(CNN)Beloved poker commentator and champion Mike Sexton, nicknamed the 'Ambassador of Poker' for his lifelong promotion of the game, has died at 72.
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LA County issues new stay-at-home order and bans all gatherings. Sep 07, 2020 Poker legend Mike Sexton dies at 72 CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire 9/7/2020, 10:45 a.m. Mike Sexton was often called the 'Ambassador of Poker.' /Credit: JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images. Online poker legend Phil Galfond said it best on Twitter. Mike Sexton the player, Mike Sexton the commentator & Mike Sexton the businessman would each be a poker legend in their own right. What makes him the ultimate role model for me isn’t how much he accomplished & did for poker, but that he did it all while being positive and kind. Poker legend Mike Sexton dies at 72 CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire 9/7/2020, 10:45 a.m. Mike Sexton was often called the 'Ambassador of Poker.' /Credit: JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images. Mike Sexton (1947–2020), World Poker Tour legend By Kirk Fox September 8, 2020 Mike Sexton was a legendary poker player and TV commentator who was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2009.
World Poker Tour and partypoker, an online poker company Sexton cofounded, confirmed his death. Fellow poker champ Linda Johnson said Sexton 'had been battling prostate cancer' that had spread to other organs shortly before his death.
Sexton had a hand in every aspect of poker -- broadcast, business and the game itself. Surviving poker greats say the game wouldn't be as successful as it is today without his influence.
Sexton was a longtime commentator for World Poker Tour, which hosts international televised tournaments, with broadcasting partner Vince Van Patten.
As a player, he won nearly $7 million since his debut in the 1980s. His competitors hardly winced when he'd take their chips because he was so widely liked, actress and poker player Jennifer Tilly tweeted after learning of his death.
After nearly 15 years of commentating for World Poker Tour, Sexton won his own World Poker Tour title in 2016. That victory was special for how long it took Sexton to achieve it -- something out of a movie, partypoker player Jaime Staples tweeted.
He wrote two books, founded a nonprofit for players to donate to veterans causes and Las Vegas communities, and created partypoker. Sexton coached Little League baseball and even skipped poker tournaments if they interfered with his baseball schedule. In 2008, he had a son, Ty, at age 61.
One year after his son's birth, he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. It was one of the highest honors he'd received in his career, he said, second only to the World Poker Tour's decision to rename its Champions Cup after him.
In a tribute blog, pro Phil Hellmuth said the game is indebted to Sexton.
'Poker would not be as well regarded as it currently is without Mike Sexton,' Hellmuth wrote. 'Mike has been the consummate gentleman, and has championed poker better than anyone else.'
Upon learning of his death, many of Sexton's friends and fans have shared Sexton's famous sign-off: 'May all of your cards be live, and may all of your pots be monsters.'
Poker Legend Dies Game© Joe Giron Mike Sexton, who grew up in the Dayton area, died. He was 72. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY WORLD POKER TOUR/ JOE GIRON PHOTOGRAPHY
A Hall of Fame poker player and Kettering native has died.
Mike Sexton, a poker commentator whose calls were heard during broadcasts of World Poker Tour events and others, was 72.
He graduated in 1965 from Fairmont East High School. He later was a gymnast at Ohio State.
Sexton’s death has shaken the poker community. Top players like Phil Helmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey have taken to social media to remember him.
“A gutting loss,” Ivey said. “Mike Sexton was a giant for the game. Very few people did more for the game of poker than he did. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”
Negreanu called Sexton a competitor, a friend and a remarkable human being.
Poker player Linda Johnson said that Sexton was battling prostate cancer that had recently spread to other organs. He had been in hospice care for about a month, she said.
Sexton spoke to the Dayton Daily News in 2004 about learning poker while growing up in the Dayton area. He said he often lost his paper route money to schoolmate Danny Robinson playing cards. Robinson would later become one of the best seven-card stud players in the country.
“For my route with The (Dayton) Journal Herald, I would collect every Friday,” said Sexton. “When I got home, Danny — who was two years ahead of me in school — would be shuffling cards on my stoop waiting for me. He kept me broke.”
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As a player, he won nearly $7 million since his debut in the 1980s, according to CNN.