World Series of Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, best known as the voice of televised poker, died September 6 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 72.
Sexton, who was inducted into the WSOP’s Poker Hall of Fame in 2009, won more than $2.9 million competing in the tournament, including a bracelet, and earned more than $6.7 million in tournament play in his career.
Then when the game’s mainstream popularity soared at the turn of the century with the impact of the internet he switched to the broadcast booth, becoming announcer for the World Poker Tour’s regularly televised games, a position he held from 2002, when the series was launched, until his retirement in 2017.
He was also one of the founders of online giant PartyPoker and served as an ambassador for the company and later its chairman.
“Mike has profoundly influenced the poker world,” said 15-time WSOP champion Phil Hellmuth. “Poker would not be as big without Mike Sexton. The poker players would not have as much money without Mike Sexton. And poker would not be as well regarded as it currently is without Mike Sexton. The poker world owes Mike a huge debt of gratitude.”
Among the flood of tributes, WPT Chief Executive Adam Pliska said of Sexton that he “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.”