It has been over a year since Mike Sexton transitioned from his 15-year-old role at the World Poker Tour (WPT) to being chairman of online poker room partypoker. Sexton is very busy these days as he has a lot on his plate with the main objective being to make partypoker the best online poker site in the world.
Sexton was part of the partypoker team before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 came into play and forced the online poker site out of the US. He moved on to the WPT and spent over a decade being the face and voice of the WPT. However, when he decided to leave the WPT and go back to partypoker, he knew he had a challenge ahead of him.
Sexton recently opened up on what he has been doing during the last 12 months and what he believes the future has in store for partypoker.
New Role: New Goals
Mike Sexton is the chairman of partypoker but also serves as a brand ambassador and a member of team partypoker. Because of this, he has the opportunity to still play competitive poker whenever his schedule as chairman allows him to. This can be tough as unlike other regular players he cannot plan his schedule in advance but has to take spontaneous decisions about which events he can play.
He usually gets the time to play at least 12 to 15 events in a series, usually in H.O.R.S.E., stud eight-or-better, and Omaha eight-or-better tournaments, which are some of his favorites. His recent cashes at partypoker live festivals include a $34,000 win at the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event in Punta Cana and a $9,310 3rd place win at the H.O.R.S.E event during the partypoker MILLIONS Russia in Sochi.
However, most of his time is spent being chairman and taking critical decisions that will transform partypoker. Sexton is focused on investing in software development, improving customer care, overseeing their loyalty and rewards program, adding value to games targeted to low bankroll players, investing in marketing opportunities, and developing partypoker Live to become the biggest live poker tour in the world.
Partypoker Offering Record Guarantees
Under his direction, partypoker has started offering record-breaking guarantees to their Live and online events. Sexton credits the help of Rob Yong, who makes sure that they are able to deliver these massive guarantees to secure more support and players.
Last December, partypoker held its inaugural $5,300 partypoker MILLIONS Online, which attracted 1,047 entrants and helped break their $5 million guarantee. Because of the success of the event, partypoker announced that they will be offering the biggest guarantee in poker history when they come back in December 2018 and offer players a massive $20 million guarantee.
The build-up to the biggest online poker event of the year is huge and partypoker has been holding leaderboards and qualifiers to the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online since February this year.
They have big expectations and big things to achieve this year and Sexton is confident that partypoker will not fall short of their promises.
In a statement, Sexton said, “You know, it’s about the players. You have to listen to the players… We have a tremendous team of ambassadors, and it’s all just melding together now where the poker world is starting to see our efforts and support it. Hopefully we can continue on that trajectory. Obviously, our goal is to be the number one online site in the world again.”
Sexton Shares His Views On WPT’s Future
Sexton also shared his views on the WPT’s new direction and says that while he still continues to be one of the biggest fans of the brand, he does not agree with some of the new directions the WPT is taking.
For one, he strongly disagrees with the WPT’s strategy to hold delayed televised final tables at the eSports arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas. His sentiments echo that of many other poker players like WPT champ Darren Elias that delaying final tables would discourage people from joining these events.
According to Sexton, players don’t want to wait to get their money and the potential 4 months delay could severely alter a player’s game and capabilities. He says that he’s not sold on the idea that players can study more or hire coaches to improve their game during the 4 month break. That being said, Sexton still has love for the WPT and even goes out of his way to play in WPT events every now and then.

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