Million Dollar Challenge spoiler: The $1 million winner
There are no secrets anymore. You probably knew that.
Between the internet, the paparazzi, and that neighbor who just won't be quiet about what you looked like when you went out to get the mail in your underwear, there's no keeping anything quiet these days.
So, it should come as no surprise that most of the poker world is already talking about who won a million bucks in the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge. True, it hasn't been on TV yet. True, it won't be on TV until Sunday afternoon. True, there are those among you who like to go in fresh.
But, being that we're news guys and the cat is out of the bag, we can't just sit here and not talk about it, too.
So, this is your fair warning. If you read much further, you're going to know just about everything there is to know about the man who turned a freeroll entry into life-changing money.
Oh, one other thing...you still have a chance to win a bunch of money yourself, so it's best not to tune out now.
Alright then, here we go.
The Mike Kosowski story
No one should have to see what Detective Sergeant Mike Kosowski has seen. No one should have to endure what he's endured. It was, as he put it later, misery.
We could spend a thousand words describing what this tough guy from New York has seen. Instead, listen to Kosowski in his own words.
Watch Million Dollar Challenge: Mike Kosowski Profile on PokerStars.tv
Kosowski's experience on 9/11 left him injured and afflicted with asthma. He eventually had to retire in 2004. With spare time on his hands, the one-time cop started playing poker.
In 2007, Kosowski and his wife were watching the World Series of Poker and first saw Daniel Negreanu play. Koskowski turned to his wife and said, "I'm going to play him some day and I'm going to beat him."
It seemed a ridiculous conceit and it was made even more so by the fact Kosowski dreamed two weeks later about beating Kid Poker heads-up.
Just a couple of months ago, though, Kosowski saw a commercial advertising the the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge. He played, beat out 16,000 players online, and had a chance to go to L.A. for a taping of the show--as an alternate.
Through a twist of fate, Kosowski managed to get his chance to play on TV. From there, he took over and made it all the way to a heads-up match with Daniel Negreanu.
You probably don't have to guess what happened next.
To see how it happened, you'll just have to watch. The show airs Sunday on FOX (check your local listings for the exact time it will be on). If you tune in, you'll also get the password to the $20,000 freeroll on PokerStars.
That's about all we'll offer for now...except our sincere congratulations to Mike Kosowski. Well played, sir. Well, played.