Poker World Loses Mike Sexton and Darvin Moon
The poker world has lost two amazing personalities over the last couple of weeks. On September 6th, Poker Hall of Fame and famed World Poker Tour host Mike Sexton passed away after a battle with prostate cancer.
Then this past Saturday, 2009 WSOP Main Event runner-up Darvin Moon died from complications from surgery. Moon surprised the world in 2009 with his magical run but many remember him more for his persona than his prowess at the poker tables.
Mike Sexton Loses Battle With Cancer
Back on September 1st, Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson delivered stunning news to the poker world. She revealed that Mike Sexton was on hospice care and was battling prostate cancer. The cancer had spread to other organs and had been on hospice care a month already when the announcement was made.
Mike Sexton is poker’s greatest ambassadors. He authorized this tweet. He has only wanted to deliver positive messages so he kept his health problems private. Mike has been battling prostate cancer that has recently spread to other organs. He began in-home hospice a month ago.
— Linda Johnson (@FirstLadyPoker) September 1, 2020
Following the announcement, the poker world starting sharing their love and support for Sexton. Mike “The Mouth” Matusow even dedicated an entire episode of his podcast as a tribute to Sexton. While everyone hoped for the best, it was assumed Mike’s time was short. We didn’t know just how short of a time he had left.
Five days later, Mike Sexton passed away in his home, surrounded by friends and family.
Mike Sexton passed away peacefully at home earlier today surrounded by family members. He appreciated all the wonderful comments and farewells from poker players all over the world. Service details are forthcoming. For now, please keep his family in your thoughts as they grieve.
— Linda Johnson (@FirstLadyPoker) September 7, 2020
Sexton was known primarily for his work on the World Poker Tour. He was the initial host of the program and served as host until 2017 when he left to become the Chairman of partypoker. Before he left the WPT, he did manage to win a WPT title.
Sexton was also a WSOP bracelet winner, winning his only bracelet back in 1989. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2009 and he went in as much for his contributions to poker than he did as a player.
Mike Sexton loved the game of poker and was the game’s greatest ambassador. His work with the World Poker Tour helped to grow poker to heights unimaginable prior to the Poker Boom. Mike also helped to found PokerGives, a charity that helps poker players make charitable contributions.
Below is a tribute to Sexton posted by the World Poker Tour:
Darvin Moon Dies From Surgery Complications
While the poker world was still mourning the loss of Sexton, the world learned of another tragic loss. On Saturday, Darvin Moon died as a result of complications from surgery. He was 56. Todd Anderson, a friend of Moon and head of Poker Night in America, revealed the news on Twitter:
The best person I ever met through poker is Darvin Moon. A man of integrity and honor. And quite possibly the most interesting person I’ve ever known. Truly. He and his wife Wendy became good friends. Sadly, Darvin succumbed to complications from surgery today. He’ll be missed. pic.twitter.com/oq0DmL74Jk
— Todd Anderson (@PokerNight_Todd) September 19, 2020
Moon’s passing was perhaps more stunning because it came out of left field. There was no time to prepare or to give tribute as he went so suddenly. The poker community gave their remembrances and shared condolences after the announcement. One of the best tributes was given by Nolan Dalla. Dalla used to be the Media Director at the World Series of Poker and also worked for Poker Night in America.
Dalla talked about how that Moon was a simple man who was happy with his lot in life. Even after winning millions in Las Vegas, he was happy playing in smaller events and working as a lumberjack.
Anyone that’s followed poker in the last decade has heard Moon’s story. In 2009, he made the final table of the WSOP Main Event as the unlikely chip leader. Having won a $130 satellite into the event at a casino in West Virginia, the 2009 Main Event was Moon’s first time playing in Las Vegas.
Moon made the most of the trip by going on a magical run that landed him at the final table headlined by Phil Ivey. While Ivey went on to finish 6th, Moon went on to make heads-up play against Joe Cada. Cada ultimately walked away the winner, but Moon’s performance solidified his place as the true “everyman of poker.”
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