Mike Sexton is
the Pied Piper of the poker world. No single human being is more responsible for the phenomenal growth of poker than Mike, and the
competition is not even close.
Which is not to say that Mike's past isn't loaded with failed attempts at the brass ring. The Tournament of Champions of Poker
was Mike's brainchild that sadly was ahead of its time. If it had been launched a few years later, the mixed game format of the TOC
might be showing the world a more complex picture of what it takes to be a truly top poker player.
Fortunately for Mike though, just as the TOC was dying, his next mission was building the foundation for a new online poker card room:
Party Poker. Sexton's idea for a $1 million guaranteed tournament
to take place on a cruise ship seemed like another big idea that underperformed when Party lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on the first cruise.
But that cruise put Party on the online poker map, and kept it there. Then when the World Poker Tour debuted, with Mike as its host, and TV ads
for Party appeared with him in them (the only ads for quite some time), Party's market share immediately exploded, and has never looked back.
Party Gaming IPOs for billions of dollars mostly because of exactly two words: Mike Sexton.
Windows - Mac
One more thing about Mike. I sat next to him in the 2005 World Series of Poker $2500 Omaha HiLo event. After playing one hand (what he
considered) badly, Mike decided to punish himself. This former Ohio State Buckeye switched his Ipod over to: the University of
Michigan fight song! "This is how I punish myself." Talk about torture... but fortunately Mike doesn't have much to punish himself
over these days. Instead, a pat on the back would be best.
In 2006, in a karma type of thing, Sexton won the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions (where only 12 of the 27 players were
"champions" of a qualifying event from the previous year!) and the $1,000,000 first prize.
See Shirley Rosario's Mike Sexton profile and Poker Pages
Mike Sexton tournament results.