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Poker Legends: Chip Reese

Written by Ben Blaschke

Because he specialized in cash games more so than tournaments, the name David “Chip” Reese isn’t spoken of quite as widely in poker rooms around the world as some of his more recognized peers. Yet ask those same peers to name the greatest player they ever faced and many would name Reese among their elite few.

Reese’s accomplishments are often hard to quantify. Because he usually played cash games, his total winnings are unknown although rest assured that most who played him ended up donating more than a little to his impressive bank account.

His game of choice was Stud and this discipline it is hard to imagine there have ever been any better. In fact, his first two WSOP bracelets were won in Seven Card Stud Split and Limit 7 Card Stud, while his crowning achievement came at the 2006 WSOP when he won the inaugural US$50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event (comprising Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Stud and Stud Eight or better). At the time the biggest buy-in WSOP event in history, Reese outlasted a top quality field of 143 players to take home the US$1.7 million first prize.

Sadly, Reese passed away unexpectedly in 2007, but in tribute to his legend, the trophy handed to the winner of the US$50,000 event at the WSOP each year – now called the Poker Players’ Championship – has been named the David “Chip” Reese memorial trophy.

Given the Poker Players’ Championship is considered to be the ultimate test of a player’s ability, there can be no more apt accolade for one of the game’s greatest.