The Time I Met Mike Sexton
Okay, I have to admit, this one is a sentimental favorite of mine. I am sure 99% of the people on CC know who Mike Sexton is - he's a multiple WSOP
bracelet winner, an Army veteran, and host of the popular World Poker Tour TV Show.
I've met Mike on three separate occasions, most of which was the WPT Boot Camp years ago where he was an instructor/host. As most of you know, I'm a fairly accomplished tournament player, but just now getting into the profitable side of cash games (thank you Harrington, ChuckTs, etc). Anyways, this camp centers around tournaments so I was definitely in my element.
Sexton was the break-out instructor for heads-up play. TJ Cloutier said that Sexton was by far the best HU player he'd played against so we'd all be wise to listen to his instruction. Sexton had a DVD made for him of some WPT HU hands and wanted to break them down so we could learn what was going on and what to do.
So he's staring at the DVD player. Now, imagine this ...
You're in a room. People are staring at you. Suddenly, an alien from another planet comes over and hands you some weird object. You don't know what it is. He then points to a bigger object. It looks even weirder and more bizarre. You're confused, a little embarrassed, and a little frustrated.
This is what we experienced for an honest three minutes as Sexton looked between the DVD and the DVD player. To this day, I think this was the first time he had interacted with such a device.
Once THAT experience was behind us, Sexton was a master instructor. Great instruction for HU play and tell us how to read situations and how to stay the aggressor. Want to know more, take the course.
Anyways the end of the first day we played a 1-table SNG. I crush the table until it's down to me and two other guys ... who happen to be roommates. They basically collude right there and it becomes this weird 2 on 1 game of poker, but in the end I took em both down. Linda Johnson was at our table "for advice" but recognized that we pretty much knew what we are doing and complimented my "final table skills". Hooray. Guess she never met KingCurtis.
Anyways, Sexton took note of this, and the last day of the camp and we have a giant tournament at the Mirage in the poker room. All the instructors play (Crispin Leyser, Alex Outhred, Clonie Gowan, etc), in addition to some late-addition celebrities, such as Mike's brother (forgot his name, looked just like him). I was playing the poker of my life and just trampled over the shortstakes, including Mike's brother. At the final table, Mike was gracious enough to "call the action live" which made the entire experience totally surreal as literally HUNDREDS of onlookers watched us play poker. I moved in with my stack around 12x BB with 44 AIPF against the big stack and people frickin CHEERED. Mike called it too ... and to this day it's by FAR the best poker experience of my life.
Anyways, I finished 4th. At the final wrap up, Sexton said for all the people who won the SNG to stand up. Okay. Then he said to remain standing if you made the final table. Uh ... just me. "Ladies and gentleman, there is your player of the camp." Wow. Very awesome indeed.
Away from the classes, I got to have breakfast with Mike earlier before that tournament. He told us some of his old Army stories and how he made a lot of money from the other troops playing poker. He's a good ole country boy who served his country, and made a good living playing poker. He told a few poker stories, of which this one was my favorite:
"It was years ago and I was totally broke. It wasn't uncommon to just go bust - it happened to the best. So it was the WSOP 7 card stud event and I wanted to play, so I just showed up hoping that someone would stake me. Well, there was Scotty Ngyuen and he said 'Mike you're a great stud player! I'll stake you' and then 3 more guys came up and said they'd all stake me too. So I had four guys staking me, meaning if I won anything I'd get only 20% and wouldn't you know it, I won the whole damn thing."
To say meeting Mike Sexton was a pleasure would be a huge understatement. He is affiliated with PartyPoker
and is a true ambassador to poker players. I was more than happy to see him take down the recent WSOP Tournament of Champions, and showing his class he donated a huge portion to charity. It's just the kind of guy he seemed to be.
He's very approachable, friendly, and over breakfast was very talkative and engaging. I might do a hilarious impression of him from time to time, but of course, imitation is the biggest form of flattery.
He gave me a copy of his book, and signed it. Take a look here.
Here is a picture of a WPT (http://www.powerplayinteractive.com/temp/WPT_pic.jpg) event I was at (this was from the time I met Shana Hiatt)