Mike Sexton had been battling prostate cancer quietly...
On September 6 Sunday night, the poker community lost one of the rare gems in the game, the legendary Mike Sexton.
Mike Sexton is most known in the poker world as the longtime voice of the World Poker Tour (WPT), serving as a TV commentator for a good 15 years, alongside fellow commentator Vince Van Patten. To those who watched at home, Sexton was their first man to learn an introduction to Hold'em from - he explained "The Cadillac of Poker" rules, a game that takes just "a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master." In every episode he would end it with, "May all your cards be live, and may all your pots be monsters."
A former Ohio State University gymnast, Sexton volunteered as a U.S. Army paratrooper assigned to Vietnam. He also taught ballroom dancing and contract bridge before he became a professional poker player in 1977. His neighbor Danny Robison was the one who first taught him the game during his childhood days.
He relinquished his commentating career in 2017 to take on a new role, as chairman of partypoker, an online poker site he had helped launch in 2001 prior to the poker boom.
Aside from being a poker ambassador and diligent promoter of the game, Sexton also had some substantial achievements as a poker player - he won a WSOP bracelet in a stud split event in 1989, and he won the 2006 Tournament of Champions for $1M, half of which he generously donated to charity.
In 2016, a few years into not being able to play in WPT events due to his commentating role, he won the WPT Playground Poker Fall Classic for $317,896, and his name was engraved on the WPT Champions Cup Trophy as a tour winner.
Just this July, the WPT renamed their trophy to honor him. He said, "I was most proud of being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. I didn't think anything could ever top that, but in my mind, this does."
As soon as the news about him battling prostate cancer went out, everyone sent their message of support and tributes via social media to their favorite poker commentator. On Thursday night, Sexton was even able to watch a special webcast featuring several of his colleagues and friends who had the chance to say goodbye.
It was fellow Poker Hall of Fame member Linda Johnson who announced the sad news on Twitter saying, "Mike Sexton passed away peacefully at home earlier today surrounded by family members. He appreciated all the wonderful comments and farewells from poker players all over the world. Service details are forthcoming. For now, please keep his family in your thoughts as they grieve." She had been one of those who stayed by his side as he went into hospice care after a battle with prostate cancer.
Sexton died two weeks before he reached his 73rd birthday.
Sexton is survived by his wife Karen and his son Ty.
Grieving fans say that the "poker world will never be the same."