Poker Legend Chip Reese Was Practically UnbeatableOctober 29, 2010 11:47 am
Poker legend Chip Reese was regarded by his fellow pros as the greatest cash player who ever lived and the game lost a star in 2007 when he died of pneumonia at the age of 56.
Chip Reese was also considered by many as the best all-round poker player, and although shunning poker tournaments in favour of the more lucrative high-stakes cash games, he still took time out to win over $3.5 million from live events, including 3 WSOP bracelets in 1978, 1982 and 2006.
Putting an exact figure on how much money he won throughout his cash game career is difficult but conservative estimates suggest he made several million dollars each year he played.
I say conservative because when he first arrived in Las Vegas on his way to join Stanford Business School in 1974, he turned $400 into $100,000 within a matter of days, helped along by a $60,000 tournament win. Unbeknownst to his parents he then stuck around in Las Vegas instead of starting his course and within two years was up over $2 million.
As well as his exceptional card playing skills and intelligent, analytical play, Chip Reese had almost superhuman self-control and once famously said about his fellow pros:
“When they are on their A game they are all fantastic players, some probably better than my A game. The thing is, my D game isn’t much different than my A game.”
Daniel Negreanu summed it up nicely in his blog when he recounted playing against Chip Resse and explained:
“When I played poker with Chip the word “graceful” would be a word I’d use to describe it. It was effortless. He was never really up and down like a yo-yo, you rarely ever saw him get all of his money in bad and in need of the deck saving him. Every play he made just seemed to “make sense.”
Reese entered into poker immortality in 1991 when he became the youngest player ever to be included in the Poker Hall of Fame, at the age of just 40, an achievement which may never be surpassed.
Chip was also known as a true ambassador of the game, a remarkable human being and Mike Sexton summed up Reese’s genius nicely when he recounted the following story:
“I was sitting with him one time before The Big Game started and this guy walked in offering him a $1,500/$3,000 heads-up Stud game. I sweated Chip for the thirty minutes they played, and when the guy got ahead he made an excuse about having to leave.”
“Chip said, ‘Go ahead, I enjoyed it.’ ‘Mike,’ he told me, ‘that’s why I’m successful. Most players are like that guy. When they win, they win a little. When they lose, they lose a lot. I’m the opposite.’”