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Online Poker Pro Drops USGA Lawsuit

Poker News - August 7th, 2009 - Written by Bruce

Dusty Schmidt has ultimately decided to drop his lawsuit against the United States Golf Association (USGA) to have his amateur golf status reinstated. Schmidt was formerly one of the top junior golfers in Southern California. He had played professionally for several years before suffering an unexpected heart attack in 2004 at the age of 23. He then had to take a break from the game to recover, which is when he started to find success playing online poker. After a relatively short time playing Schmidt became one of the top online poker players. He became so successful that he was able to earn over $100,000 a month on some occasions. In total, Schmidt has raked in a whopping $3 million from poker alone.

Two years after his heart attack, Schmidt had earned plenty of money playing poker while recovering. He decided that it was time for him to once again continue his golfing career, so he applied with the USGA to regain his amateur golfing status. In early 2009, the USGA granted his request and everything seemed to be in order for Schmidt to make his return to playing golf. Problems with the USGA arose when Schmidt issued a challenge earlier this year, in April. On a website that he co-owns, Schmidt issued a $1 million challenge involving a poker and golf competition. The challenge consisted of 72 holes of golf, combined with ten heads up poker matches. Even though nobody took him up on his challenge, the USGA decided that he had given up his amateur status by submitting the challenge. They argued that the self promotion of the challenge was not in the best interest of the amateur game. This led to Schmidt trying to seek a lawsuit against the USGA which was set to begin on September 22nd. After consulting with several legal experts, he ended up deciding to drop the lawsuit because he was told his case would not be strong enough to win.

Schmidt , who currently lives in the Portland, Oregon area, has been working with two time PGA Tour winner Brian Henninger. The reason Schmidt was so concerned about getting his amateur status reinstated is that he says there are no professional events held in Oregon. Schmidt has a baby girl on the way, but said he wanted to once again resume playing competitive golf close to home. Since there are no professional golf tournaments held where he lives, Schmidt would have to travel to compete which would force him to miss significant time away from his daughter. This does not seem to be something he is interested in doing at the moment. He plans on continuing to work on his golf game, and said he hopes to enter some professional events in the future.

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