When it comes to poker, David “Chip” Reese was as good as it gets. If you were to ask anyone who the best player in the world was, Chip’s name as atop of the list for many people. He was more than respected by all of the top professionals, he was their best friends.
David “Chip” Reese was born on March 28, 1951 and his poker story has been told by many around the world. As a child, he suffered from rheumatic fever which can be deadly in young kids. This caused him to stay at home a lot with his mother who played many games with Chip. During this time she taught Chip how to play poker, and he has been said that he would not be the player he is today if it wasn’t for that time.
Chip always had high ambitions in life. He attended Dartmouth College and was also atop of this class. He was then admitted into Standford Business School, but he never showed up for classes. There is a good reason for this too, because he found his calling. On a trip in 1974 to Vegas, which was his first time in the city, he ended up winning a seven card stud tournament for $40,000. After this, he decided he wanted to ride this out for as long as he could. He reportedly had won over $100,000 by the time he was suppose to start at Standford, and poker was looking like a much better choice for him.
He never knew how much of an impact he would have on the poker world after making that decision, but he quickly grew to be one of (if not THE) best player. He was approached by Doyle Brunson to write the Seven Card Stud section in Doyle’s book Super System, to which Reese gladly and honorably accepted. This is the best selling poker book of all time. Reese was also the youngest living player to be inducted into the poker hall of fame, which happened in 1991 when he was 40 years old.
As for success in the poker world, there are few who have been better than Chip Reese. He has played and won at virtually every poker variation you can think of, cash games, and tournaments alike. He has 3 WSOP bracelets, the most well known being at the 2006 World Series of Poker where he won the $50,000 HORSE event. This is the event that is held high by all the professional players, and has more prestige than even the Main Event for many people. With this win he took home the bracelet and $1,716,000. This event also broke the record as the longest heads up match in WSOP history and ended up lasting over 7 hours and 286 hands against Andy Bloch. During his lifetime, his reported live tournament winnings are $3,000,000+.
He was also a regular player at “The Big Game.” The Big Game is a group of players who play for the highest stakes anywhere in the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. The no-limit games have wagers up to $100,000 and more, and limit games are played as high as $4000/$8000. He was a consistent winner the largest games in the world.
On Tuesday, November 4 2007, Chip Reese was found dead by his son in his Las Vegas home after passing in his sleep. He had been suffering pneumonia for some time now, and the poker world lost a true great. Doyle Brunson had been quoted more than once saying he was the best player in existence:
“I knew him for 35 years, I never saw him get mad or raise his voice,” Brunson said. “He had the most even disposition of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s certainly the best poker player that ever lived.”
There are many other players that have been quoted expressing their sincere sadness for his family, including Gus Hansen, Barry Greenstein, Todd Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and more. Chip Reese was always a kind man, in poker and in life, and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew or respected him. We at FTR wish his family and friends our deepest condolences and want to join the rest of the poker community in honoring his contribution to poker as a whole. Rest in Piece, David “Chip” Reese, if there is a poker game in haven, it just got a lot tougher.