At one time, every World Poker Tour broadcast ended with this iconic quote. That’s likely to change with the upcoming Season XVI.
That’s not because it has become somewhat dated, nor was there any kind of public uproar demanding a change. It’s simply because the iconic commentator who coined the phrase — Mike Sexton — is leaving.
Mike Sexton: Legendary player and host
Mike Sexton, the Poker Hall of Fame member and poker legend who has been the voice of the WPT since it launched in 2002, is dropping the mic. He’s walking away and taking this, and a myriad of other memorable poker phrases he made famous, with him.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the World Poker Tour since its inception in 2002,” Sexton said in a statement. “When the World Poker Tour launched, it was a dream come true. To be there from the beginning and see how the WPT changed the poker world forever by essentially turning poker into a televised sport has been amazing.”
The tight-knit poker community isn’t likely to forget Sexton’s contribution to the WPT, or the game as a whole, anytime soon. Partly because he’s not going too far. Sexton has signed up to become an executive with PartyPoker. He will apparently guide the international online poker site with an increasing interest in live events in the future.
A true poker champion
Sexton also won his first WPT title this past season at the WPT Montreal Main Event. This made him a member of the WPT Champions Club. It also made him eligible to play in the annual WPT Tournament of Champions. It’s the type of event that has Sexton’s name all over it. He’ll likely show up for it for years to come.
Sexton is a poker legend with more than $6.5 million in tournament winnings. Plus, he has titles from the biggest poker events in North America, including a WSOP bracelet.
He traveled regularly from Nevada to New Jersey and everywhere the WPT would go around the world. His enthusiasm for the game was evident with every broadcast. In fact, it helped put the WPT and the game itself on the map.
The WPT will not be the same without him. But of course, the show must go on.
The show must go on for the WPT
Sexton’s 15-year partner in the booth, Vince Van Patten, is sticking around. Plus, the host of the biting and entertaining WPT Raw Deal segment for the past seven years, a WPT title holder himself, Tony Dunst will be taking over for Sexton.
Dunst is all class. He represents the perfect choice to try and fill the shoes of a legend. Mostly because he won’t even try to.
“While I have substituted for Mike and Vince several times over the years, getting the call to take a position in the WPT commentary booth full time is an incredible opportunity,” Dunst said. “Mike Sexton set the standard for what it means to be an ambassador, and the positive impact he had on my career and the broader poker community cannot be overstated.
“I’m honored to be taking his seat in the booth next to the legendary Vince Van Patten; and while I intend to bring my own style to the position, Mike will be a lasting inspiration for how I carry myself and treat people within poker. The success and popularity of the World Poker Tour are the result of the culture he created here.”[i15-table tableid=20717][i15-table tableid=19346]
His cards were live, his pots were monsters
In countless interviews over the years, Sexton has referred to his signature closing of each WPT broadcast as his trademark. He’d say that no matter where he was in the world, fans would walk by and shout it out to him.
The thing is, he never got tired of hearing it. Mostly because to him, it meant people were watching the show. The fact is, it meant they were watching him.
Even though Sexton is walking away from the WPT after 15 years, its clear they still will be, no matter where he goes.