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Mike Sexton Donates Half of TOC Winnings to Charity

Says Working for World Poker Tour Helped His Game

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It's been 17 years since Mike Sexton won his first World Series of Poker bracelet, but earlier this week, in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, he claimed his second WSOP title after spending most of the night battling Daniel Negreanu heads-up. The final table of the Tournament of Champions took a whopping 17 hours, but when it was all over at about 6 a.m., Sexton won the $1 million freeroll and congratulations from all.

But he will not keep all the money. Besides the chunk that Uncle Sam will take from him, he announced that he'll donate $500,000 of his TOC winnings to five different charities. Sexton, whom most poker fans know as half of the poker commentator team of the World Poker Tour, also is a spokesman for PartyPoker.net. The site sent out a press release with several Sexton quotes.

CardPlayer.com's tournament reporting team was there for the TOC. To read live updates and a story about the event, click here. Here's what Sexton had to say about his victory:

"I am so happy to win. To win the million-dollar prize and this title means everything to me. To come back again all these years later and win this tournament really makes me proud. It is very special to me as I was the founder."

Sexton beat a field of 27 made up of WSOP Circuit champions, 2005 main event final table participants, and invited guests, and had to come from behind to win the final table.

He says his WPT work has definitely improved his game.

"Because I've been doing commentary on the WPT for the past five years, I am a much better player than I was before. Poker is a game of skill and there's a big advantage in having seen every hand. I see what players are doing and I'm adapting my game."

Each of the following charities received $100,000 from Sexton:

The Special Olympics, the Buoniconti Fund (helps cure paralysis), the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Wounded Warrior Project (helps families of those wounded or killed in battle), and Children Incorporated, which helps provide food and school supplies for underprivileged children around the world.

Children Incorporated is the primary recipient of donations by Barry Greenstein, who also donates a good portion of his tournament winnings to charity.

"Barry is a pioneer. Poker can do good things for underprivileged people," Sexton said.

Sexton's first WSOP win came in 1989, in the 7-stud high-low event. Sexton now is in the top 10 for all-time number of finishes in the money at the WSOP with 37 cashes and nearly $2.7 million in total tournament winnings.

And since the TOC opened the 2006 WSOP, there's a good chance he will climb that list, especially if he plays as well as he did for 17 hours earlier this week.