This month, the PocketFives Podcastdives into the world of legal U.S. poker. ClubWPT, which shells out $100,000 in cash and prizes every month along with a mountain of perks to its subscribers, takes center stage on our show in December. ClubWPT spokesperson Mike Sexton (pictured) gives the inside scoop on what makes this room tick.
If you haven’t heard of ClubWPT before, the concept is pretty simple. For $19.95 per month, you can sign up for ClubWPTfrom the United States and play completely legal poker. Sexton previewed, “It’s a great place to practice poker and it’s a great place to play poker without any risk. ClubWPT wasn’t designed to be a real money gaming site. It’s not designed to replace the online sites that no longer exist. However, it is a place where players can play real poker, get entertainment, and it’s possible to win great prizes like a seat to a WPT event.”
ClubWPT officials tout that you’ll never lose a dime playing poker. Instead, you’ll get to play legal poker and also receive benefits like an Entertainment Book Saver’s Guide. Sexton previewed ClubWPT’s associated perks: “When you join for $19.95 per month, you get a VIP membership. You get perks like a Saver’s Guide, which provides hundreds of dollars in great local discounts to members every month. You get content, including the WPT shows. You get the WPT Magazine. You get analysis and strategy.”
Past WPT seasons are streamed online to paying ClubWPT members. You’ll also get access to strategy articles, which could come in handy should you qualify for a live event through ClubWPT. Plus, you’ll get discounts for quarterly and annual memberships if the $19.95 per month is a little much for you to stomach.
If you follow the WPT, then you might remember ClubWPT qualifier Leron Washington, who took down the Celebrity Invitational in February 2010, proof that qualifiers aren’t pushovers. Sexton reiterated, “You can play as much poker as you want to play. Obviously, the more you play, the more chances you have to win cash and prizes. It’s just great fun. Anybody who really likes poker and can’t really afford to gamble… can play all the poker they want for free.”
Sexton is a sponsored pro of PartyPoker, which vacated the U.S. market in October 2006. Recently, he watched as PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, the three largest sites in the land, leave the USA on Black Friday. “I certainly am aware of what these sites went through and the trauma that goes along with it when you have to stop doing business in the United States,” Sexton admitted. “It’s unfortunate. All of us want online poker legalized and regulated. For sure it’s coming, it’s just a matter of when it’s coming and how it’s coming. I think it’s coming sooner than people think.”
Sexton is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame and was its lone inductee in 2009. This year, just moments before a new WSOP Main Event champion was crowned in November, Sexton watched as Linda Johnson and Barry barryg1 Greenstein (pictured) were enshrined.
He observed, “I thought it was a great day for poker and a great day for the Poker Hall of Fame. Both are class with a capital C. Both have been great ambassadors for the game. Linda has contributed more to the poker industry over the last 20 years than anyone on the planet. Barry – what he’s done for charity and his success in high-stakes cash games and tournament poker – has been phenomenal.”
Finally, the WPT is fresh off holding its annual Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. This year, bracelet winner James Flushy Dempsey hoisted a WPT title. Sexton, who played with Dempsey in a PartyPoker Premier League match just a few weeks before, evaluated, “I was so impressed with how well he played. He’s such a nice guy. He plays so well. I really like the guy. He’s great for poker and is just a terrific player.”