David E. Reese (Chip, or the Dipper) died very early on

Tuesday December 4, 2007.


The Funeral service was held on Friday December 7, 2007  from 2pm to 4pm at the Palm Funeral Home, 6701 N Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89131-3105, Phone: 702.464.8460


The following Dartmouth friends (all from Beta – Chip’s fraternity) were able to attend the services:

Jim Sullivan ‘73

Jamie MacArthur ‘72

Jay Wright ‘73

Dana Martino ‘74

Tim O’Connor ‘74

Joe Davis ‘72

Rick Gerardi ‘74

Dave Smile ‘73

Rick Pummill ‘75

Tony Cort ‘75

Bill James ‘74

Royal Prevost ‘73

Byron Anderson ‘75

Marc Josephson ‘72


There was a reception after the funeral services at the country club within Chip’s gated community, and then the Beta contingent headed back to the Orleans, where many of us stayed.


Photos taken by Tim O’Connor at the reception are in a slide show – www.jandftech.com/chipreese/photos

          Note that the time delay between photos can be adjusted by selecting the number of seconds.

          Also, by clicking on a photo, the slide show is paused, and you can move forward and backward through the photos.


The funeral service was very moving – it started with video interviews of several of Chip’s friends and colleagues from Las Vegas, and then several people spoke.  Casey, Chip’s son, spoke first and described the incredibly close relationship he had with his father.  Dana Martino described Chip’s relationship with his Dartmouth friends, and told a couple of great stories about Chip.  Doyle Brunson, great friend, business partner and competitor, talked about their close relationship, and how Chip helped him get over the death of his daughter, besides being his main competitor in high stake poker.  There were moving stories by other good friends of Chip’s, and it was clear that Chip held a unique position in Las Vegas.  Not only was he considered one of the best poker players of all time, but his professionalism, friendliness, family orientation, calm under all circumstances, advise and help to friends, all made him much more than a great card player.  He will be sorely missed by his family, high school friends, Dartmouth friends, and his Las Vegas friends.


Chip’s death was totally unexpected, and hits all of us very hard, especially after losing Chuck Thomas a few months ago.  Please send any comments or stories about Chip to me at: marc@jandftech.com.  I will post any emails that are sent to me [see below for emails already posted].

A good tribute and description of the funeral service by Daniel Negreanu can be found at:


A great article about Chip appeared in the Valley News – a local newspaper covering Hanover, NH.



I will also try to provide links to other web sites that relate to Chip. The Centerville, Ohio Class of '69 has posted information and links, and is a great place to start:


A good one from a Las Vegas perspective: http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/article/10375/remembering-chip-reese

(got this from Frank Cox, who manages www.69elks.com)


Jim Sullivan ’73 sent me the following from www.cardplayer.com

Photos - www.cardplayer.com/players/photos/David--%22Chip%22-Reese/740

Videos - www.cardplayer.com/players/videos/David--%22Chip%22-Reese/740


Other links that people have sent me:







More links will be posted as I get them.


Here is the beginning of the emails:



Kept your email from the Chuck Thomas information.

We just learned that Chip Reese may have died in his sleep last night in Vegas.

My 1969 Centerville high school class is trying to get more information regarding this.

Our class website is:  http://www.69elks.com/


Or; Susie Jones; our classmate; might be the center point for information: her email is : susandkev@sbcglobal.net


Please; we want to confirm if this happened.



Greg Mann



I confirmed; I googled:  Chip Reese  Las Vegas  Death
and it came up
Figure the Dartmouth guys should know. I have no connections to that world.
Greg Mann
Wow... thanks for the notification Marc. I will copy to some others
Brad Little


This is unbelievable.

Mark Harty



Thanks for your VM, which I just got.  Great news re: your meeting with Randy.

I bolted from the meeting to the subway and now the train.

I got a call from Hulk with the news at about 3:45PM.  He had just awakened (he works until 3AM PST) and received a VM about Chip's passing.  Rick Gerardi called very shortly thereafter.  He had heard as well.  Then I received Todd's email below.

