Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Business Poker Tournaments Daily Fantasy Sports

Mike Sexton Selected as Sole 2009 Poker Hall of Fame Inductee

The Ambassador of Poker is Now a Hall of Famer

Print-icon
 

Mike Sexton is Inducted into the Poker Hall of FameMike Sexton has been selected to be in the Poker Hall of Fame. Harrah’s and the World Series of Poker announced this morning that Sexton had been selected to become the 38th member of the Poker Hall of Fame. He will be the only person inducted into the Halll at the November final table of the WSOP this year.

Sexton’s selection is not terribly surprising. Of the 15 living members of the Hall of Fame and the 15 media members who also had a vote, seemingly no one spoke out against giving Sexton the nod and everyone who did publicly offer opinions pointed to him as a worthy selection.

Sexton’s poker résumé is a long one. He won a WSOP bracelet in seven-card stud in 1989, and took down the televised WSOP Tournament of Champions in 2006. With his most recent cash in the 2009 main event, he has made $3.18 million in tournament winnings and has accumulated 47 WSOP cashes, good for 11th on the all-time list.

But more than his stats on the poker felt, he is recognized for his contributions to the game away from the poker table. He has served as announcer for the World Poker Tour and has written for Card Player. He has also been very generous when it comes to charities, donating half of his $1 million payday from his Tournament of Champions win to various organizations and helping to start up pokergives.org, an organization that assists poker players in giving to worthy charities.

Sexton has also been a progressive voice in the fight for poker’s legal rights, even entering the court room in South Carolina as an expert witness to help out five South Carolina poker players who stand trial for playing a $20 Texas hold’em tournament.

Long recognized as an ally to the average poker player, he spoke on behalf of players who got shut out from play on day 1D of the WSOP main event this year in an attempt to find a resolution.

Mike SextonBut while Sexton’s selection is not all that surprising, the fact that no other player will be inducted along with him may be for some poker fans. Sexton was up for consideration to the Poker Hall of Fame with eight other players — Barry Greenstein, Erik Seidel, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Dan Harrington, Men Nguyen, and Tom McEvoy.

Harrah’s originally indicated that it expected two to three members of that group to make the Poker Hall of Fame this year, similar to past years. But the new voting criteria instituted this year probably hampered that expectation.

Current Hall of Famers and selected media members were only allowed to vote for up to three candidates, and only candidates who received 75 percent ore more of the vote -– or at least 23 of the 30 voting members’ votes -— were inducted.

“Mike was the only candidate who met the 75-percent-of-votes threshold, thus why he is the only one who gets inducted this year,” Seth Palansky, WSOP communications director, told Card Player. “However, it’s important to note that this year’s vote has no effect on the other nominees and their eligibility in the future. We stressed to the voters this year to focus on who is most worthy this year, and thus next year and beyond will always get a fresh look.”

Like Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame, the Poker Hall of Fame has set a 75 percent threshold for inductees. Unlike Major League Baseball, there is no set number of years a poker player can remain on the ballot, and the actual voting results are not released to the public.

“We didn’t see any upside for the nominees [to release the voting results] this year,” said Palasnky, who said that policy could change in future years. He also noted that “several” voting members chose not to use all of their three votes.

Harrah’s will consider making changes to the 2010 selection process, but those changes are still to be determined.

Sexton will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Rio during the final table of the WSOP main event.

 
 
 
 

Comments

SevenKidsPoppy
5 years ago

BRAVO! Congratulations, Mike! Well-deserved!

 
Reply
 

SevenKidsPoppy
5 years ago

This is such a good choice that Harrah's should make Mike the permanent chairman of the Poker Hall of Fame committee.

 
Reply
 

SevenKidsPoppy
5 years ago

Next year, Phil Ivey and Barry Greenstein, two good buddies, should be inducted together.

 
Reply
 

DiamondDaverlz
5 years ago

Congrats Mike!!! A well deserved honor for you. I'll never forget your kind words after you saw me get knocked from a 1 table sat. heads up @ the 03 WS. You just happened to be walking by and saw the last hand and you complimented me on how I handled it and though I was stunned and disappointed about missing a chance to play in the main event we chatted for a few minutes and you were gracious, cordial and encouraging even though I could tell there was someplace else you needed to be. The next day when I saw you after day one I remember you saying "839 people, I never imagined it would get this big!" Well your efforts and true love of the game have paid off, and that was only the tip of the iceberg. Enjoy your moment in the Sun, it's well deserved.

 
Reply
 

kevmode
5 years ago

congrats mike sexton. One of the classiest people in poker that I respect as a person and as a poker player. I am glad to see him in the hall of fame, he deserves it. I just hope i can achieve 1 % of the success that mike has earned playing poker.

 
Reply
 

PokerJoeK
5 years ago

Mike is COOL!!!

 
Reply
 

ucjoel
5 years ago

Congratulations on your nomination. Your contributions to the game of poker are unmatchable. You were a visionary who saw into the future of what could be and then had the determination and fortitude to move forward with your talents to make it happen.

 
Reply
 

x19
5 years ago

i agree
Mike deserves the recognition and as the ONLY inductee he is standing notably.

 
Reply
 

TXMaxx
5 years ago

Best choice won! Congrats Mike! Wish Barry was going with you.

 
Reply
 

agoramilio
5 years ago

yeah...lets dump the best players in the world for the guy who's probably most known by casual fans as the "bingo bango bongo" guy

 
Reply
 

seamarfan269
5 years ago

oh "agoramilio", if you only knew how much Mike S. has done to lead up to "bingo, bango, bongo". WTG Mike. Well deserved! Nuff Said.

 
Reply