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Mike Sexton sold partypoker shares too early, lost $500M

Posted on 14 December 2016 by "T".

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.



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16 comments on "Mike Sexton sold partypoker shares too early, lost $500M"

 TheMachineQC15/12/2016 05:42:05 GMT
Ouch, that must hurt "losing" 500 millions profit! But I'm sure Mike sexton isn't poor either so it's all good. At the end of the day money is just numbers, it's what you do with your life that matters and that you enjoy it Smile

I didn't even know partypoker was worth that much lol... 9 billions is a lot of money.
 Robbo199015/12/2016 06:53:24 GMT
just means he has to buy a smaller yacht
 doubletop77715/12/2016 09:59:02 GMT
I dont feel too bad for Mike Sexton, he still made $15,000,000 on the deal!! Hindsight is a wonderful thing and i bet it still hurts him to this day that he did not hold onto his shares
 dule-vu15/12/2016 12:37:26 GMT
well when he didnt believe in party poker project,thats what he got!probably he didnt know information,that buyed knewt about party poker and how this site will grow!if he had money in that time,he could wait!but like he say:But what's $500 million here or there!
 Tony_MON7ANA15/12/2016 18:33:18 GMT
Timing is crucial when trading currencies, stocks, etc.
About 5 years ago I converted virtually all my money in US dollar savings account into Japanese yen. US$1 was equal to around JP¥75 back then. Currently US$1 is worth nearly JP¥120. I would have made ¥40 or more per $1 had I kept my money in USD!
 Mober15/12/2016 21:51:08 GMT
That is an impressive number. A very costly mistake.Selling at that point was a mistake either way,
from my perspective Smile
And he didnt even get the number he asked for.. I think they played him there.
 Robbo199016/12/2016 05:30:31 GMT
i rekon this way worked out better, hes the face of wpt/partypoker and gets those benefits instead of taking the money and living in monaco as a nobody
 TheMachineQC16/12/2016 06:29:57 GMT
Yeah you're right tony_Montana timing is at the essence! I didn't know that he made "only" 15 millions when he sold his shares. I wonder why the evaluation of partypoker is so huge nowadays though, the traffic isn't that big. I wonder what pokerstars is worth too...

Still Mike sexton is probably living a great life anyways Smile
 pochui16/12/2016 10:45:45 GMT
well it's not like he lost 500 millions, it's just that he didn't make them when he had the chance to. basically you have to look back at the decision and think for yourself: "was this decision i made really the best at that moment?", if it was then don't give a damn about what could've, would've been if this or that.
 dule-vu16/12/2016 12:42:11 GMT
didnt know that he have so much money in life and that he start party poker site and everything about it!know that he work as comentator for many years,that he play on tournaments,but still this was strange to me!but he have enough years,that even he have that 500 millions more,he cant spend it!
 Mober16/12/2016 22:18:10 GMT
How is it possible having 500millions and living in monaco or somewhere else like nobody? lol
Why, in order to be successful in your life, the whole world needs to know about
what you have done. You have to publicize everything? Whats that an ego boost?
 Tony_MON7ANA16/12/2016 22:26:31 GMT
Split second decisions also have lasting impact and the little, seemingly insignificant things make the difference between winning and losing. A so-called instinctive knowledge and experience will come in handy in our lives.
 Robbo199017/12/2016 01:36:37 GMT
easy to live in monaco or macau and maybe only the other rich people know everyone who knows poker knows him. its not about the ego boost, but perks and his name means something - which means hes worth more than 15million and not as dispensable as the regular population
 waoz17/12/2016 03:50:22 GMT
500 million is a lot of money .... wow .. nobody is a fortune teller, I do not blame him, besides 10 million are not bad .. jejejeje
 damosk17/12/2016 08:50:48 GMT
Hey! Just like making a move in poker that doesn't payoff, there is no such thing as selling shares too early. You sell them at the time that is right for you and you take whatever you get for them. Just because the market changes doesn't make the decision a good or bad one, it just means he could have made a different decision or made the same decision at another time. He could hold on to them forever and make even more money if he wanted too but he didn't! It's not news! It's a story that gets everyone's interest!
 pochui17/12/2016 18:00:18 GMT
oh i missed this funny statement where negreanu mentioned that he was offered $170 millions for his small poker site (kidpoker if i remember things correctly)- yeah that was a small site, just opened in a right moment when all of this online poker business was just starting to hit mainstream, if daniel said no, he's in the same company as miky sexton...

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