I’ll admit to having been a little nervous walking up to Mike Sexton in the Caesar’s Poker Room Saturday afternoon, but my brazen desire for good material outweighed the little bit of starstruck, so I did. I introduced myself and said that I write for Pokerworks, and could I get some time this week for an interview?
He said sure, and gave me his card, which doesn’t have his office number on it, but rather his mobile number, and his personal email address. So we chatted for a few minutes about his schedule for the week, and decided that I should call him around 10AM today to try and set something up. So I did, and he was golfing today, but told me to call him around 6 and we’d see about scheduling something.
So Suzy and I go over to the Rio to gawk a little bit, pick up a bit o’ swag, and I call him a hair after 6PM.
“Where are you now?”
“I’m at the Rio.”
“Why don’t you come up to my room and we’ll do it tonight.”
So we hop on the elevator and go interview the 2006 WSOP Tournament of Champions winner. Off the cuff. No notes. Flying completely without a net, and with no real idea of what to expect.
And it was great. The ten-minute interview I expected went into more than half an hour, with great stories about the original Tournament of Champions and Stu Ungar, and great insight into Mike’s opinions on poker, poker players, and how he came to be the host of the World Poker Tour. He was charming, open, passionate about the charities he supports, optimistic about the future of poker and the ability of poker champions and sites to use their tournament winnings to do some good in the world, and just an all-around damn fine guy. And when we were done, he told me that I did a good interview.
It was a good night.