David "Chip" Reese may not be the best-known poker player in the world.
But there are those who say he’s among the very best.
Reese remains a relative stranger to those whose knowledge of the game has been driven by poker-related happenings on the Internet and television.
But no one has been more successful than Reese for a longer period of time at the biggest cash games. He reportedly had a piece of the action as a group of local pros won millions from Dallas billionaire Andy Beal in the biggest cash game ever played earlier this year.
Respected high stakes poker pro and author Barry Greenstein says of Reese, "I consider Chip to be the Jack Nicklaus of poker. He’s taken on all comers for 30 years and won the most money."
People who read of his winning the $1.7 million first prize in the $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event at the World Series of Poker may have glanced at the story, wondering who this guy is.
But the H.O.R.S.E. event, a revolving combination of Hold’em, Omaha (hold’em), Razz, Stud (high) and Eight or better, was added to the WSOP mix specifically at the request of poker pros who contend the only good test of a player’s ability is a mixed game.
Reese was among those calling for the game because, who wants a steady diet of hold’em?
As for the $50,000 buy-in? Well, a big game demands big money, right?
Reese is the 56-year-old Dartmouth grad who passed through Las Vegas in the spring of 1974 and ended up staying, proving that the time of your life sometimes comes wrapped as a surprise.
Over the years he has shrugged off Internet endorsement offers, book proposals and other possibilities guaranteed to heighten his profile.
"I’m a poker player, is what I am," he said.
But Reese appears ready to widen his horizons with a televised poker deal involving the Venetian that will give audiences a chance to see some of poker’s biggest names on a regular basis.
Reese’s only comment is that an announcement is set for Sept. 12.