We've just spotted another notable in the Orange section of the Amazon Room, and it's a name you might have seen on TV. It's his backstory that's most noteworthy, however.
Mike Kosowski spent his working career as a Detective Sergeant with the New York Police Department, and he was one of the first responders to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. As it was for so many of his colleagues, that day would prove to be the worst of his life. The South tower essentially collapsed right on top of Kosowski, and he suffered through five herniated discs as he pulled himself from the rubble and limped to the relative safety of a nearby building.
"Talk about lucky," Kosowski said. "I was one of the luckiest guys in the world to survive that day."
If not for that day, though, Kosowski would likely not be sitting here playing the World Series of Poker Main Event.
The injuries he endured ended his career in law enforcement a couple years later, and Kosowski needed to find something to occupy his free time. Online poker filled the void nicely, and he spent his days grinding away on the virtual felt. One average day, Kosowski ended up entering a 16,000-player freeroll for a chance at a seat in a televised poker show. To make a long story short, a couple months down a long qualifying road, he was in Los Angeles sitting across the felt from Daniel Negreanu with a chance to win seven figures on the PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge.
He did it. Kosowski capped off a true feel-good story as he overcame Negreanu's challenge to collect the million-dollar paycheck and pad his early retirement.
Kosowski has put $10,000 of those winnings to use today, sitting at Table 310 in our Orange section. It's going quite well so far, too, as he sits among the big stacks with 75,000 chips at the moment.
Kosowski is very much interested in his family following along back home, and we'd like to give a shout-out to his wife Fran, children Mike and Rachele, and the family dog, Joe DiMaggio.