A professional poker player took a small step forward in making the transition from earning a living on the felt to the golf course.
Dustin Denzik, a poker pro from Kentucky, shot a 10-under 60 during the first round of a Korn Ferry Tour Q School event at Lake Caroline Golf Club in Madison, MS. Denzik, who played college golf at Morehead State, ended up finishing the three-day tournament 15-under par after shooting a 66 in the second round and a one-under 69 in the final round.
His results were good enough to finish second in the tournament and will move on to the first stage of Q school, along with the rest of the top 32. According to a report from Golf Digest, the first stage starts in September and the second in October.
If Denzik were to make it through both of those qualifying rounds and into the Final Stage in November, he would guaranteed a spot on the Korn Ferry Tour, which would officially make Denzik a professional golfer. If he earns a spot on the Korn Ferry Tour, he could make then make the jump to the PGA tour if he plays well enough. He still has quite a road ahead of him to get there, however.
Denzik earned $66,277 in live tournament earnings over the course of his poker career, which has cashes dating back to 2015. His most recent in-the-money finish came at last January’s Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Hollywood, FL. He finished 210st in a $600 no-limit hold’em event for $1,295.
His player profile on a major poker tour’s website describes him as an “avid prop bettor,” which makes it seem like he made the majority of his income from cash games. In his Instagram profile, however, he describes himself as a “Professional golfer” and a “semi-retired poker player.”
Given the gambling environment that surrounds the game, golf has been the sport of choice for many poker players.
In one of the more historic prop bets in recent poker history, Erick Lindgren once won a total of $340,000 from Gavin Smith, Peter Feldman, Phil Ivey and Chris Bell when they said that the two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner couldn’t play four consecutive rounds in a single day while shooting under 100 from the pro tees without a caddy or a golf cart.