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Poker Stories Podcast With Mike Sexton

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Oct 21, 2020


Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

To listen, visit or download it directly to your device from any number of mobile apps, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or Spotify. Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Justin Bonomo, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Bryn Kenney, Maria Ho, and many more.

In February of 2017, Mike Sexton sat down for one of the very first episodes of the Poker Stories podcast, sharing incredible tales from his life as a high-stakes gambler.
Highlights from the interview include collegiate gymnastics, growing up with fellow poker great Danny Robison, volunteering for war, working as a salesman, a passion for little league coaching, crazy North Carolina home games, betting more than you have, why shag dance music is the greatest, and a big sweat with Phil Ivey.

The Transcript Highlights

On sports betting…

“I’d win at poker five days a week, then on the weekend I’d bet sports, and by Monday I’d owe the bookmaker. No matter how much I won during the week I’d blow it on the weekends. That’s how dumb I was back then. It’s pathetic when I think how much I’ve lost in my life betting on sports. It’s nothing I’m proud of, I only bring it up so other people don’t fall into the same trap that I did. I used to bet way more than I had. Then I got ahold of big money, then I really started betting real big and went through that. Still it’s my favorite thing to do. If you are sitting at home watching the game, how can you possibly not have a bet on it?”

On his days as a collegiate gymnast…

“In our state, gymnastics was a varsity sport. Back then, it was a big deal. My brother and I got full scholarships to college. My best event back then was the trampoline, which was still an event in the NCAA. In fact, my senior year in college was the last year that trampoline was an official event. I was so mad about it that I boycotted gymnastics for 20 years. I was a decent collegiate gymnast. I won the high score award every year at Ohio State and was the most valuable gymnast during my senior year, but at that time, OSU was at the bottom of the Big 10. Now they compete for a national title every year.”

On his early days as a poker pro…

“It was an amazing game we played in Nashville, North Carolina. I drove 100 miles two days a week to play in this game on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you didn’t get there by noon, you couldn’t get a seat in the game. It was full of tobacco farmers… it was really a lot of fun. I really won all the time. Honestly.”

On who should join him on poker’s Mount Rushmore…

“In my book, you put Chip Reese up there first. Maybe Doyle. Stu Ungar. Puggy Pearson. (That’s too many names already) I know, but to me, those guys are true hall of famers. Those are the legends in poker. Those guys back in the 1970s that started the WSOP, that played the highest stakes games in the world. These guys are icons in my eyes. Johnny Moss. Jack Straus. These guys will always be up there in my mind, and I’ll never rank ahead of them.” (Editor’s Note: We respectfully disagree, Mike.) ♠