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Portland Golf Entrepreneur Lays Down $1 Million Challenge


Poker champion and one-time golf prodigy Dusty Schmidt is staking $1 million that he is the world's best combination golfer-poker player. On April 23, Schmidt announced the 10thGreen.com Million Dollar Challenge. The Portland, Ore., resident says he will play anyone in the world in poker and golf to prove he's the planet's foremost practitioner of both crafts.

Schmidt, 27, broke many of Tiger Woods' records as a junior player in Southern California and was on his way to a successful professional career when he was felled by a heart attack at the young age of 23. Since then, he's become an online poker titan, winning more than $3 million in two years. He still plays golf recreationally, maintaining a plus-2.9 handicap.

"I'm not boastful by nature," Schmidt said. "This just seemed like a really fun event that could grow into something big. Golf and poker are global games, and I'll be willing to take on anyone, anywhere."

The event is sponsored by 10thGreen.com (www.10thGreen.com), a social network and instructional website for golfers that Schmidt co-owns with former professional golfer Casey Martin, who's now the head coach of the University of Oregon's men's golf team. In 1999 Martin successfully sued the PGA Tour to win the right to ride a cart during competition.

Schmidt, Martin and 10thGreen.com have been the subject of recent stories in Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest and the Golf Channel. They will also be the focus of an upcoming feature on ESPN's "E:60" newsmagazine program.

The 10thGreen.com Million Dollar Challenge will occur at a time and place to be determined, depending on the availability of Schmidt's challenger. Schmidt has proposed the following rules:

Day 1: 36 holes consisting of four separate nine-hole matches for $50,000 each

Day 2: 36 holes consisting of four separate nine-hole matches for $50,000 each

PLUS: The overall winner of the 72-hole match will win $100,000

Day 3: Five heads-up poker matches for $50,000 each

Day 4: Five heads-up poker matches for $50,000 each

A total of $1 million will be won or lost.

Schmidt is keeping a video blog on www.10thGreen.com, as well as www.Stoxpoker.com, which he also co-owns. Schmidt asks that potential challengers contact him at Dusty@10thGreen.com.