“I thought the phone call was a scam,” Winner Jokes

Of all the daily winners in the promotion giveaway at this year's World Series of Poker, the crown jewel was a free buy-in into the One Drop High Rollers event, which began today.

The tournament entry, valued at a whopping $111,111, was awarded to poker pro Owais Ahmed.  He won the random drawing which was held on Tuesday, and took his seat among 160-plus others who are currently playing in the second-highest buy-in tournament in WSOP history.

However, unlike the other competitors – mostly elites from both poker and business – each of whom posted the six-figure entry fee, Ahmed skated into the prestigious tournament on a total freeroll.  He was awarded the entry as part of a special promotion, just for signing up at

“Yesterday, I was sitting in one of the tournaments and my phone rang,” Ahmed recalled.  “I didn't recognize the number and almost didn't pick it up.”

Fortunately, Ahmed did take the call.  That's when an almost surreal experience began.

“They told me I had won the free seat into One Drop,” Ahmed said.  “I was like – are you sure?  Are you joking?”

That started some circus-like discussion at the poker table.

“I told the other people at my table about the phone call, that I won the seat,” Ahmed said.  “Some of the players were saying 'oh, there's no way.  It has to be a scam.'  I thought the phone call was a scam.”

Well, it wasn't.  Ahmed took his seat and six hours into the tournament, he's still alive with an average-size stack.  

This has already been a successful series for Ahmed.  He's cashed three times and made two final table appearances, coming in second and fourth.  He's close to a quarter-million in winnings this year alone and has crossed the $1 million mark in career WSOP earnings.

In Owais Ahmed's case, we shall see if this turns into a story of the rich getting richer.

From the first day's action of the 2013 WSOP, players 21 years of age and older who sign up for a account are automatically entered into a “36-Seat Giveaway.  Each day a randomly-selected winner gets a seat into the following day’s (first) WSOP gold bracelet event.  Remarkably, one of the first tournaments included in this promotion was the $111,111 buy-in One Drop High-Rollers No-Limit Hold’em tournament that generated a $17,891,148 prize pool.  Five millionaires will be created from this tournament alone, with $4,830,619 and a gold bracelet going to the winner.

All combined, $182,333 in WSOP seats, including a seat to the $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event are being given away during this one-of-a-kind promotion.  Those interested may still sign up and possibly win at the Rio, the site of the 2013 WSOP.  There is still a Main Event seat up for grabs and plenty of time to get an account and your chance to win!