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Mike Sexton Leaves World Poker Tour, Accepts Role As Chairman Of partypoker

After 15 Seasons The Poker Hall of Famer Is Moving On From WPT


“May all your cards be live and all your pots be monsters!”

Mike Sexton has uttered this, his famous catch phrase, for the last time on the World Poker Tour. Sexton has been the face and voice of the WPT since its inception 15 years ago, but on Monday, May 22, he announced that he will be accepting a position as Chairman of partypoker, an online poker site that he helped found in 2001. Sexton’s seat in the commentary booth will now be filled by Tony Dunst, who has been with the WPT since 2010 and has filled in for Sexton as an analyst before.

The 69-year-old member of the Poker Hall of Fame is not only known as one of the games best-known ambassadors but also as a great player in his own right with a WPT title of his own, a World Series of Poker bracelet and the Tournament of Champions title.

Sexton took to Twitter to make the announcement.

In a press release from partypoker, more details about Sexton’s new role with partypoker were detailed. As Chairman Sexton will act as an ambassador, but he will also have several other areas of the business to oversee. The release includes several goals for Sexton as Chairman, including investing in software development, improving customer service and loyalty programs, creating a friendly environment for amateur players by adding value to smaller events and combating third-party software, invest marketing budgets in the community, oversee the growth of the partypoker Live tour, and more.

Mike Sexton“This is a huge and well-deserved honor for Mike,” said Card Player Publisher Barry Shulman. “It is also an equally huge development for the poker community at large, who will benefit because there is somebody at the top who truly ‘gets it.’”

Sexton included a statement in the press release.

“This is an emotional time for me because I have decided to leave the World Poker Tour to focus on this new role. I was at partypoker from the start, before there was even a name or a single virtual card was dealt. I experienced the crazy times of the poker boom when we became the number one site in the world, I remember people sleeping on the office floor when we were all working 24-7 get the software launched and I remember the first partypoker Million on a cruise ship which overlaid $500K. It was devastating for me to see the decline of partypoker when we were forced to pull out of the US and then watch from the side lines as our competitors remained and benefited from our customer base. I am really looking forward to working with people that love the game like I do. We are not aiming for second place. We are all in. Shuffle up and deal!”

Sexton had further thoughts to share in a press release from the WPT.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the World Poker Tour since its inception in 2002. When the World Poker Tour launched, it was a dream come true, and to be there from the beginning and see how the WPT changed the poker world forever by essentially turning poker into a televised sport has been amazing. And to do it all this time with my co-commentator from day one, Vince Van Patten, has made it even more special. Fifteen years later, another dream of mine came true when I won my first WPT title, and I now have the opportunity to play in the exclusive WPT Tournament of Champions for years to come. It’s been quite a ride over these 15 seasons, and one that I’ve been extremely blessed to take. I’d like to thank Steve Lipscomb for his vision to create the World Poker Tour, Adam Pliska for bringing the WPT to incredible heights, and the entire WPT family for all they do and have given me. I’d like to mention everyone, but there’s simply too many to name. They know who they are, and without them, the WPT wouldn’t have become what it is today.”

Tony DunstWith Sexton moving on, Tony Dunst will join Vince Van Patten as a full-time commentator. Of course, Dunst had nothing but positive things to say about the man he is stepping in for.

“Mike Sexton set the standard for what it means to be an ambassador, and the positive impact he had on my career and the broader poker community cannot be overstated," said Dunst. "I’m honored to be taking his seat in the booth next to the legendary Vince Van Patten; and while I intend to bring my own style to the position, Mike will be a lasting inspiration for how I carry myself and treat people within poker. The success and popularity of the World Poker Tour are the result of the culture he created here.”

Like Sexton Dunst is also a WSOP bracelet winner and a WPT champion. His new role will officially start with the broadcast of the latest WPT Choctaw main event in August of this year. There has not yet been a replacement announced for Dunst’s role as the host of the ‘Raw Deal’ segment of WPT broadcasts.