Mike Sexton’s recent blog post causing waves in poker community

mike_sexton_largeMike Sexton’s recent column has really touched a nerve in the poker industry, and perhaps no exchange better illustrates this than the Twitter debate between Matt Savage and WSOP bracelet winner Sean Getzwiller.

Getzwiller was making some valid arguments (one I happen to disagree with, but still valid) up until he questioned Mike Sexton’s perspective on the matter, and whether he was in a position to call out the players, so to speak. Getzwiller made the following comments during the back and forth with Savage:

“Mike has become a rich man from the Outside of poker.he shld respect the players that r in the poss he once was”

“Aren’t u selling”Never Lose a Dime Playing Poker Again”4WPT Website? What have u given back to players that made ur career?” [bold mine]

And here is the flawed logic of some poker players. You did not bring the game to the level it is, the game brought you to this level. I have been a part of the poker community since before the poker boom, and let me tell Sean Getzwiller and all the other younger players that if you think it’s hard to get a game post-Black Friday, or that the poker economy is hurting right now, you should have seen what it was like pre-Moneymaker!

If Sean Getzwiller thinks Mike Sexton is throwing him under a bus because he doesn’t make his money directly at the tables, he doesn’t understand the recent history of this game. Mike Sexton is far more responsible for the success of modern players than Sean Getzwiller, or even Daniel Negreanu, is for Mike Sexton’s success.

Mike Sexton ushered in the potential for $1 million tournaments and high-stakes cash-games across the country. Pre-WPT and Chris Moneymaker card-rooms were closing their doors faster than online sites were opening. The WPT, partly due to Mike Sexton, changed all of that, and totally changed the way poker was viewed by the general public.

The people “Outside” of poker, the Mike Sexton’s, Matt Savage’s, and Henry Orenstein’s are more than credible when it comes to speaking up about player behavior or actions. This a self-policing game and people like Mike Sexton, who is a Poker Hall of Famer, have every right to speak his mind, and whether you agree with them or not, their words should carry weight.

Poker is not popular because of the players, players are popular because of poker, and this is something I don’t think enough young players understand. It doesn’t matter who is sitting at the WSOP Main Event final table (as we saw when Phil Ivey or Mike Mizrachi were there) people are going to tune in because of the game and the enormous prize-money.

Here is a look at more of the exchange between Savage and Getzwiller:

Matt Savage: Really? @SeanGetzPoker say what you want about @MikeSexton_WPT’s article but to ask him “what have you given back” is beyond ridiculous!

Sean Getzwiller: @SavagePoker @MikeSexton_WPT Mike has become a rich man from the Outside of poker.he shld respect the players that r in the poss he once was

Matt Savage: @SeanGetzPoker Please talk to @MikeSexton_WPT or hundreds that know him. I guarantee you he has never forgotten his roots or where he’s been

Sean Getzwiller: @SavagePoker “Giving Back” and “Directly Profiting” are two very dif things. I’ll just have to be the “bad guy” for speaking up I guess

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