The poker world erupted with shock and condolences this morning as news spread that three-time WSOP bracelet winner and legendary cash-game player David "Chip" Reese died early today, at the age of 56. His dominance in poker was so pronounced that in 1991 he was the youngest player ever inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, an honor usually bestowed on those after a lifetime of achievement.
After graduating from Dartmouth College, Reese headed for Las Vegas with plans to attend Stanford Business School in the fall. But during that summer, Reese won a tournament for $40,000 and continued to grow his bankroll to over $100,000 and never went on to graduate school. In 1978, Chip Reese won his first WSOP bracelet in the Seven Card Stud Split event. In 1982, Reese scored another WSOP bracelet in the $5000 Seven Card Stud event. In Super/System, Doyle Brunson called Reese "the best Seven Card stud player I've ever played with."
Reese devoted less time to tournament play in deference to cash games and was a regular in the "Big Game" at the Bellagio. He was also a renowned sports bettor, considered to be a preeminent baseball handicapper.
In 2006, the World Series of Poker featured a $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for the first time. For professional players, the event represented the ultimate test of all-around poker skill and its bracelet was more coveted by high-stakes pros than even that of the Championship event. After an epic seven-hour, heads-up battle against Andy Bloch, Chip Reese prevailed to win $1.7 million and his third, and now final, WSOP bracelet.
Mike Sexton had this to say upon learning of Reese's untimely passing: "Chip Reese was probably the most successful poker player in history. He was also the youngest player ever inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, and deservedly so. For years, most players considered Chip to be the best all-around poker player and by winning the inaugural $50,000 buy-in HORSE tournament at the 2006 WSOP, he cemented that status. Chip has always been admired by players for his success, his demeanor at the table, and that he never steamed or went on tilt."
Continued Sexton, "When you mention poker 'greats', put Chip Reese on the top of the list."
PokerNews will add to this report as further news becomes available.