Pro Poker Player Fights USGA
By Kickntrue on 7/8/09
This is a pretty interesting story about Dusty Schmidt, a pro poker player who's quite a golfer as well. A friend of Casey Martin (remember him?) Schmidt used to be a top flight amateur golfer before quitting college and turning pro. He gave up his pro status and started learning online poker, getting to the point where he could make $100k a month.
Problems arose after he issued a challenge in April in conjunction with one of his Web sites. In what he dubbed the "Million Dollar Challenge," Schmidt offered to bet his own money against anyone in a combined poker and golf competition.

Schmidt knew he had to gain some attention to find a challenge, so he hired a publicist. The USGA got word and after several e-mail exchanges, rescinded his amateur status, saying he had violated Rule 7-1, which bars "actions detrimental to the best interests of the amateur game," and Rule 7-2, which bars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 hopes to gain a preliminary injunction Monday that will allow him to enter a few events during the rest of the summer before his lawsuit can go to trail.
Basically, Schmidt by betting his own money turned himself "pro" again in the USGA's eyes. I'm not really sure who's side I'm on with this one, or that it really matters. It's just a truly fascinating tale for anyone who has a couple minutes to read it.

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[ comments ]
tjagolf says:
I believe the USGA is in the right here. Mr. Schmidt is trying to make money through golf, thereby professionalizing himself. He is hardly an amateur if he has won money playing golf, sorry.
7/8/09
 
tjagolf says:
From the linked article:

"His game progressed, and by the time he was 23, he was leading the money list on the Golden State Tour, a California-based mini-tour, while working part-time for his father's grocery distribution company."

He was already a pro at one point.
7/8/09
 
jpleboeuf says:
oddly enough, I frequent a poker forum, twoplustwo.com, where Dusty is well known. He's made over a million dollars playing poker online. He explained that you can regain your amateur status after being a professional. That is not the issue.

The issue is the million dollar bet, where he and his competitor would play some poker and some golf. However, the bet hasn't even taken place. I would have an easier time siding with the USGA if someone had actually taken him up on the bet.
7/8/09
 
kidputter says:
Should we all be considered pros for making bets on the course? The USGA should have NO BEARING on what 2 adults do with their money on their own time.
He shouldn't be given amateur status based on the history of his golfing career, regardless of how long he's been idle. A Pro boxer can't return to the amateur ranks. A Pro tennis player is a pro until they die. Why should golf be different?
7/8/09
 
jpleboeuf says:
kidputter,

You're basically saying the exact opposite thing as the USGA. They gave him his amateur status back but then took it away again after they found out about the bet. I've also heard stories about some losing their amateur status after winning a car for making a hole-in-one.
7/8/09
 
Kickntrue says:
@jpleboef - that happened to Jason Bohn. That's how he ended up on Tour.
7/8/09
 
bschlyer says:
Pro golfers don't play for their own money.
7/8/09
 
ToddRobb says:
It's not about it being his own money, the issue is that he will generating income from golf if he wins, no matter if it comes from a person or any other source.
7/8/09
 
ToddRobb says:
Take a really good amateur golfer on this site that plays in amateur tournaments, if he were to play one of his buddies for a million dollars and win, he would lose his amateur status if the USGA found out about it. This guy is actually advertising what he's doing, this is a no brainer for the USGA. Being paid to play makes you a pro in ANYTHING, it doesn't matter where the money comes from.
7/9/09
 
jvwvu says:
"his buddies for a million dollars and win, he would lose his amateur status if the USGA found out about it."

So therefore a 2 dollar bet you should lose your amateur status.

When you are paid by a tournament (win, hole in one car and such, or being sponsored you should lose your status)

Betting, even advertising that you will beat up to a certain amount you should not lose your status.
7/9/09
 
Mjw71772 says:
I say he just rewords the way the money is wagered, play someone in poker for the 100K and throw in a free round of Golf. All problems solved, but then again wont have many people taking him up on the Poker game.
7/9/09
 
ToddRobb says:
jvwvu, Don't you think a 2 dollar bet is a little different than a million dollars???? AGAIN,,, It's not the issue of BETTING, it's the issue of generating INCOME from golf. It's pretty simple, if you win REAL money by playing golf, you're a pro. If you win the Masters as an amateur, you don't get one penny. This poker dude is knuckle head for not thinking this was going to be a problem.
7/9/09
 
jvwvu says:
We play for anywhere from $20 - $100 a round, 4-5 days a week. I am up about $250 since last weekend so am I a pro, since I am generating income? The dollar amount means nothing in my mind if its a beat. So if we played a 5 front,5 back, 5 overall beat on a round one would get income. It does not matter if $5, $50, $500, $5000, or $5,000,000, it depends on what you can afford. A tournament or sponsor paying money is where in my mind an amateur loses his status only.
7/10/09
 
ToddRobb says:
jvwvu, so you feel that if a guy wins $5,000,000.00 playing golf, through some source other than a tournament sponsor, and the USGA knows about it, he should still be able to tee it up against amateurs,,,,,, ookay.
7/10/09
 
dshafer says:
jvwvu, you are playing golf for money, amatuer status gone....read the rules....the guy should have lost his status no question, I know high school / college golfers that won't even play in charity scrambles because cash is awarded to winners
7/11/09
 
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