Mike Sexton at the 2006 World Series of Poker
|Nickname(s)||The Ambassador of Poker|
|Residence||Las Vegas, Nevada|
September 22, 1947|
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
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Sexton was a gymnast and attended The Ohio State University where he earned a degree in public recreation after changing majors from business. He jokes that he majored in poker because he played very frequently in college. He also regularly played contract bridge and taught classes on it in North Carolina.
Sexton joined the U.S. Army as a paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in 1970. The division, however, had just returned from Vietnam, so he never saw any action. While he was in the army, he taught ballroom dancing and one of his clients convinced him to try being a salesman, which he continued to do after his two-year enlistment was up. After a while, he realized that he could make more money playing poker than being a salesman, so he took up poker in 1977.
Although Sexton frequented tournaments, he was never able to make it to the World Series of Poker because he coached Little League baseball teams and the schedules overlapped. In 1985 he moved to Nevada to pursue poker full-time. Sexton was a well known cohort of poker player Stu Ungar. Upon Ungar's death, Sexton was a pallbearer and speaker at his funeral.
Poker player and promoter
As of June 2018[update], on the World Poker Tour (WPT), Sexton had fifteen career cashes in WPT tournaments, including four final tables. He was the winner of one WPT tournament, the 2016 WPT Montreal. That first place prize was US$317,896, on a buy-in of CAD$3,850 per player. As of June 2018[update], his career WPT earnings are $998,967, ranking him at 216th place for WPT earnings, as well as holding 39th place for WPT final table appearances.
As of 2010, Sexton had won several tournaments, including one World Series of Poker bracelet, and over $5,400,000 in total tournament winnings. He won his bracelet in the $1,500 Seven card stud split event at the 1989 World Series of Poker. His 46 cashes at the WSOP account for $910,792 of his total winnings.
However, Sexton is better known for his promotion of various poker events and services. He is the commentator of the World Poker Tour, alongside Vince Van Patten, and spokesman for PartyPoker.com, an online poker room. He has written for Card Player Magazine and the Gambling Times. He founded the now defunct Tournament of Champions of Poker, which only let tournament winners from the previous year compete.
For all of his work promoting poker, Sexton is often known as the "ambassador of poker". Because of his affiliations, however, Sexton is unable to play in some poker events. Although the number of games he plays currently is less than before, he states that he doesn't mind so much, having played for so many years. Sexton did finish 10th in a preliminary event at the 2005 World Series of Poker and also in the final 16 of Poker Superstars II.
On February 15, 2006, Sexton was recognized as the top poker ambassador at the Card Player Magazine Player of the Year Awards Gala.
On June 27, 2006, Sexton won the third annual World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions event, and along with it the $1,000,000 first prize. In the final hand, his defeated Daniel Negreanu's on a board of . Sexton later donated half of his post-tax winnings to five charities, and has pledged to do the same with all future winnings.
Sexton was selected for the Poker Hall of Fame in 2009.
In early 2009, Sexton along with Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher and Lisa Tenner, created PokerGives.org, a nonprofit organization that offers poker players an easier way to give to charity.
In July 2012, Sexton finished in 9th place in the "Big One for One Drop" WSOP event, earning him $1,109,333, the biggest cash of his career.
In November 2016, Sexton won the WPT Montreal Main Event, besting a field of 648 entries to win the US$317,896 first prize. It was his third time reaching a WPT final table and his first WPT victory.  
World Series of Poker bracelets
|1989||$1,500 Seven-Card Stud Split||$104,400|
- Shuffle Up and Deal: The Ultimate No Limit Texas Hold 'em Guide (2005) ISBN 0-06-076251-9
- Life's a Gamble (2016) ISBN 978-1-909457-56-0 Published by D&B Poker
- "Mike Sexton WPT Career Stats". World Poker Tour. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
- books by Mike Sexton
- "Mike Sexton - Poker index and results of Mike Sexton". RankingHero.
- Sexton, Mike (September 2006). Remembering Stuey 1953-1998. Poker Player Magazine.
- "PokerGives makes donating easy for players - Poker News".
- "Mike Sexton Wins 2016 World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event - Poker News". www.cardplayer.com.
- "2016 WPT Playground Poker Fall Classic - CAD$3,850 No-Limit Hold'em $2 Million GTD - Poker Tournaments - Results". www.cardplayer.com.