Online poker legend Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt has reportedly passed away aged just 40, the sad news broken by his childhood friend, professional golfer Kevin Na.
Dustin “Dusty” Schmidt became known for his legendary grinder approach to online poker, his love for the game developing while he was recovering from serious health problems.
Having been a standout golfer in his teens and playing on and off as a pro in the secondary tours, at the age of just 23 Dusty suffered a heart attack, ending his golf career dreams.
His recovery period saw him introduced to online poker and he was soon one of the most prolific players in the game.
Soon nicknamed “Leatherass” for the amount of time spent online grinding, Schmidt was also a member of PokerStars Team Online.
He was among the first to achieve SuperNovaElite status on PokerStars and had amassed more than $4million by the time Black Friday struck in 2011.
Dusty never lost his love for the golf that had filled his childhood, issuing a $1million challenge that involved 72 holes of golf and 10 heads-up poker matches. Although no-one took him up on the offer, the USGA revoked his amateur licence at the time.
Back in poker, Dusty Schmidt had earned a reputation as a phenomenal online grinder, and he shared his knowledge of the game in two books.
His first, Treat Your Poker Like a Business: How to turn a hobby into an empire written along with Scott Brown, has been translated into eight languages and seen several editions.
The same year saw his wonderfully titled, Don’t Listen to Phil Hellmuth: Correcting the 50 Worst Piece of Poker Advice published. Written with Paul Christopher Hoppe, “the authors take apart the fifty greatest fallacies in poker, many of which represent the pillars of the game, revealing the fallacies that cost you big money.”
Schmidt and Hoppe later co-authored another book, How to Crush No-Limit Hold’em in 2016, focused on cash games and how to deal with the modern game.
Dusty Schmidt leaves behind a wife and three children. RIP.
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