The World Poker Tour - Hosted By Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton
Mike Sexton has been officially announced as the next inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame. Sexton was the only man to receive the needed number of votes necessary to guarantee enshrinement.
I could go on about what Mike has done for the game of poker and how deserving he was, but instead, I thought I would share my own Mike Sexton story and some observations that I have picked over the last few years.
I first met Mike Sexton at the 2006 World Series of Poker. He was at my table during the $1,500 Omaha 8 or Better event. Also at the table was Minneapolis Jim Meehan. For some of you that are new to the game, many of you probably have not heard of Jim, but suffice it to say that if you combined David Ulliott with an old school Vegas gambler, you would have Jim Meehan.
At the time I met Mike, I only knew of him from his involvement with the WPT and the Tournament of Champions. I really didn't know of his entire poker background. I was actually surprised to see him playing. I really thought he was just a TV personality. Of course, I learned otherwise quickly.
One thing that you will notice about Mike is that he is dressed professionally. He doesn't wear a suit to play a poker tournament, but he is in business casual or a little better. Slip on a coat and tie in most cases, and he could go right to work from the poker table. Next, Mike is a very mild mannered person at the table. He is courteous to everyone, but at the same time, he doesn't take any crap.
Case in point, anyone that has met Jim Meehan knows that he likes to turn the screws in a person. Sometimes he goes overboard. Basically, think Daniel Negreanu on Red Bull. Sometimes his banter is funny as hell, and sometimes, you want to smack him. Jim was giving this one player a lot of grief. Granted, the guy was play absolutely horrible and getting lucky, but Jim was going overboard.
At one point, it was beginning to get on people's nerves and a couple of people started to say something. Jim started a little whoa is me routine along the line of "What, I am not allowed to talk to nobody?" He looks over to Mike and asked him what he thought. Mike put down the chips he was playing with, looked at Jim, and said, "Well Jim, we have been here for almost two levels now, and I don't think I've heard you shut up yet."
The entire table burst out in laughter. After faking an initial shocked reaction, Jim gave a little smirk and went for a cigarette. When he came back, he was nowhere near as chatty as he was. Mike never raised his voice to Jim and didn't say what he did in a condescending manner. He just spoke the truth, and the truth shut Jim Meehan up.
I didn't last but a few levels in that event as my hands just didn't hold up. Mike busted out later in the day, and Jim I believe cashed in the game. That was my first exposure to Mike Sexton, but it left a very positive impression. He impressed me with his professionalism at the table and continued to do so over the three years that has followed when I have been fortunate enough to be covering him at the WSOP.
In a world full of pros with massive egos and a "what can you do for me" attitude, Mike Sexton takes a truly professional approach to poker that he has used to grow the game and ultimately earn himself a spot in the Poker Hall of Fame. He is truly the pro's pro and deserves the honor.