Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt is a former golfer who turned professional online poker player.
When he was younger, Schmidt was a top-ranked golfer in Southern California. He played for one year at UC Irvine but decided he didn't like college, so he turned pro. His game continued to improve, and by the time he was 23, he was a semi-professional golfer and was close to making the PGA tour, while also working part-time for his father's grocery distribution company. One day, while at the grocery store, he got a severe pain in his chest and suffered a heart attack. Doctors told him that would need six months to recover and to avoid all stress, including work - and golf. That was when he discovered online poker.
Schmidt took poker very seriously, treating it like a business and putting in long hours as a grinder. Over 5 years, he has over $3 million won in cash games without having a losing month. He has played about 7 million hands and more than 10,000 hours. He has recorded some of the highest win rates in no-limit cash games.
Schmidt published a poker book "Treat Your Poker Like A Business", which educates poker players about issues that professional players need to deal with, including: how to manage your bankroll, handling variance, playing many tables, moving up in stakes, avoiding tilt, and becoming more profitable. The book also has a section on strategy, concentrating on common situations instead of obscure situations that don't affect players very often.
Schmidt returned to golf in 2009 after he got healthy. He had applied to regain his amateur status and has high hopes now that he has money for a swing coach and a sports psychologist. Since he is skilled at both golf and poker, he issued a "Million Dollar Challenge," where he offered to bet his own money against anyone in a combined poker and golf competition. He issued the challenge to see if anyone was a better golf-and-poker player, as well as to promote his golf social networking site - 10thGreen.com.
After hiring a publicist to spread the word about the challenge, the United States Golf Association heard about the challenge and stripped him of his amateur status, saying he had violated Rule 7-1, which bars "actions detrimental to the best interests of the amateur game," and Rule 7-2, which bars "actions relating to golf gambling, that are contrary to the purpose and spirit of the Rules." Schmidt is fighting the USGA in the federal courts to allow him to play in amateur golf tournaments.
Schmidt lives in Portland, Oregon and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Card Player, Poker News, Golf Magazine, ESPN, cnn.com, wallstreetjournal.com, forbes.com, and fortune.com.
HPG ADMIN on February 27, 2013