Mike Sexton has been the voice of the World Poker Tour since its inception 15 years ago, but on Monday, May 22, he announced that he will be leaving his position as WPT commentator and accepting a role as the Chairman of PartyPoker, an online poker site founded in 2001. Sexton in the commentary booth will now be replaced by Tony Dunst, who has been working with the WPT since 2010 and has also filled in for Sexton as an analyst before.
Talking about his tenure & experience with WPT, Mike Sexton said: “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the World Poker Tour since its inception in 2002,”
WPT CEO Adam Pliska stated: “Today is a bittersweet day in WPT history. As we announce the end of Mike Sexton’s incredible tenure as WPT co-commentator, the World Poker Tour celebrates the internal promotion of Tony Dunst to one of poker’s most visible positions. Mike, along with Vince Van Patten, is more than just a part of one of the longest-running commentating pairs in sports broadcast history. His graciousness, enthusiasm, passion, and genuine spirit are emblematic of all we have wished the World Poker Tour to be. In short, Mike has made us a better company. For years, we knew that this day would come, and the WPT is immensely grateful that Mike stuck it out for 15 years of nonstop travel and devoted work to the benefit of all of his colleagues. Mike will forever be a cherished member of the WPT family, and his impact will forever shape the core of this company and the entire industry.”
Sexton, the 69-year-old member of the Poker Hall of Fame is not just known as one of the games best-known ambassadors but also as a great international player with a WPT title, a World Series of Poker bracelet and the Tournament of Champions title.
Although more details about Sexton’s new role as chairman with PartyPoker are yet to come, he will act as an ambassador with several other areas of the business to look after. A few of the responsibilities for Sexton as chairman will include investing in software development, improving customer service and loyalty programs, ensuring a friendly environment for amateur players by adding value to smaller events and combating the third-party software. He will also be investing in marketing budgets, overseeing the growth of the Party Poker Live tour, and doing a lot more.
“This is an emotional time for me because I have decided to leave the World Poker Tour to focus on this new role. I was at partypoker from the start, before there was even a name or a single virtual card was dealt. I experienced the crazy times of the poker boom when we became the number one site in the world, I remember people sleeping on the office floor when we were all working 24-7 get the software launched and I remember the first partypoker Million on a cruise ship which overlaid $500K. It was devastating for me to see the decline of partypoker when we were forced to pull out of the US and then watch from the side lines as our competitors remained and benefited from our customer base. I am really looking forward to working with people that love the game like I do. We are not aiming for second place. We are all in. Shuffle up and deal!”
Just like the legendary Sexton, Dunst also wears many hats. He is a WSOP bracelet winner and a WPT champion. His new role starts with the broadcast of the WPT Choctaw main event in August this year. A replacement announcement for Dunst’s role as the host of the ‘Raw Deal’ segment of WPT broadcasts is yet to come up.