Thursday, December 06, 2007

Remembering Reese

David 'Chip' Reese's 1969 CHS yearbook photoWill be getting back to the usual fodder in short order, but I wanted to mention how there has been a ton of traffic here over the last couple of days, primarily due to the link to the previous post from Chip Reese’s high school alumni website (Centersville High School, Ohio, class of 1969). Something like three times as many visitors as I’ve ever seen in a single day at HBP (on Tuesday), as hundreds came ’round via that there avenue. A testament, I’d say, to how beloved Reese really was.

Let me point regular readers back over to the CHS ’69 tribute page for Reese where one can find other links to various items that have appeared around the web over the last couple of days.

Some of you may have already heard it, but let me also direct you to Barry Greenstein’s moving audio blog regarding Reese.

Finally, if you want to learn more about the poker great’s story from Reese himself, go check out the interview with CardPlayer’s The Circuit from July 2006 (still available in their archives). This was the old, original Circuit, hosted by Scott Huff, Joe Sebok, and Gavin Smith. The interview took place at the 2006 WSOP, not too long after Reese had won the inaugural $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, and is spread over two separate shows: Part 1 & Part 2.

Reese was never a publicity hound, so the lengthy Q&A with the trio was something of a unique event. He starts out talking about the ’06 H.O.R.S.E. tourney, including the inordinately lengthy sessions it required (something like 18 hours on Day 2, then another 11 or so on the final day). He then recounts the story of his coming to Vegas in 1974 with Danny Robinson and $400 in his pocket and within a month finding himself in the biggest game in town -- and more than holding his own.

He goes on to share some of the reasons behind his conscious decision not to seek the spotlight as one of poker’s best players. Responding to Sebok’s question about whether he felt “slighted” witnessing other players achieve fame around him, Reese answers without hesitation: “I really don’t, because I feel comfortable with myself. I mean, the people that do get the press . . . I play with them every day and I know how I match up with those guys. But you know, some people just have different goals in life, and different things they want to do in life.” He goes on to say how it was only at the urging of his children that he decided to get back into the tourney scene.

Speaking of, Reese also speaks at length (and with animation) about his son’s burgeoning baseball career. He tells a funny anecdote about crushing Phil Hellmuth at the 2006 Bay 101 Shooting Star and then again a couple of months later at the NBC Heads-Up Championship. And he discusses other topics like tourneys vs. side games, “steam control,” prop bets, playing superlong sessions, and the marketing of non-Hold ’em games.

These last few items come up in response to a number of phone calls. Another caller asks Reese to provide details from his “biggest scores,” and Reese modestly refuses to be specific out of courtesy to his opponents. However, he does invite the caller to seek him out one day over in Bobby’s Room when he says he’ll be glad to fill him in. According to this post over on 2+2, that meeting actually took place some time afterward.

At the end of the interview, the somewhat awestruck hosts briefly discuss how terrific a guest Reese was. “He’s lived the life, man,” says Smith.

Pretty clear Smith isn’t simply referring to the man’s abilities at the table.



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