, engraved with the names of every WPT Main Tour event winner, is from now on called the “Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.”
Sexton was the lead commentator for World Poker Tour television broadcasts from the get-go, teaming up with Vince Van Patten in 2002. He was the voice of the Tour for 15 years before leaving in 2017 to take a position as chairman of partypoker. During the poker boom of the early-mid-2000’s, Sexton was the face of partypoker; that, combined with his television presence and general outgoing, friendly personality, earned him the nickname, “The Ambassador of Poker.”
Though Sexton is an accomplished poker player in his own right, it took him until 2016 to finally win his own World Poker Tour title, capturing the crown at WPT Montreal. His lone World Series of Poker bracelet came in 1989 in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Split event. Sexton also won the 2006 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, but that was not a bracelet event.
Mike Sexton was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2009.
An honor richly deserved
As one would expect, Sexton is thrilled with the recognition the World Poker Tour has bestowed upon him.
“I thought being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame would be the greatest moment of my career,” he said, “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.”
Sexton is one of the few poker personalities that has successfully bridged the pre-internet and online poker eras. On the one hand, he played and palled around with people like Stu Ungar, but on the other, he was quick to embrace the online game and see its potential. And of course, Sexton’s is the voice most poker fans associate with televised poker.
John Duthie, founder of the European Poker Tour, and a poker giant himself, tweeted:
Your name was always going to be in the history books but now it will be engraved.”
“Mike Sexton embodies everything the World Poker Tour stands for,” added WPT CEO Adam Pliska in Tuesday’s announcement. “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.”
Returning for WPT World Online Championships
Though Sexton retired from the poker commentary booth, he will be making a return to the World Poker Tour to announce some final table action during the WPT World Online Championships. Also providing their insight will be Vince Van Patten, Tony Dunst, James Dempsey, Joey Ingram, and a slew of players hosting non-English language streams.
There are a dozen Championship-tier events on the schedule, though there are many more side events at lower price points. The winners of five of these events will get their names etched on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. The $10,300 buy-in Main Event begins on August 29 and has a $10 guaranteed prize pool.