Having the power to predict the future or hindsight can really be a wonderful thing, but it can also be a double-edged sword. This is what WPT winner Mike Sexton knows very well.
A well-known poker player and the voice of the WPT, 69-year-old Mike Sexton doesn't have to worry about anything when it comes to money. Actually, he just won $302,000 through WPT Montreal. However, Mike recently revealed he could have been worth an extra $500 million by now if he had not sold his Partypoker shares.
While chatting with Joey "ChicagoJoey" Ingram on the Poker Life Podcast, Mike admits to selling his Partypoker stocks around 4 years sooner than he should have, which cost him around $500 million. He told Joey how they launched Partypoker with a major cruise ship tournament back in the early 2000s, "multiplying the business by 10".
Mike said, "It's a business story that is just mind-boggling. These people had no hindsight investors, nothing. In less than 4 years time after launching Party Poker, they went public for $9 billion."
Mike didn't get into the big IPO launch because he unfortunately sold his shares too early. "A year and a half before they went public, I was the last shareholder in the US ... they offered to buy me out. They said ‘what do you want for your stock?' I said ‘what will you give me for it?' I didn't have access to the books or anything, I just figured out what we made every day and just put a pencil to it real quick."
Mike wrote that he would like $15 million, yet they countered with $10 million. Mike stood firm on his asking price and the management agreed, as long as he earned the last $10 million by staying as a Party Poker employee for the next 5 years (equates to $2M per year).
"By selling my stock, it only cost me about $500 million or so. But what's $500 million here or there."
Things like these aren't hard to believe, just like when Daniel Negreanu was once offered $170 million for his small US poker website. Even so, Mike has to feel pretty bummed out when he realized he made one of the worst stock decisions of all time by selling his shares too early.
He said one of the reasons he sold his stock was the fact that he had little money at the time.