Mike Sexton, nicknamed the “Ambassador of Poker” for his lifelong promotion of the game, has died at the age of 72 after a battle with prostate cancer. A member of the Poker Hall of Fame Sexton was an invaluable asset to the poker community. He was the true voice of the game and the face of the industry. Many believe that the game wouldn’t be as successful as it is today without his influence.
World Poker Tour, partypoker and Linda Johnson, a fellow Poker Hall of Fame member, who had been authorized to speak on his behalf, confirmed his death on Twitter. Last week, she said that Sexton had entered hospice care last month after his prostate cancer had spread to other organs.
Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour, said, “It is with great sorrow that I announce the passing of my friend and the greatest ambassador in poker, Mike Sexton. Mike served as a WPT commentator for 15 seasons and spent a lifetime growing the game of poker around the globe. His glowing presence resonated with players and fans of poker alike, who will all miss him onscreen and at the table. Mike’s legacy will forever be a part of poker’s history. The WPT Family joins the entire poker community in sending our thoughts and deepest condolences to the Sexton family, including his young son Ty.”
Sexton commentated for World Poker Tour for nearly 15 years and later served as chairman of partypoker, the world’s leading poker site that paid a moving tribute. You can check it out below.
At the time of his death, Sexton had $6.7 Million in live tournament cashes. He won a bracelet at the 1989 WSOP where he shipped Event #11: $1,500 Limit Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo for $104,400. He also had two runner-up finishes and more than a dozen of final table scores, including a ninth-place finish in the inaugural Big One for One Drop for $1,109,333, the largest score of his poker career.
Tributes for Sexton soon poured in from the poker community and beyond the community.
“Poker would not be as well regarded as it currently is without Mike Sexton,” Phil Hellmuth wrote. “Mike has been the consummate gentleman, and has championed poker better than anyone else.”