Mike Sexton is fighting for his life as he suffers from an undisclosed illness, according to his friends. Fans of the long-time World Poker Tour commentator sent well wishes on Twitter.
Sexton is one of the most beloved members of the poker community. The old-school poker legend has been a success in virtually every aspect of our industry, from crushing it on the felt to broadcasting, and even serving as an executive for the poker site he helped originally create (partypoker).
News of the the Poker Hall of Famer’s situation quickly spread after a professional gambler with the user name @dinkinc shared vague details.
My friend Mike Sexton is very ill…. Mike is pretty famous for his work in the poker world so many of my followers will know of him… He is one of the most universally liked humans in the gambling world… Mike is always funny and charming and is a friend to the friendless
— alan (@dinkinc) August 31, 2020
Poker pro Padraig Parkinson, another friend of Sexton’s, confirmed the original tweet. But, again, he didn’t disclose the specific medical condition.
Since some guy annouced that my buddy @Mike_partypoker was ill I am amazed at the number of people from near and far who have asked me if he is ok
I can only say he is battling his illness with the strength,determination and marvellous humour we have become used to.Go Sexton!
— Padraig Parkinson (@padraigpoker) September 1, 2020
Poker community shares well wishes
Mike Sexton is one of the most accomplished members of the poker community. As a poker player, he won a bracelet in 1989 ($1,500 Limit Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo for $104,400), has $6.7 million in live tournament cashes, including a 2018 WPT title, and has competed for years in high-stakes cash games.
Away from the felt, he’s one of the most popular poker announcers ever, having spent the first 15 years of the WPT in the booth alongside Vince Van Patten. He originally helped create the Partypoker site in 2001 before returning in 2017 as Chairman upon stepping down from his role with the WPT. In 2009, Sexton was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
Sexton, who turns 73 on September 22, has been one of poker’s all-time greatest ambassadors. He rarely denies an autograph request from a fan and is one of the most approachable players in the game. For that reason, along with his trademark genuine smile, many poker players on social media have sent well wishes, hoping for a speedy recovery.
“Terrible news. Mike is the best. I’ll be thinking of him,” pot-limit Omaha legend Phil Galfond wrote on Twitter.
“This is horrible news. Like everyone, I adore Mike. Please keep us updated and I just hope he’ll make a swift recovery, soon,” fellow poker commentator Kara Scott posted.
“There’s no bigger gentleman and better ambassador in the game. My man needs to pull through,” WPT champion Matt Salsberg wrote.
“I’m so sorry to hear that Mike is unwell. There is no one in poker more universally liked, respected and admired. I hope he is comfortable and getting the best possible care and that you are able to share better news soon. We’re all pulling for you Mike,” poker pro Barney Boatman said on Twitter.
Many other popular poker pros and media members joined in on sending positive thoughts to the sick poker legend. Joe Ingram, Jeff Gross, and Aria poker room manager Sean McCormack were among that group of concerned individuals.
Sold poker site stock too early
Sexton was one of the original founders of partypoker in 2001. At the time, online poker was in its infancy , and the game was still a few years away from becoming internationally popular. But Sexton envisioned the game growing, especially online, and he was right.
There was one thing, however, that he was wrong about. Four years after launching, partypoker went public at a valuation of $9 billion. Less than two years earlier, Sexton agreed to sell off his shares of the company for approximately $15 million. Sure, it was a nice chunk of change. But he claims had he held onto the stock a few more years, it would have been worth around $500 million. We can’t always be right, Mike.