A couple of hundred of North America’s most-prominent poker industry members and players gathered at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills on February 25 for the 2nd Annual Global Poker Index American Poker Awards where they celebrated the achievements of the past 12 months.

Almost a dozen categories were voted for, including Breakout Performance of the Year, Moment of the Year, Media Person of the Year, and the Event of the Year (up to $2,000), which the WPT500 at Aria was nominated for.

Each and every winner of an award was most deserving and the partypoker blog would like to offer its congratulations, but one category winner in particular stood out from the crowd for us, and you’d be hard fought to find a single person in the poker industry who would argue against the panel’s decision to award it to them.

Mike Sexton

Partypoker Ambassador Mike Sexton picked up the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony and did so to rapturous applause. The man hailing from Shelby, Indiana, who now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the few poker players who thoroughly deserves the title of “legend.”

A Poker Hall of Fame member, Sexton has more than $5.8 million in live tournament winnings including one score of $1,109,333 which he picked up for reaching the final table of the Big One for One Drop at the 2012 World Series of Poker.

Speaking of which, Sexton has cashed 61 times at the WSOP (placing him joint 14th on the in-the-money leader board), winning $2,591,318 there and a coveted gold bracelet, having triumphed in the $1,500 Seven-card Stud Split event at the 1989 WSOP.

There’s no doubting that Sexton has stood the test of time when it comes to playing poker, but it is his activities away from the tables that also form what is a wonderful legacy.

Sexton was the man who came up with the idea of the Tournament of Champions, an exclusive event where players couldn’t simply buy in, they had to win a tournament with a buy-in of at least $200 during the year to be invited, much like the PGA Tour in golf.

It was this idea that eventually led to Sexton’s career as a commentator for the World Poker Tour where continues to make the game of tournament poker exciting for viewers at home.

Before his WPT role began, Sexton was instrumental in the creation of partypoker, and was the person who came up with its name so each time you log into your account and play a Powerfest event, you are doing so because of Sexton’s creative thinking and dedication to bringing the game of poker to the masses.

His poker prowess and business acumen aside, here are a few facts that may not know about the great man that is Mike Sexton.

  • He has a degree in public recreation from the Ohio State Unversity
  • Mike was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army, part of the 82nd Airborne Division
  • He used to teach ballroom dancing
  • Before poker Mike was a salesman
  • Mike used to coach Little League baseball teams and his commitment to them meant it was quite some time before he became a regular fixture at the WSOP
  • Mike is the co-creator of the charity PokerGives.org
  • Mike was a close friend to the late Stu Ungar
  • Mike has written a book called Life’s a Gamble

We’re sure you’ll agree that this lifetime achievement award is most deserved and hope you’ll join us in congratulating the poker player, the man, the lend that is Mike Sexton.

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