#25 - Mike Sexton

The 40th Annual World Series of Poker is only weeks away. Between now and the start of the Main Event BluffMagazine.com will be presenting the 40 Greatest Champions in WSOP history exclusively on WorldSeriesofPoker.com.

Mike Sexton has worn many hats within the world of poker.  He has played high stakes poker for four decades, has been a commentator for the World Poker Tour, and is known worldwide as the “Ambassador of Poker.”

Before his career in poker, Sexton attended Ohio State University on a gymnastics scholarship.  After graduating he joined the U.S. Army, eventually to serve in the famed 82nd Airborne Division.  After his time in the Army Sexton worked a salesman and ballroom dance instructor in North Carolina.  It wasn’t until 1985 that Sexton moved to Las Vegas to pursue poker professionaly

Sexton won his bracelet in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo in 1989.  Although he has never made the Final Table of the Main Event, he made six deep runs in eleven years.  Remarkably, he found himself finishing near the same place every year; 24th in ’91 and ’93, 23rd in ’92 and ’95, 12th in ’00, and 29th in ’01. 

Sexton has cashed 44 times at the WSOP, which puts him in the top ten in money finishes.  His largest WSOP win was victory in the 2006 Tournament of Champions.  He bested a final table of Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, and Chris Ferguson for a $1 million prize.

Perhaps the most important element of Sexton’s involvement in poker currently has been with the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), which advocates for players rights and pro poker legislation.  He traveled to South Carolina to testify as an expert witness in a court case, against five home game players, that poker is a game of skill.  His involvement and testimony led to a decision where the judge ruled that poker is a game of skill.

Sexton is widely regarded as a gentleman of poker.  When playing he dresses impeccably, never abuses a player or dealer, and is gracious in victory and defeat.