Widely regarded as having been the greatest cash-game poker player, Chip Reese was undoubtedly one of the most dangerous players on the felt for more than three decades. Born in 1951, Reese got started at an early age, when rheumatic fever forced him to stay at home during his years at elementary school. During this time, his mother taught him how to play numerous card games, so that by the time he was six, he was regularly beating fifth graders in poker. His skills with cards weren't the only thing Reese was known for. In high school, he was particularly good at debating, and won the Ohio State Championship. A top student his whole life, Reese was later accepted into Stanford's Law School, only to quit after turning $400 into more than $100,000 during a trip to Las Vegas. Throughout his lifetime, Reese managed to win three World Series of Poker gold bracelets. In 1991, at the age of 40, he became the youngest living player to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
Even in college, Reese showed signs of being a great gambler, especially when he turned down an offer from Harvard to attend Dartmouth. As in high school, he was a member of Dartmouth's debate team. During his freshman year, he also played football and joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. However, Reese found his greatest success at Dartmouth when he played poker against students and some of his professors. In fact, he was such a dominant player on campus that his fraternity later named their chapter card room the "David E. Reese Memorial Card Room" in his honor. In 1973, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics.
In 2008, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine ran a feature article on the big-stakes gambler. "Big Picture: One of a Kind" served dual purposes of both celebrating Reese's unique and fascinating career and also solemnly letting members of the Dartmouth community know that the legendary poker player had passed away in 2007. The lengthy article, which notes how Reese put his "economics major to use winning millions," also includes a fitting quote that summarizes Reese's single-minded approach to playing cards. "I'll stop playing at my funeral. And only God knows what I'll do after that."