Outpouring of Love for Late Poker Great Mike Sexton from Poker Community, Mainstream Media

Mike Sexton was a larger-than-life figure in the poker world, but his reputation as a class act expanded far beyond our small community. As such, even most mainstream media outlets that don’t normally cover poker reported on his passing.

Mike Sexton poker wpt

Mike Sexton had the most genuine smile and an iconic voice. (Image: CNN)

Sexton passed away on Sunday following a battle with prostate cancer. Although prostate cancer is typically treatable, and patients see a high survival rate, the cancer had spread to other organs of his body. He spent a month in hospice care at his home in Las Vegas before passing away peacefully with his family by his side.

Sexton’s death sent shockwaves throughout the poker community. He was one of the most beloved poker commentators and players of all-time. And, arguably, our game’s greatest ambassador. Poker players on social media spent the past 24 hours sharing their fondest memories of Sexton, starting with his long-time friend, Linda Johnson, known to many as poker’s “First Lady.”

Sexton was quite the dancer, as his fellow WPT announcer Lynn Gilmartin also shared on Twitter. The late poker legend was a gymnast while studying at Ohio State University, and taught ballroom dancing during his time in the military.

Mainstream Media Reports on Sexton’s Passing

Sexton was such a big star that even non-poker media outlets including CNN, ESPN, and Barstool Sports reported on his death.

Eric “Barstool Nate” Nathan, host of the Cracking Aces Podcast, summed up Sexton’s character quite well. He wrote: “I never personally met Mike, but would see him at the Borgata WPTs shaking hands and taking pictures with everyone who wanted one. Nobody has ever had a bad thing to say about him.”

ESPN journalist Tim Fiorvanti referred to Sexton as, “one of the most recognizable and influential personalities in the modern poker world.”

Sexton’s passing was among the top trending topics on Twitter Monday morning.

Poker Community Reeling

Hundreds of poker players on social media, including his long-time WPT broadcast partner and good friend Vince Van Patten shared memories of Sexton or thoughts and prayers.

“The whole poker world and everyone that knows him, loves him,” Van Patten said in a brief video. “And my condolences go out to his great son Ty and Karen and their entire family.”

Phil Ivey, who doesn’t tweet often, was among those who joined in on sending condolences and praising Sexton for what he did for the poker community.

“A gutting loss. Mike Sexton was a giant for the game. Very few people did more for the game of poker than he did. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones,” Ivey wrote.

Actor and poker player James Woods knew Sexton quite well and shared some touching words about the late poker pro.

“Miami” John Cernuto woke up to the tragic news while on vacation. He is one of many who agrees that Sexton played an integral role in growing the game of poker.

“Jeopardy” James Holzhauer got to know Sexton last summer at the WSOP. The two celebrities competed together in a $1,500 Tag Team event. The game show legend had kind things to say about his partner.

Daniel Negreanu referred to Sexton as a “competitor, a friend, a remarkable human being.” Negreanu’s future heads-up opponent, Doug Polk, said the former WPT announcer “had an unrivaled passion for the game, its players, and telling stories as they were meant to be told.”

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.


Michael Kay Eakin wrote...

He was my good friend for over 40 years, I loved him like a brother. I always had myself in some kind of jam or situation and I could always depend on him for advice. He made me a better person. He will always be one of my hero’s.

John Kelleher wrote...

I’m a man of few words .so I’ll keep it short. CLASS

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