GVC Holdings has appointed American poker professional Mike Sexton as chairman of its online poker brand partypoker.

The Poker Hall of Fame inductee has worked with the World Poker Tour as a co-commentator for the past 15 years since its inception in 2002, and will be replaced by another American poker pro Tony Dunst.

A World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner and WPT Champion, Sexton has been a partypoker ambassador since helping the online poker brand launch in 2001.

“This is an emotional time for me because I have decided to leave the World Poker Tour to focus on this new role,” Sexton commented. “I was at partypoker from the start, before there was even a name or a single virtual card was dealt.

“I experienced the crazy times of the poker boom when we became the number one site in the world, I remember people sleeping on the office floor when we were all working 24-7 to get the software launched and I remember the first partypoker Million on a cruise ship which overlaid $500K.

“It was devastating for me to see the decline of partypoker when we were forced to pull out of the US and then watch from the side lines as our competitors remained and benefited from our customer base. I am really looking forward to working with people that love the game like I do," he said.

Tom Waters, managing director of partypoker, added: “I am absolutely delighted that Mike has decided to come on board as our chairman. We are all dedicated to make partypoker the site for the players and having his support to make this happen gets us one step closer.”

WPT chief executive Adam Pliska described the news as a "bittersweet day in WPT history".

“As we announce the end of Mike Sexton’s incredible tenure as WPT co-commentator, the World Poker Tour celebrates the internal promotion of Tony Dunst to one of poker’s most visible positions,” he said. "Mike, along with Vince Van Patten, is more than just a part of one of the longest-running commentating pairs in sports broadcast history.

“His graciousness, enthusiasm, passion, and genuine spirit are emblematic of all we have wished the World Poker Tour to be. In short, Mike has made us a better company.”

Dunst joined the WPT as host of the WPT Raw Deal during Season IX after winning the role through an open casting competition that included some of poker’s most recognizable faces. In addition to joining the WPT Champions Club in 2013 during Season XII, Dunst has appeared at five WPT final tables.