I will speak with Hulk tonight when I get home and will call you after you arrive at LGA.

This is stunning.  We gotta take care of each other....




Jim [Sullivan]
Horrible news......there is no rational explanation for any of this.    May God have mercy on all of us.     I look forward to your call
Robert [Bartles]
Coz just called and said he just heard from Hulk that The Dipper passed away today.  
He did not have many firm details but was told he came down with pneumonia and died vey quickly.
I'll let you know further details as Coz hears them from Hulk.  This stuff needs to stop.
Todd Tyler


Nothing yet in the Las Vegas Sun.  I just checked it online.  I will find out what I can find out tonight and will call you on your way home.

Still trying to figure this one out.  Both Chuck and Dipper were larger than life....




I spoke with him [Chip] at length on the Monday or Tuesday beforehand.  He told me that he was going to be in L.A. for the Holiday.  I told him that we (Smiley, Hulk, Todd Tyler, Coz, Rick Klupchak, probably JWright so far) are beginning to plan a weekend there in late-March (I will get you the details as we firm them up).  He said that he would be all over that action.

Matt and I played golf with The Hulk twice and had dinner with him and his family one evening.  No nicer guy ever lived....



Poker Legend David 'Chip' Reese Dead at 56

December 04, 2007
Amy Calistri

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."

Brad Little



Thanks , Brad.  Quite a guy.  Quite a legend.  Quite a loss for all of us.

Mark Harty


George and I just spoke with The Hulk.  He told us that he had stopped crying because he had no tears left.  Dipper's Sisters are on their way to town. 
His kids (Casey, a Freshman at UNLV) and Taylor (a Junior in high school) are devastated.  He shared the link below from www.cardplayer.com
 <https://webmail.merrillcorp.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.cardplayer.com> .
I will call you later tonight.



Jim [Sullivan]
 Thanks for the continued updates.   How are you doing?   All the 73's are special to me but this one is tough coming so close on the heels of losing
Chuck.   I'll bet Dipper has a big game going already with the boys upstairs.
They better watch out.
 Bob [Bartles]





I found the article below on espn.com last night.  The URL is attached. [see above links]

I am at LGA on my way to Kansas City.  We are scheduled to land at about 9:30AM EST.  I will call you thereafter.

For all of us, thanks for setting up the "Dipper blog.". I truly wish that we had no need for it.  I still can't comprehend the fact that this has happened....





Sorry to hear about Chip (The Dipper)--was this sudden? 

Bill Pollock


what i tried to send [earlier]  was that i do remember that those poker games i participated in in 71 and 72 where chip was at the table were usually not great money makers for me and now i know why. i never did figure out why he was such a great player when he was so good hearted. i never thought those two qualities went together. Burkie



Thanks for the update.

I just have website info that services may be Friday, no specifics.

Not sure; if it would be a zoo; there's a lot of people that knew him; you could have Larry Flint to politicians.

Think the best bet is to keep pounding Google; to get any updates.

Nobody from our class can reach his sister in San Francisco for any information yet.

So; we'll see how it plays out.

Thanks for the link; I forwarded your email to our webmaster for the CHS 69 website

With Chuck and Chip; too weird: destiny? This is hitting our class hard.

Hopefully they are having a beer and laughing their ass off.

Greg [Mann]




After Chuck Thomas; this news was off the wall. The Centerville Class of 69 really took a hit with Chuck's death this summer; now Chip; we're reeling. When I started at the Centerville school system in 1964; the new kid in his first class; the first guy who welcomed me and introduced himself was Chip. The guy was a class act back then and stayed that way. A real loss for those of us who had an opportunity to know him. Words can't really express the feelings; the memories will suffice.

