Regarded by many as the greatest poker player of all time, David "Chip" Reese was both a legendary cash game player and a consummate tournament competitor. In the span between May of 1978 and June of 2007, Chip Reese's 31 live tournament cashes included 3 first place finishes in the WSOP. It is impossible to say how much money Chip Reese won playing high stakes
cash games, but one can safely say it was far more than he ever lost; Chip always knew when to walk away from the table.
David Edward Reese was born March 28, 1951 in Dayton, Ohio, where he grew up. His mother taught him to play a number of different games that included gin rummy, backgammon, and many card games when rheumatic fever prevented him from attending elementary school
for the majority of one school year. Quite talented at playing cards, David Reese competed for baseball cards against neighborhood kids, some much older than himself.
In high school, David Reese played football through out his entire high school education. He also participated on the debate team, which won the state championship and went on to compete in the national debating finals. Attending Dartmouth University upon graduation, David Reese made such a name for himself as a card player that his fraternity named their card room the David E. Reese room after he left.
When Reese graduated from Dartmouth, he headed to California where he intended to pursue a law degree from Stanford University. However, a stop in Las Vegas along the way set David Reese on an entirely different career path when he won $60,000 in a single tournament, convincing Reese that playing poker was far more lucrative than being a lawyer.
Deciding to set up permanent residence in Las Vegas, David Reese quit his day job by phone, and hired someone to fly to Arizona to retrieve his car and other belongings. While it took Reese a full year to confess to his parents that he had chosen to be a professional poker player instead of a lawyer, David "Chip" Reese never regretted his decision to stay in Las Vegas and earn his living playing cards.
Initially, Chip Reese focused on poker tournaments
. In 1978, Reese won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in the $1,000 Limit 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo event. Claiming his second bracelet in 1982 at the $5,000 Limit 7 Card Stud event, along with $92,500, Chip Reese turned his attention to cash games, which were far more profitable.
Renowned for his expertise at 7 Card Stud poker
variants, Doyle Brunson enlisted Chip Reese to author the 7 Card Stud chapter of his book, Super System; still the all-time best selling book on poker strategy
. A regular at the highest stakes cash games in Las Vegas, Chip Reese became one of the most respected, feared, and consistent poker players in the world.
Returning to the tournament scene at the request of his children, who wanted to watch him play on television, Chip Reese continued to uphold his reputation as a formidable opponent across the felt in any poker form. Chip Reese's win of the 2006 $50,000 No Limit HORSE event following a 12 hour heads up stand off against Andy Bloch - after Phil Ivey
busted out in third place - earned the poker legend his third, and final, WSOP bracelet and more than $1.78M in what is considered by many professional poker players
to be a game that provides a true test of a player's skill.
David "Chip" Reese died in his home on Players Club Dr in Las Vegas, Nevada., on December 4, 2007 at the age of 56. All of the top names in poker showed up to pay their respects at Chip Reese's funeral, many sharing their fond memories of a man who will always be remembered for his class, indomitable poker skills, and unflappable demeanor.