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Room To Think

Posted by Ed Reif» on - - 1 comments»

He wasn't just any grinder. Many, including his best friend and business partner,Doyle Brunson, consider Chip the greatest cash-game player who ever lived.

He graduated from Dartmouth, stopped in Vegas on his way to Stanford Business School and never looked back. (He won a tournament for $60K and continued to grow his bankroll to over $100K.)

Game Over--The People's Poker Pro vs. Larry Flynt-One Of The Richest Side Games in the Country.

When I played NLH in L.A's Hustler Casino during the Moneymaker era, right next to me in "The Sunday Big Game" -there were cash specialists Chip Reese , Barry Greestein,Phil Ivey, cutting chips like they were nothing against Larry Flynt, sitting in his $80,000 gold-plated wheelchair. They were not playing together, but were not playing against other either. They were there to win Flynt's money.The game was a $2000-$4000 Seven-Card Stud with a $500 ante. An average pot was around $40k.

It was so cool. Reese set the standard for professional gambling. Chip's demeanor at the table was even keeled. He never steamed or went on tilt. He took his bad beats and the monster wins the same way. I knew I had to "Level Up" to my credible mentor. I started to think of the game more as excelling than winning or losing.

Part Midwesterner "Main Street USA" and part Ivy League New Yorker Wall Street, Reese's road less traveled was admired and emulated by all of us. He was cool, not in the Sammy Farha -James Bond-Humphfrey Bogart way but in the Daniel Negreanu-Jimmy Stewart-John Wayne way. He proved that being friendly and nice---is good for the game of poker.

The Bear, Chip's close friend, has a wonderful tribute to him on his audio blog.

Chip once said,“It's not winning that makes a winner, but losing. The excitement is not from the winning, it's avoiding the disaster, because you're flirting with it every day." I couldn't agree more about that fine line we walk between success and ruin.


The three time WSOP bracelet winner, including the first ever $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event in 2006 is gone at 56. He was one of the the best all-around---- tournaments, Stud, ring games, heads-up, and mixed games poker player alive.

The top dog in cash games for over 30 years, of all the players who played in the big cash games---it's not like there are that many-- Chip was his own man. He never signed with a web site or wore a hockey shirt.

He was a well-known generous man, and he helped many people out---In the order of paying people back he was often down the list, but he knew that, and gave anyway.






One Response so far.

  1. An interesting guy - Chip! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment on my sonnet for his "next game." The poem made me think about the Monte Python idea that Heaven, for most people, would be a vacation style afterlife in a Las Vegas style casino. However, Chip would need to find a high stakes game there in order to fit in!

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