G Mann



marc,  i want to say thanks; this is getting to be too familiar!  you`re the best, shel



Once again, thanks for setting up this site.  Needless to say, today has not been a good day.  First Chuck, and now the Dipper.  Everyday that I think of Chuck's passing I get sick to my stomach, and now with Chip passing away, it is truly a double blow.  At Chuck's visitation I spoke with Chip and he mentioned the fact that if any of us Beta brothers were going to go, he figured that he would be one of the first, and not Chuck.  Now, only 7 months later, his words appear almost prophetic.  I don't know what else to say.  A very sad day for all of us who knew and loved the incredible Dipper.

Dale Pope '73


One night I was hanging around the Beta house when the regulars, including Dipper, started playing in the card room.  I was a casual poker player so I thought I would join in.  I lost 30 bucks in as many minutes.  I was way out of my league.  They hardly noticed as I exited early.  That was the first and last time I ventured into the card room.


My good buddy from home got a job after graduation 1971 in Dayton near Dipper's home town.  My buddy needed to find an apartment and get the lay-of-the-land so I took him to the Dipper's where the Reese family hosted us and we had a lot of fun.  Dipper's mom was not sure what to make of his nickname and I'm quite sure we avoided the discussion.  My buddy roomed that year with one of Dipper's good friends.  Sharing today's news, my buddy reports that, believe it or not, Dipper wasn't considered the best poker player among his hometown pals!


It's a sad day.






I have 2 memories to share that other Beta's may not have heard.


First, my oldest daughter debated in high school and in college.  A couple of years ago, I was talking to one of her friends who had spent the summer at a debate camp at Dartmouth.  I told her friend that I had a fraternity brother who had debated some at Dartmouth, and had gone on to be a professional poker player in Las Vegas.   She said, "They told us about him at camp, about him playing poker with his professors, but we weren't sure it was real."  So, I guess Chip's legend lives on, even in the debate department.


Second, in the late '70's, I was doing a lot of field work in Nevada, and whenever I was in Las Vegas, I would drop by Caesar's Palace to catch up with Chip.  Sometimes we'd go out to eat, sometimes he'd have to stay and "work".  He would always tell me to pull up a chair and talk while he was playing.  One night, he lost about $50,000 while we were catching up, and I felt really bad about distracting him.  But one of the best memories was a night he wasn't there, when I visited Vegas in the '80's.  I asked for Chip and another guy came over and said "Chip's out of town.  Are you one of his Dartmouth buddies?"  I said I was, and the other guy said, "People from all over the world come in and ask for Chip, but he always makes time for his Dartmouth friends.  I'll tell him you came by."


Joe Davis



Hello, Marc.  I appreciate your continuing heartfelt efforts to provide a communication network for all us (old) Betas.  
I knew that Chip had accomplished great things in the world of big-time poker (early on he was known for wearing all yellow like a big canary at the
table, as I recall).  I can't really claim the Dipper was a close, close friend or someone I followed after graduation.  BUT-- for those of us lucky
enough to have shared Beta experiences-- I have several memories that bonded me to Chip, and which I fondly recall from time to time.
I got to play cards with the Dipper on occasion.  My most distinct memory is playing a pick-up game of gin with him in the Beta living room (I am certain
beer was involved).  I was so intent on my cards as I got closer and closer to having a winning hand that I did not even look up or notice Chip sitting
across from me holding his hand open for me to see-- he had 'ginned out' 5 or 6 cards before, and was simply drawing and discarding cards with that big
shit-eating grin on his face while I was intently struggling to win a hand I already had lost.
Another was I believe the Dipper had played some pretty good football in high school.  Despite his then-more-rotund Beta intramural football profile
(Beta being the perennial frat champion as I recall), my only defensive accomplishment v. Chip was picking myself up off the ground after yet
another (probably illegal under the rules) devastating block from the Dipper.
However, most of all was a night of beer pong revelry in the basement.  I have some recollection the game was being played "to the death."  I don't
recall what exactly happened, but a plausible explanation could be that I sunk a shot into the Dipper's cup (or vice versa), and after the mandatory
chug and sympathy chug from the opponent, Chip rushed and tackled me, rolling around the beer-soaked linoleum floor in mutual hilarity and genuine
brotherly affection.  Just one of those pure fraternity moments (that I am certain will draw a few off-color (and untrue!) comments from my Beta
brothers that are listening), and a memory I would have certainly shared at any reunion with the Dipper had I had the chance.
In the end, we all move on-- and the memories we leave behind are perhaps our best legacies.
Vic "Reaper" Stibolt
The Dipper was an original. His congenial nature belied the intensity which he inwardly possessed. The respect he commanded in the professional world of poker
 is unsurpassed. He was my "football recruit" at Dartmouth and I take great pride in playing a part in his joining the Dartmouth family. Anytime I think of the Dipper, 
I smile. He elevated life. It was always interesting and a bit exciting being around Chip. He always had a story.....an angle.....something unexpected.  The world was 
enriched by his being here. So long big guy. You made us proud and we will miss you. 


