by Simon Young
There are good poker players, great players – and legendary players. The latter group does not contain that many names, and sadly today there is one less after the death of David “Chip” Reese. He was 56.
A quite brilliant cash game player, Reese was also a genius at the tournament tables, picking up three WSOP bracelets, including the coveted 2006 $50,000 HORSE event with it’s stunning $1.8 million first prize. The mark of quality is reflected in the fact that his first recorded big tournament win was also in the WSOP – way back in 1978 when he picked up the $1,000 Seven-Card Stud Split for a more modest $19,200.
As recently as this summer I enjoyed watching Reese playing in the WSOP Main Event while I was working in Las Vegas. His tournament never really got going that day, but the respect that other players at the table gave him was obvious.
Reese, an amiable American, had been suffering recently from the symptoms of pneumonia and died in his sleep. Recently divorced from his wife, he leaves a son, a daughter, a stepdaughter and many friends.
One of his best friends over the years was fellow poker legend Doyle Brunson. He said: “I knew him for 35 years , I never saw him get mad or raise his voice. He had the most even disposition of anyone I’ve ever met.”
Doyle added: “He’s certainly the best poker player that ever lived.”
Coming from Doyle, that is the greatest compliment Reese could have been paid.