Double Barrel: Mike Sexton joins WPT Champions Club; Bet365 opens online poker room in Bulgaria

TAGs: Bet365, Bulgaria, Mike Sexton

In today’s double barrel we salute Mike Sexton for adding the title of Word Poker Tour Champions Club Member to his LinkedIn profile, and Bet365 become the first online gambling firm to offer a suite of gambling products in Bulgaria.

Thankfully, for Mike Sexton, rules are made for breaking.

In 2002, Steve Lipscomb approached Mike Sexton about an idea to create a poker show for television. Sexton thought the idea was a winner, and introduced Lipscomb to Lyle Berman and Jerry Buss in a bid to find capital for the project.

Double Barrel: Mike Sexton joins WPT Champions Club; Bet365 opens online poker room in BulgariaAfter the show had got the green light, Lipscomb had some good and bad news for Sexton when it came to his role in the show.

Taken from Sexton’s autobiography Life’s a Gamble Lipscomb said:

“Mike, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that we want you to be the commentator for the WPT. The bad news is that that if you take the job, you can’t play in any WPT events.”

Sexton took the job and over the years as things changed and the likes of Lipscomb moved on, Sexton was able to participate in selected WPT events. A few days ago, he won WPT Montreal and the $317,817 first prize after beating 648 entrants, and I can’t think of a more fitting member of the WPT Champions Club.

Sexton arrived at the final table dressed to kill and with the most impressive rack and although he had experience on his side he faced a tough journey to the apex of the event with the likes of Benny Chen, Ilan Boujenah and Jake Schwartz still in the mix.

Heads up came down to Sexton and the former Milly Maker winner, Benny Chen, who at one point amassed a 10:1 chip lead over his vastly more experienced opponent. Sexton used every second of that experience to make the biggest comeback of his career to topple Chen and add a WPT title to his World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet win and Poker Hall of Fame slot.

In winning the event, Sexton also maintained his record of never missing a televised WPT Main Event Final Table either as a commentator or player. It was his third WPT Final Table as a player. What must Steve Lipscomb be thinking?

Bet365 Launch Online Poker Room in Bulgaria

UK bookmaker Bet365 will launch an online poker product in Bulgaria after receiving a license from the Bulgarian State Commission on Gambling (SCG). They are the second gambling outfit to be awarded an online poker license behind PokerStars. Bet365 are the first online gambling enterprise to offer both online poker and casino games in the country.

Bet365 and the Bulgarian SCG have a tetchy past. In August 2014, the SCG granted Bet365 a license to operate a sportsbook only for a last minute change of mind dumped them unceremoniously onto the blacklist.

The Coates family didn’t take the decision lying down and managed to get the verdict overturned after an appeal heard at the Court of Sofia. Last week, the UK tabloids declared Bet365 owner Denise Coates as the ‘highest paid businesswoman’ in Britain.

Coates has a net worth of £2.8 billion and earned £117.5m (£54m salary & £63.5m in dividends) last year, a basic salary that only Sir Matt Sorrell, of media firm WPP, can beat with an annual salary of £70m.

Life is certainly a gamble.


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