Murry Bowden




Jim [Sullivan],
I am glad the night is over....it was unduly heavy and tough going.....I am not one to let life take me down but to lose two of my "boys" in the same year is
without precedent.  I cannot even begin to imagine what all the '73's are going through right now.  We sometimes forget
how close the ties of Beta Brothers really are until it is too late.   What can we take from these tragic losses? What can we learn that may help others?  How
can we make sense of what is truly senseless?  How can we fill the void  that is left behind?
    There is always a level of comfort one derives in knowing, even after so many years have passed, that every brother is somehow still there, ready at a
moments notice to walk through that door, to be available for that needed phonecall, to remember when times are good and when they are tough and to pick
up  as if nothing had intervened at any time in life.  It is a sort of comfort that remains strong no matter what and yet it is as fragile as a flower and as
tenuous as new fallen snow on a warm spring day.  I saw their faces all night, Chip and Chuck, side by side, fair haired and full of life.  Yet I could not see
all the other faces, no one, not even you. There was laughing and singing and the sharing of a beer or two.   The words of "Marching along in Beta Theta Pi'
forever ringing from the rafters and the echoing in the halls never stopped.
   I remember so clearly when, just before graduation in 1973, Chip and I sat alone in the house and talked.  He wanted some advice about what to do after
school ended.  He seemed genuinely interested in every word.....thinking and planning as if he had just one more important hand to play in the card room. 
Should he go to work?  Travel?    Grad School at some point?  Ultimately he went West and as they say the 'rest is history'.  I never saw him again though I
thought of him from time to time.  You kept me up to date on his life and I was fascinated by how it turned out.  And now you are the bearer of the news of the
end of that amazing life.
 He made his mark in his own way, true to his calling and true to himself.   I suspect he smiled a lot and never looked back with regret.  My heart goes out to
his children and the void I feel at never having the opportunity to finish that talk from so long ago will haunt
me.  I was looking forward to visiting at your 35th Reunion and catching up with everyone.  Now, that tent will be emptier than any of us ever imagined.
    The Beta House will be returning in the Fall and it is high time for the need to give other young Dartmouth men the same opportunities we had to
establish lifelong bonds of friendship second to none is essential.   I think it would be fitting to put a plaque honoring Chip's memory in the card room.  He
would like that very much.   The idea of a Dartmouth Beta Hall of Fame has come up......Chip 'the Dipper' Reese belongs in that list of greats right along side
Dr. 'Chuck" and so many more who have gone before and will pass this way again. What better way to always remember him, wheeling and dealing and winning.   He may have lost this hand as life finally dealt him Aces and Eights but in the end he was the ultimate winner and in my mind, always will be.
With tears and cheers, remember well those brothers we knew and live life each day.
 Yours in -kai=
Robert [Bartles]






Nancy (Chip's sister) told me that after the viewing, we would all be heading to the Country Club inside the gated community where Chip lived.


Thanks for the site.


Look forward to seeing you, Marc, as well as everyone else.





