Michael Richard Sexton was born in Shelby, Indiana, USA on September 22, 1947. Later in life, he attended Ohio State University and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Public Recreation; he had switched from majors from Business. During his time at college, he would frequently play poker, as well as contract bridge; he got to be so good at contract bridge that he even taught classes on it. After college, Sexton enlisted in the US Army, where he became a paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne Division. As the division had just gotten back from Vietnam, he did not see any action. During his army days, he taught ballroom dancing and was coached into being a salesman. He became a salesman after his enlistment was over; however, he saw that he could make more money playing poker than being a salesman, so he quit and became a professional poker player.
Mike Sexton’s Poker History
Although Sexton played in many tournaments, he was unable to participate in the World Series of Poker until 1985, when he moved to Nevada in search of a poker career. This is where he met his dear friend and poker pro, Stu Ungar. Sadly, this duo ended when Ungar died, but Sexton honoured his memory by being a pallbearer and spoke at his funeral. After a few years of playing poker in Vegas, he took home a bracelet in the 1989 WSOP Seven Card Stud Split event, along with $104,400. Sexton has managed to play in several other tournaments; however when he became the spokesperson for the World Poker Tour, he was unable to play in certain poker events.
This is what Mike Sexton is really recognized for, being a spokesperson and promoter of poker. This is the reason he was given the name of “The Ambassador of Poker”, for all the work he has done within the poker community. Due to his affiliations and work, he has been unable to play in certain poker events. This, however, has not fazed him at all, since he states that he has already played enough in his lifetime. This doesn’t mean that he has quit playing poker all together; he still attends various poker tournaments, like the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions event. He won this event in 2006, where he won the $1,000,000 first prize. He is a very giving man, he donated half of those winnings to five different charities, and said that he would do the same with any other money he won when playing poker.
Mike Sexton’s Other Activities
Although he has had a long and fruitful career as a poker player, he is better known for his work as a spokesperson and promoter. He was the main host for the World Poker Tour, and still is the spokesperson for the popular online poker site PartyPoker.com. His efforts were recognized in 2005 as the top poker ambassador at the ‘Card Player Magazine’ Player of the Year Awards Gala. On top of this, he has written various articles for ‘Card Player Magazine and Gambling Times’. He was also able to start the now non-operational ‘Tournament of Champions of Poker’, where only the winners of previous tournaments were allowed to play. He has been a great influence in the poker world, and has been a charitable person; donating half of his winnings to various charities. This prompted him, along with Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher and Lisa Tenner, to start the non-profit organization of PokerGives.org. This website is designed so that poker players have an easier way donate proceeds to the charities of their choice.
Mike Sexton’s Overall Success
Playing since his college years, Mike Sexton has been able to gain popularity not only for his poker prowess, but his work towards promoting the game itself. While he played poker, specifically in the World Series of Poker, he was able to win one bracelet, and managed to have 47 money finishes. He has participated in the WPT, but has only been able to get to one final table and get one money finish. In 2010, his total live tournament winnings were over $3,825,000. He still continues his work as a spokesperson, host, and poke promoter.