The World Poker Tour will induct Mike Sexton and Bruno Fitoussi into the WPT Honours List, and WPT Champions Club member Manuel ‘Noli’ Francisco Passes Away.
Robert Greene, the author of the 48 Laws of Power once wrote that only generous souls attain greatness, and when it comes to poker, I can’t think of two more generous souls than Mike Sexton and Bruno Fitoussi.
At various times in poker’s history, this pair has wielded tremendous power, but they have always used it to improve the game, and it’s for this reason that the World Poker Tour (WPT) is bestowing them with the highest honour within the company.
The pair will be inducted into the WPT Honours List at an intimate dinner for family and friends on Saturday, July 1, 2017, for outstanding contributions to the WPT and the greater poker community.
The inclusion of Sexton is a no brainer. The WPT Champions Club member spent 15-years with the company where he called the shots at the final table alongside his tag team partner Vince Van Patten. Sexton retired earlier this year to take up the position of partypoker Chairman.
The WPT have learned a thing or two about the nepotistic mannerisms of the Poker Hall of Fame, wasting no time inducting a non-American into their hallowed halls.
Bruno Fitoussi has long been touted as a Poker Hall of Fame incumbent but continues to miss the vote, year after year. It appears the WPT hierarchy see something that the Poker Hall of Fame secret service does not.
The Frenchman was one of the first people to make the word ‘World’ mean something when he brought the WPT to the Aviation Club de France (ACF) in the very first season. The iconic card room located on the Champs-Élysées was a mainstay for the WPT until Season 13 when the event vanished from the roster, and the ACF was eventually closed down by Parisian officials.
WPT CEO and songsmith, Adam Pliska, called Fitoussi one of the most important figures in our game’s history. And I love the fact that he used the words our game and didn’t limit his influence to the WPT – take note Poker Hall of Fame secret service.
Sexton and Fitoussi are the second and third members of the WPT Honours List. The First Lady of Poker, Linda Johnson, was the first member to receive a 21-gun salute in February of this year.
WPT Champions Club Member Manuel ‘Noli’ Francisco Passes Away
The WPT Champions Club has lost one of its oldest members.
Card Player magazine has reported that Manuel “Noli” Francisco passed away in February from complications arising from kidney failure. He was 75.
Francisco won his WPT title in Season 2, defeating a field of 235 entrants capturing the $470,000 first prize in the $5,150 buy-in WPT Borgata Poker Open. Joining Francisco on that final table was David Oppenheim (3rd), Carlos Mortensen (4th), and Jennifer Harman (7th).
He made the final table of eight World Series of Poker (WSOP) events including two fingernail moments finishing runner-up to Kenny Duggan in a 1992 $2,500 Pot Limit Hold’em event, and in 1993, losing out to Phil Hellmuth Jr in the heads-up stage of a $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event.
Originally from the Philippines, Francisco was living in New Jersey at the time of his death.