U.S. poker legend who grew up in Kettering has died

Mike Sexton, who grew up in the Dayton area, died. He was 72. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY WORLD POKER TOUR/ JOE GIRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Credit: Joe Giron/www.pokerphotoarchive.

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Mike Sexton, who grew up in the Dayton area, died. He was 72. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY WORLD POKER TOUR/ JOE GIRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Credit: Joe Giron/www.pokerphotoarchive.

A Hall of Fame poker player and Kettering native has died.

Mike Sexton, a poker commentator whose calls were heard during broadcasts of World Poker Tour events and others, was 72.

He graduated in 1965 from Fairmont East High School. He later was a gymnast at Ohio State.

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Sexton’s death has shaken the poker community. Top players like Phil Helmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey have taken to social media to remember him.

“A gutting loss,” Ivey said. “Mike Sexton was a giant for the game. Very few people did more for the game of poker than he did. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”

Negreanu called Sexton a competitor, a friend and a remarkable human being.

Poker player Linda Johnson said that Sexton was battling prostate cancer that had recently spread to other organs. He had been in hospice care for about a month, she said.

Sexton spoke to the Dayton Daily News in 2004 about learning poker while growing up in the Dayton area. He said he often lost his paper route money to schoolmate Danny Robinson playing cards. Robinson would later become one of the best seven-card stud players in the country.

“For my route with The (Dayton) Journal Herald, I would collect every Friday,” said Sexton. “When I got home, Danny — who was two years ahead of me in school — would be shuffling cards on my stoop waiting for me. He kept me broke.”

As a player, he won nearly $7 million since his debut in the 1980s, according to CNN.

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