While Mike Sexton’s influence on poker’s fulmination is somewhat underrated…he’s no
Sexton, best known as a commentator on the World Poker Tour, but also an instrumental player in the rise of PartyPoker (which recently made one of the site’s founders–
You will need an Insider account to view the full transcript, but Chops was able to get in two questions:
Chops (ATL): Mike…thanks for being a big reason for the poker explosion over the past few years. What exactly was/is your role with PartyPoker.com?
Mike Sexton: My role with party poker is that I am a host and consultant for the site. When it first started out I was the "Poker Domain" expert. Before it launched, I went over and helped the software developers to create the site. I told them which way the button moves and etc. They said, if you can tell us how it works, we can build it. So I did. I started out as their domain expert and now I’ve been the host for years. I’ve created the Party Poker Million, a WPT event. Its just been a joy to see the site to go from literally nothing to the largest poker room by far. The whole world can see it as it went public for $9 Billion last month.
Chops (ATL): Mike…we covered the WSOP for Wicked Chops Poker and were amazed at the increased media presence this year. But the biggest thing we observed was that the WSOP still has a lot of room to grow. It seemed like the poker explosion just fell right into their lap and Harrah’s/WSOP officials are just learning how to deal with it all. If you were running the show, what are one or two improvements you’d make to the WSOP in general (i.e. marketing, press access, overall event management, etc.) Thanks.
Mike Sexton: I just wrote an article about this in Cardplayer Magazine. The article essentially was, How much bigger can the WSOP get? I dont think you can physically have a bigger even than the WSOP at the Rio. What I suggested in my article and that the WSOP must look at is to run it like a US Open Golf Tournament. By that I mean you have to qualify to make it to the final. All the 1 handicaps can qualify for their regions. You can do the same thing for the World Championship of poker as well. Make regional champions eligible to play at the WSOP. Guys can earn their way at the WSOP. Additionally, you can qualify another 2K or so on the property. The point is, if you are going to get to the WSOP, you have to qualify there. Think about staffing the events. If it doubles again next year, there’s no way you can staff it. Additionally, the prize pool can be supplemented by the regional events and make the winners richer.
*Photo courtesy of Pokerbabes.com.