Following this month’s series “World’s Greatest Gamblers” we bring you a tribute to one of the greatest: With the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event in full swing and the November 9 just days away from being decided, we can’t help but feel nostalgic about the game of poker. The WSOP is where some of the world’s biggest legends have been crowned and where history has been made.
While winning the Main Event is always a big deal, consistent side event wins are also quite significant, primarily when you rack them up over a span of several decades.
Chip Reese was a legendary poker player who stood the test of time and managed to win a number of bracelets over several decades.
In 1978, he won $19,200 and a bracelet for his $1,000 Seven-Card Stud Split win. Just four years later, in 1982, Chip entered a $5,000 Limit 7 Card Stud game and emerged as the last one standing, securing a $92,500 payday for his victory.
2006 saw the largest Main Event field of all time. We still have yet to surpass that many players in a Main Event, but I’ll always remember that year not for the Main Event record, but for Chip Reese’s performance.
In the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship, Chip Reese secured a first place finish and a bracelet for his victory, winning $1,784,640 for his win. That victory is bittersweet because just over a year later, Reese passed away at his home. He had allegedly died in his sleep from the effects of pneumonia, though some poker colleagues and friends speculate that an earlier gastric bypass surgery might have caused a blood clot.
Many have declared Chip Reese the greatest poker player that ever lived, not just for his tournament successes, but primarily for his cash game superiority.
Born David Edward Reese, Chip received an offer from Harvard University, but turned it down to attend Dartmouth College instead. There, he played poker against students and many of his professors. He received an offer to attend Stanford Law School, but decided to opt for a career in poker instead after winning $60,000 in a Las Vegas poker tournament.
That was the right decision because by the time he was slated to attend Stanford, his poker winnings tipped $100,000. Today, his tournament winnings top $3.5 million. The rest, they say, is history.
Reese’s memory lives on in the poker world. In 1991, he was the youngest living player to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame and today there’s a “David ‘Chip’ Reese Memorial Trophy” for the player who wins The Poker Player’s Championship, a $50,000 poker tournament at the World Series of Poker.
Do you have a favorite memory of Chip Reese? Or do you have a favorite poker legend that you look up to? Comment below and let us know, or tweet the article with your comments on what makes a poker legend in your world. While we don’t offer peer-to-peer poker games, we do offer lots of video poker games and are passionate about the game, so we’d love to hear your thoughts on anything related to poker.