Mike Sexton will leave his current commentator role with the World Poker Tour to become the new chairman at partypoker. This is a huge move for Sexton because he’s been instrumental in the WPT’s rise over the last 15 years.
Sexton released the following statement regarding the change:
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the World Poker Tour since its inception in 2002. When the World Poker Tour launched, it was a dream come true, and to be there from the beginning and see how the WPT changed the poker world forever by essentially turning poker into a televised sport has been amazing. And to do it all this time with my co-commentator from day one, Vince Van Patten, has made it even more special.”
Tony Dunst, who’s been involved with the WPT’s TV show over the past few years, will take over for Sexton.
“Mike Sexton set the standard for what it means to be an ambassador, and the positive impact he had on my career and the broader poker community cannot be overstated,” said Dunst.
Sexton joined the WPT launch in 2002, when creator Steve Lipscomb pitched him during a plane ride. What has ensued is a cross-world journey that’s seen the WPT grace major cities all over the world.
As for his next challenge, Sexton will be leading partypoker – a business that he invested in back in the early 2000s. In fact, as we reported earlier this year, Sexton lost $500 million by selling his partypoker shares too early.
Despite missing out on partypoker’s ascension in the early and mid-2000s, Sexton fondly remembers his time with the company:
“I was at partypoker from the start, before there was even a name or a single virtual card was dealt. I experienced the crazy times of the poker boom when we became the No. 1 site in the world. I remember people sleeping on the office floor when we were all working 24/7 to get the software launched, and I remember the first partypoker Million on a cruise ship which overlaid $500K.”
This was of course before the UIGEA of 2006, which forced partypoker out of the American market. But the company has remained a fixture in online poker despite the setback.