Last Friday, Schmidt formally announced the 10thGreen.com Million Dollar Challenge. The Portland resident says he will play anyone in the world in poker and golf to prove he is the globe’s foremost practitioner of both crafts.
Schmidt, 27, broke many of Tiger Woods‘ records as a junior player in Southern California, and was well on his way to a successful professional career when he was felled by a heart attack at age 23. Since then, he has become an online poker titan, winning more than $3 million in two years. He still plays golf recreationally, maintaining a plus-2.9 index.
“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 famed golfer Casey Martin. 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 subject 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 proposed the following rules:
• Day 1: 36 holes consisting of 4 separate 9-hole matches for $50,000 each.
• Day 2: 36 holes consisting of 4 separate 9-hole matches for $50,000 each.
• PLUS: The overall winner of a running 72-hole match will win $100,000
• Day 3: 5 heads-up poker matches for $50,000 each
• Day 4: 5 heads-up poker matches for $50,000 each
A total of $1 million will be won or lost.