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The poker world was stunned yesterday as news began to circulate that Casey Reese, son of poker legend Chip, had passed away. Rumors began to filter through to various forums and blogs that the twenty year old college student had died following a fatal drug overdose. Casey’s father Chip died unexpectedly in December 2007 in what was reportedly a case of severe pneumonia.

Casey was a promising baseball talent, having excelled during his high school years. Recently the sport had taken a back seat to education after he gained a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Some have speculated as to the nature of the overdose, with Doyle Brunson stating on his blog that “Casey was found [dead] in his apartment from an apparent overdose of prescription drugs.” Doyle’s shock at the news was echoed by other well known professional players. Daniel Negreanu recounted the reaction at the Bellagio, where a group of pros had gathered to play: “People were both sad, and also pretty angry at the same time.”

Chip Reese died at the age of 56 in December 2007 after being admitted to hospital for pneumonia. He is generally regarded as one of the most versatile and skilled players to have ever lived. His prowess in all fields of the game was underlined when he won the inaugural $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the 2006 World Series of Poker. Since his passing the tournament has been dedicated to his memory, with the winner of the event receiving the Chip Reese Trophy.

Staff at the Clark Country Coroner’s Office confirm that Casey’s death occurred on Monday at 17:15. The specific cause of death is unknown, with toxicology reports not due for a number of weeks.