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|World Poker Tour News Article
|Live Cards and Monster Pots
The deal According to World Poker Tour Co-Host Mike
World Poker Tour co-host Mike Sexton brings shrewd analysis and colorful
commentary to America's hottest new spectator sport. A highly accomplished
professional player for more than 20 years, Sexton gained "poker celebrity"
status when he was hired by fledgling World Poker Tour to co-host its
televised tournaments alongside Vince Van Patten. Their play-by-play
analysis lends a fascinating added dimension to the televised events and is
an invaluable learning tool for those who want to sharpen their game.
CP: How did you learn the game, Mike?
MS: I started playing poker in junior high school and literally played poker and
bridge every day while in college at Ohio State. I've been a professional
poker player for over 25 years. I moved to Las Vegas in 1985, where I still
reside. With my creation of the Tournament of Champions of Poker about six
years ago, I moved toward the business side of poker. That was cemented
with my affiliation with PartyPoker.com - the world's largest online poker room
- and my job as a commentator on the World Poker Tour.
CP: How did you wind up winning that coveted hosting gig?
MS: Prior to the creation of the WPT, Steve Lipscomb (WPT creator) filmed the
2001 Tournament of Champions event. We did a world-wide internet
broadcast of that tournament and I, along with Wendeen Eolis, did the
commentary. When it was over, Lipscomb came up to me and said, "Mike,
that was the best job of poker commentary I've ever heard." I said,
"Thanks," and didn't even think any more about it. Eighteen months later,
Steve founded the World Poker Tour. He came up to me and said, "Mike, I've
got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that I want you to
become a commentator on the WPT. The bad news is that if you take the job,
you can't play in any of the events." Who knew that every event on the WPT
would be paying over a million to the winner!
CP: What's the greatest poker moment you ever witnessed during a WPT
MS: To me, it was when the legendary Doyle Brunson captured a WPT title by
winning the Legends of Poker tournament at Bicycle Casino in 2004. At 72
years young, he won against the largest field in the history of the WPT at that
time, It was truly a special night.
CP: What's your take on what Steve Lipscomb has accomplished with the
World Poker Tour?
MS: In my opinion, every person in the poker world should thank Steve
Lipscomb every time they see him. He has changed the industry forever. You
simply can't say enough about the guy, in terms of his vision for televising
poker and essentially turning poker into a televised sport.
CP: Who are some of your favorite players to provide commentary on?
MS: The action players. These include guys like Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey, Daniel
Negreanu, David "Devil Fish" Ulliot, Carlos Mortensen, Layne Flack, Scotty
Nguyen, Tuan Le and Antonio Esfandiari. Of course, since I'm "old school", I
still love it when players like Doyle Brunson and other long-time players make
it to the final table.
CP: Walk us through the taping of a typical episode.
MS: We do the filming when the players reach the final table, which has six
players. It usually takes five to six hours for a final table to finish, but once in
a while, it takes eight hours. We're on the set the whole time. You should
know, we don't see the players' down cards when the actual final table takes
place. We go back to the studio at a later date and watch the tournament
again, where we do see their cards and do our commentary. They edit it all
together and "presto", the magic of the World Poker Tour apperars in your
CP: In your opinion, who is the best poker player in the world right now?
MS: This is a tough question, as there are so many good players out ther
now. As Doyle Brunson once said, "You judge a hunter by the number of furs
he brings home." In poker jargon, that means a winning poker player is the
guy who brings home the bacon. As they said in the movie All the President's
Men: "Just follow the money." Doing so will lead you to the best poker player.
CP: Do you have a favorite gambling saying?
MS: I suppose my closing on each show, "May all your cards be live and all
your pots be monsters" has become my trademark. I'll be in a bar, or having
lunch somewhere, or just walking through an airport, and invariably someone
will shout that out. I enjoy it, though, as it means that people are watching
the World Poker Tour.
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