Friday, May 29, 2009

PartyPoker Lobbies for Mike Sexton to Join Poker Hall of Fame, by Dan Cypra - Poker News Daily - 27th May 2009

With news that the voting for the Poker Hall of Fame is open until July 2nd, PartyPoker has begun lobbying for its ambassador, World Poker Tour Host Mike Sexton, to be among those considered.

Nominations are open to the general public. Interested poker fans can submit the name of their chosen nominee plus up to 250 words describing why they should be the newest Poker Hall of Fame member. During the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, Harrah’s officials will announce the names of the top 10 nominees, which will in turn be voted on by the 16 living Hall of Fame members. In addition, select media members will receive voting rights. Each person will rank their top nominees, but “only those they deem worthy of admission in 2009,” according to a WSOP press release. In order to be enshrined, a player must accrue 75% of the vote.

Longtime players or those who have contributed to the game are eligible to be considered for the Poker Hall of Fame. Sexton, a Guest Columnist here on Poker News Daily, recently wrapped up the seventh season of the World Poker Tour (WPT). He has been the voice of the WPT ever since Season I. This year, he celebrates the 20th anniversary of his WSOP bracelet win in a $1,500 buy-in Seven Card Stud High-Low tournament in which he defeated Sid “The Kid” Herald heads-up. WPT Founder, President, and CEO Steve Lipscomb told Poker News Daily, “Mike is the consummate face of poker. He was making poker mainstream before it had a prayer of being mainstream. He helped launch the WPT – which changed the poker world forever. Then, he convinced the WPT to include PartyPoker in Season I, which changed the poker world again forever. Let’s get the man into the Poker Hall of Fame!”

Sexton recently re-signed with PartyPoker and will serve as the ambassador for the world’s fourth largest online poker site in Las Vegas during the WSOP. At the Rio, a bevy of rising poker stars will take to the felts. Many were first turned onto the game by watching Sexton and WPT Co-Host Vince Van Patten bring poker to life every week. Party Gaming’s Warren Lush told Poker News Daily that Sexton has wide appeal in the industry: “I intend to approach the media and influential figures in the game and lobby for Mike because he really deserves it – he qualifies on so many levels. It is extremely encouraging that a figure such as Annette Obrestad has already expressed her intent to vote for him because she is a representative of the new generation of players. Mike appeals to players both old and new.” Also lobbying for Sexton is Irish poker pro Padraig Parkinson.

In 2008, poker pro Dewey Tomko and hole card camera inventor Henry Orenstein joined the Poker Hall of Fame in a special ceremony during the WSOP Main Event final table. Orenstein is a producer of GSN’s “High Stakes Poker” and won a WSOP bracelet in 1996 in a $5,000 buy-in Seven Card Stud tournament. Tomko first cashed in a WSOP tournament 30 years ago and holds three bracelets, two of which came in back to back events in 1984. Other Poker Hall of Fame members include Puggy Pearson, T.J. Cloutier, Johnny Chan, Stu Ungar, WPT Founder Lyle Berman, Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin, Jack Binion, and Johnny Moss. Two industry members have been enshrined every year since 2002; Barbara Enright and Ultimate Bet’s Phil Hellmuth served as the Class of 2007.

Sexton has 44 cashes on the felts of the WSOP, tied with Chris Bjorin for the 11th most all-time. He won the Foxwoods World Poker Finals’ first $10,000 buy-in event in 1992. Eight years later, he became the first American to take down the Euro Finals of Poker. In 2006, the WPT Host battled through the field in the WSOP Tournament of Champions, winning $1 million and defeating Daniel Negreanu heads-up. Sexton has also appeared at poker trials around the United States serving as an expert witness. Most recently, he testified in a case in South Carolina that poker is a game of skill by using hands that played out on the WPT circuit.

Vote for the 2009 Poker Hall of Fame class.

(Credit: Poker News Daily)

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