The poker world received a sad shock yesterday upon hearing the news that one of card worlds most likeable and talented characters, David “Chip” Reese, died in his sleep early Tuesday morning in a Las Vegas area hospital. Purportedly, Reese had been suffering from symptoms of pneumonia and checked himself in the night before.

Reese has been regarded by many as one of the greatest poker players that ever lived. Doyle Brunson, a close friend of Reese, was quoted as saying, “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. He’s certainly the best poker player that ever lived.”

After attending Dartmouth College as an economics major, Reese made a brief stop in Las Vegas on his way to Stanford University to play cards before going off to graduate school. What was intended as a pit stop became a permanent home, as Reese accumulated an impressive $100,000 dollars there by the time he was supposed to start at Stanford.

Reese trailblazed his way through the Vegas card sharks and quickly became known as one of the best high-stakes cash game players in the business. He had an impressive track record as a tournament player, boasting three WSOP bracelets, but his true passion was playing with big money, outside of the limelight at the most exclusive Las Vegas tables.

In 1991 Reese became the youngest poker player in history to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. He also became interested in investment ventures with his business partner and card nemesis, Doyle Brunson. Not one of them worked out, according to Brunson. Cards were his true passion and talent.

2006 will be remembered as the year Reese cemented his place in WSOP lore forever with his victory in the inaugural $50,000 buy-in HORSE championship.

Reese is survived by a son, a daughter and a stepdaughter. Services are planned for Friday in Las Vegas.

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