Online Poker Legend Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt Dies

Online poker legend Dusty

The online poker world is mourning the loss of one of its legitimate legends. Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt died unexpectedly aged only 40-years-old. The cause of death is not immediately known.

Golf pro Kevin Na broke the news in a heartfelt Facebook post. Na and Schmidt were good friends from back when Schmidt was trying to break into the world of professional golf.

“My dear friend Dusty Schmidt passed away last night. Dusty was a childhood friend of mine. We grew up playing golf together in SoCal. He was a top Jr. ranked golfer who played pro golf for a short period. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to some health issues. He later in life found passion for the game of poker and became very successful at it. he even wrote a few books on poker. Dusty caddied for me in US Hr US Am and even in Asian Tour event S. Korea. He was a true friend that was always there for me and rooted for me throughout my life.”

Schmidt Finds Poker After Health Issues End Golf Career

Schmidt suffered a heart attack at the age of 23, which all but ended his dreams of becoming a professional golfer. As one door closes another opens, and he found poker while recuperating at home.

Online poker became his life and his path to riches. Schmidt called himself Leatherass due to the long hours he put in at the tables. He played cash games, often 20 or more tables at once, doing so with a remarkable win rate.

He started his cash game career in 2004 and logged 12,000 hours and more than 10 million hands by 2012. Schmidt won more than $4 million and enjoyed the world’s highest win rate for $5/$10 and $10/$20 No-Limit Hold’em for two consecutive years.

His unrivalled ability to play long poker sessions saw him become one of the first SuperNova Elite players at PokerStars. The online poker giant signed Schmidt as a member of Team PokerStars.

Leatherass the Poker Author

Schmidt gained legendary status through his epic online poker grinds. He was a coach for the now-defunct StoxTrader before moving to Drag The Bar. He wrote two best selling poker strategy books, one in 2012 and another in 2014.

Treat Your Poker Like a Business was the 2012 release. It gave players hints and tips on how to maximize their time and efforts in a professional manner. Book number two was titled Don’t Listen to Phil Hellmuth, which went down a storm. It listed 50 pieces of incorrect advice given to poker players.

Schmidt left Team PokerStars shortly after Black Friday when the site pulled out of the United States. Americas Cardroom wasted little time in signing Leatherass as an elite pro.

His Love of Golf Never Waned

Poker boosted Schmidt’s bankroll by seven figures, but golf remained his main passion. He launched 10thGreen.com, a golf-related social networking site, and promoted it heavily.

Schmidt issued a golf-poker hybrid challenge with a $1 million prize pool. The open challenge invited anyone to play him in eight 9-hole golf matches and 10 heads-up poker games. $50,000 per round was the prize, with an additional $100,000 going to the winner of the golf rounds. Each heads-up poker game came with a $50,000 prize, too.

Nobody took up Schmidt on his offer, but he fell foul of golf’s inner circle rules. The United States Golf Association stripped Schmidt of his amateur status because his challenge violated its rules. The association deemed the challenge “detrimental to the best interests of the amateur game.”

Although Schmidt largely vanished from the poker world in recent years, his time as Leatherass is the stuff of legends. The late grinder leaves behind a wife and three children.

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.

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