It took just three minutes.
That's the amount of time Ambrosha S. Harrell spent signing up on Wednesday afternoon at the official booth staffed by the new WSOP.com online poker site. She walked into the Rio prepared to play in the opening Casino Employees Championship, and passed by several vendors set up in the hallway leading from the casino parking lot to the big tournament room.
One of the booths in the main hallway is designated for the WSOP.com online poker site, which will debut soon. As part of a $700,000 free promotion, Caesars Interactive Entertainment and the World Series of Poker are currently giving away 36 fully-paid seats into gold bracelet events. This amounts to one per day, including an entry into the One Drop High Roller event valued at a whopping $111,111. The first daily giveaway started with Event #3, which was Thursday's $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry tournament. Each day, there will be a drawing awarding a seat into the following day's noon event.
Harrell was the lucky winner of the first of 36 complimentary seats, which enabled her to completely freeroll a $1,000 buy-in gold bracelet tournament, the first open event she has ever played. All she had to do was sign up for free.
“I was walking down the hall yesterday getting ready to play in the Casino Employee event. One of the WSOP girls out front asked me if I wanted to sign up at the online site,” Harrell said. “I was very hesitant, because I don't even live in Nevada. I figured, what's the point? But then I just said, okay – why not?”
That turned out to be a very wise decision. A sign-up process that took only a matter of a few minutes materialized into a $1,000 seat and the unofficial honor of being the first big WSOP.com winner of the summer.
“I received a phone call and a text. I immediately called back and heard I had won a seat,” Ambrosha said. “I was initially very hesitant when I heard the news. I asked the lady what she wanted [laughs]. I mean, there just had to be a catch to all this. She told me there was no catch at all, and that I had actually won the free seat into a gold bracelet event. She said my ticket would be at the Will Call window waiting for me. I was jumping up and down. I even called my dad I was so happy.”
On Thursday promptly at noon, Harrell took her tournament seat along with 1,500 or so other players. She found herself at the same tournament table with gold bracelet winner Kathy Liebert.
“It was great to play with Kathy. Situations like that really do help your skill level,” Harrell said. “It's a great way to learn, just by watching other players you admire.”
Harrell currently lives in Ignacio, Colorado. She is a poker dealer and floor supervisor at the nearby casino in Durango. However, she is in the process of moving to San Diego, where she will continue her college education. Harrell is a proud mother of two children.
“As a single mom, this was a great experience for me,” Harrell said. “I'm the mother of two kids and you don't have a thousand dollars you can fork over to play in an event like this. That's a lot of money. It was awesome. I even had butterflies when I first sat down.”
No doubt, Harrell was already a winner from the instant she sat down. Even thought she went card dead and busted out midway through Day 1A after losing a classic race with ace-jack to a pocket pair, she still has no regrets. In fact, she encouraged others to sign up at WSOP.com here at the Rio to try and win what could be their own free seat.
The much-anticipated launch of WSOP.com is coming and already drawing a lot of buzz. The daily winner promotion now underway is sure to fuel even greater interest.
All players must to to be eligible for the free drawing is to come to the WSOP at the Rio and sign up (free of charge) at the official WSOP.com online poker booth. Winners are notified daily by phone and text message.
There's more. In addition to the 36-Seat giveaway, a “Hot Seat” promotion will allow any player who signs up for a WSOP.com online account and wears their “WSOP.com” patch on their chest at the poker table, to be randomly selected to receive $500 bonus dollars deposited directly into their WSOP.com online account, that is once WSOP.com has received all regulatory approvals and is underway.
More information on the multitude of online poker promotions is available on WSOP.com.