Rocco Mediate is a Poker Player

Written by:
Published on:

When asked as a "professional poker player" what his odds might be for winning the 2008 US Open playoff, Rocco Mediate responded that he is not a "professional" but rather an "amateur". He classifies himself as a "single digit poker player" and perhaps it is his experience in the world of poker that helped the 45 year old overcome incredible odds in making it to the playoff against Tiger Woods.

Oddsmakers, in fact, did not even list Mediate among the contenders - instead opting for the "field" category which includes any golfer not specifically assigned odds.

Mediate is a devout poker player who finds himself playing with house money. If he loses, what did you expect? But if he wins, wow!, writes Tim Sullivan of the Union Tribune. had made Mediate a nearly 4-1 odds underdog right into the first hour of the Playoff.

Sullivan points out:

Mediate has the same chance Jack Fleck had against Ben Hogan in 1955, the same chance Lawson Little had against Byron Nelson in 1946, the same chance Johnny Farrell had against Bobby Jones in 1928. He has the chance to win the U.S. Open against the most dominant player of his era by being slightly better on a single day.

It is, for Mediate, the chance of a lifetime. This is a guy with five career PGA Tour victories – only two of them in tournaments Woods entered – and whose most recent victory was recorded in the 2002 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic.

Could Rocco Mediate's experience on the poker circuit really help Monday at Torrey Pines? It may actually be deja vu according to the folks at Wicked Chops Poker.