Sexton came onto the final table of the WPT Montreal event with the chip lead, but saw this lead quickly evaporate. He still made it into a heads-up matchup with Benny Chen, winner of the 2013 WSOP Millionaire Maker.
This looked like a fairly even matchup on paper, with Chen holding 71 big blinds and Sexton having 59 bb. However, the matchup quickly turned into Chen’s favor as he took a massive lead after 90 minutes of play.
With Chen having 17,775,000 chips compared to Sexton’s 1,675,000 chips, the matchup looked like it would soon be over. But this is when Sexton mounted a comeback over next three hours hands to cut into the lead.
Chen never wilted, though, continuing to win big hands and extend his lead. After 252 hands, he maintained a 5-1 chip advantage over Sexton. But the latter was patient and eventually rivered a straight and got Chen to pay him off.
After 262 hands, it was Sexton reversing the tide and taking the lead. Two hands after this, Chen made an aggressive shove with K-J, while Sexton called with queens. He would flop another queen, while the board gave Chen nothing.
This gave Sexton his first WPT victory along with a $302,896 payout. The win also ensures Sexton a spot in the WPT Tournament of Champions.
“What an absolutely incredible experience it is to become a WPT champion!” said Sexton. “A World Poker Tour title has eluded me until now, but luckily this old guy had a bit left in the tank to make another run at one, and it feels great to have closed the deal.”
“I’ve come close two times before, reaching the final table at Bay 101 in 2011 and in Venice in 2013, so to get another shot and have it work out in my favor, it feels unimaginable, but here I am,” Sexton added.
With the victory, Sexton now has over $6.2 million in live tournament winnings.
Despite the win, it’s doubtful that Sexton will be leaving his long-time announcing position to pursue a full-time poker tournament career.