Marc: This is very sad news coming on the heels of Chuck's death.  I spoke to David Matthews this morning.  He is currently in Vietnam on a medical mission
and cannot get back in time for the funeral.  As you may know, he was quite close to the Dippy.  He is very distraught at not being able to attend.  Sadly, I fall into
 the not being able to attend category.  I was trying to arrange a flight into tomorrow morning and out in the evening but something has come up so even that is not 
even possible.  Whoever is in attendance know that I am there in spirit and wish that I could enjoy your company.  I talked to Tim O'Connor last night and J Wright 
this morning and I think that both of them are going to be attending.  We all need to gather when we can have a happy occasion.  Thanks for your efforts in setting 
up the web site.

Steve Bell




 I stopped in to see Jeff Sassorossi today and we swapped a few Dipper stories......Laughing was better than crying.  Jeff checked his files and said
Chip had three children????? your note only mentioned two.    Any more news?  Also heard Chip had some history of heart defect.





My name is Debbie LakinsMyself and my friend Carol Afanador will be arriving in Vegas at 10:44 am on Friday. We graduated with Chip and are part of the class of " 69 "

I just spoke to Chip on Sunday so this comes as quite shock.  Will look forward to meeting you in Vegas.  We will be staying at the Mirage.


Debbie Lakins

937-510-2018 Cell and will have it with me.





Jim [Sullivan]
 Many thanks for the call....hope you can get to Vegas for the service.   Make a special point to find a way to support his children...it sounds like they will
need it.   Brothers can also be Godfathers.
 Stay strong
 Robert [Bartles]






Thanks for the messages, and thanks so much for all of these photos.  After Chuck, it's so hard to believe such another great guy was taken from us so way too soon.  It must have been some amazing class they had back in that Ohio high school.  I remember watching those card games at Beta with Chip at the table.  I'm no genius, but I knew early that I was way too smart (and too poor) to even think of joining.

One memory of the Dipper that has always stuck with me for some reason was when he returned from Daytona Beach or some such place on Spring Break.  He was sooo red, lying on his waterbed and moaning that he felt like a boiled lobster (sure looked like one too), but he still had that usual smile and chuckle.

Thanks again for all that you've done.

Dan [Holland]




Thanks, Mark....sad weekend, but great to catch up with you guys again.   Miley




Thanks, Marc.... and did you see the news item this week about the deadly new virus that presents itself as pneumonia? Google (News) "new virus pneumonia"........


Jack B




Thanks for sharing.  Sorry I couldn't be there for the funeral.
Jeff T. Sassorossi '75




Thanks Marc and Tim
Carpe Diem,eh?
Doug [Lind]




Marc,  I hope that all is well with you. Bad news about Chip.  My memories of him center around what seemed like card games that would go on forever.  I was not a player and I was always amazed that Chip and the others could sit through the night and play. Who knew  that Dartmouth was a vocational training school?


Sorry that I missed the reunion.  We have had a pretty messy year around here. Somehow, I was misdiagnosed as having hepatitis.  That was a shocker, but the good news was that I had a lot of tests run for everything under the sun and eventually they all came up negative.  Sandra on the other had wasn’t quite so lucky.  A lump was found on her breast in early May and diagnosed as cancer.  After what seemed like a million office visits, referrals, interviews, counseling sessions, internet research hours, prayer sessions, tear sessions, family history research efforts and other some such things, she had a bilateral mastectomy during the summer.  She just had the last of her reconstruction surgeries on Dec. 07 and is now in what we hope is final recovery mode.  Prognosis is all good, but it really took the wind out of our sails this year.  Quite honestly, we are looking forward to the end of 2007. 


I will not be able to get to N.Y.C. on Thursday but I will be thinking about you guys. Please give my best regards to all. 


Have a Great Christmas and I hope that 2008 will be a good one for you. Take care.


Martin Cain  



Thanks for sharing all these emails.  I will post any more that I receive.

I don’t want to post anyone’s email address, but let me know if you want someone’s address – I’ll email it to you.

Marc Josephson ‘72