David “Chip” Reese was born on March 28th, 1951, in Dayton, Ohio. He picked an early interest in poker and had his first game experience playing against boys older than him. Professionally, he quickly grew among the ranks and was rightly regarded as the greatest cash game poker player.
It all started during his years at elementary school. David suffered from rheumatic fever that made him stay home for about one year. During this enforced homestay, he had been taught to play card and board games by his mother. Reese describes himself as a product of that year as he went on to beat fifth-graders at card games when he was just six.
He attended Dartmouth College, where he majored in economics. This was after he turned down an offer from Harvard. His love for poker was still immense as he went on to play against students and professors alike. After college, David got admitted to Stanford Law School in 1974. All was going to plan until he took a road trip to Las Vegas that summer to see his buddy.
With $400, he took on Sin City and ended the summer with over $100,000. It was at this instance when everything changed, as Reese decided to play professionally and went on to drop out of law school.
Major Tournament Wins
1978 marked the start of David’s winning as a professional poker player. He won the $1,000 7 Card Stud event in that year WSOP and went home with $19,000 and a bracelet. In 1982, he came out 1st place in the $5,000 7 Card Stud event and went home with a whopping $92,500 and a bracelet. The previous year, he competed at the 1979 Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker $10k event but finished 20th out of 30 players. It was packed with the then poker’s biggest stars so it was difficult for the young man and he went home empty-handed.
It was evident that his prowess was in 7 Card Stud; this led to him being asked by Doyle Bruson to write the Stud section of his book, “Super/System.”
1991 saw Reese inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. At the time, he was the youngest player to get such honor as he was just 40. It is worth noting that this was the minimum age requirement to be considered for that honor.
Reese took some time off major tournaments as he tried to settle down and focus on his family. However, his return in the 2000s was epic and handed him one of his biggest live cash wins. A new event was introduced to the WSOP and had a buy-in of $50,000 – a record buy-in at the time. Omaha, Hold’em, Razz, 7 Card Stud, and Eight or Better Hi/Lo were the five different types of poker players were required to play at the HORSE tournament. After three days of intense poker across all five games, David came out victorious, beating Andy Bloch at the final table after playing 286 hands and spent over seven hours. He walked away with $1,784,640 million and his third WSOP bracelet for his outstanding performance. This feat made people and great players like Mike Sexton recognize and called him the greatest all-around poker player.
Total Poker Winnings
Throughout his career, Reese was able to gather about $4 million in winnings from 1977-20017 before he passed away. His biggest win came at the WSOP HORSE tournament where he clinched first place and went home with $1.7 million. During the time, he competed in over 54 major tournaments and cashed out in most even without clinching the title.
David is ranked #349 in the all-time money ranking but squaring up against him especially in 7 Card Stud is ill-advised. After his death, the event that gave him his biggest win renamed the trophy to the “Chip Reese Trophy” in memory of his achievement and success.