Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, who introduced the game to a wide audience as host of the televised World Poker Tour, died Sunday of complications from cancer. He is 72 years old.
Sexton, who was inducted into the World Poker Hall of Fame in 2009, skyrocketed 73 times during the tournament, winning over $2.9 million and a bracelet. According to the Hendon Mob Poker database, he has tournament earnings of over $6.7 million.
“Mike Sexton passed away peacefully at home this morning surrounded by members of his family,” Linda Johnson, longtime friend and Poker Hall of Fame recipient, wrote on Twitter on Sunday. The family gave Johnson permission to speak and tweeted last week that Sexton was being treated in a complicated hospice.
Phil Hellmuth, a 15-time World Series of Poker champion, wrote on the USPoker.com blog that he and Sexton had been friends and competed in poker for 33 years.
“Mike has had a lasting impact on the poker world,” wrote Hellmuth halo69
“And poker wouldn’t be as good as it is today without Mike Sexton. The poker world owes Mike a lot of thanks. Mike is the perfect guy and defends poker better than anyone. right
Appreciate all the good comments and goodbye from poker players around the world. Service details coming soon. For now, please think of your family as you grieve,” Johnson wrote.
Sexton became a gaming ambassador by broadcasting the World Poker Tour. The game became popular after Chris Moneymaker never won the World Series of Poker in 2003. It appeared on broadcasts of the World Poker Tour until 2017.