Chip Reese is the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. champion. This extremely competitive event turned out to be a three-day poker marathon that not only tested the players' poker skills but their stamina and ability to stay focused as well. Reese secured the first prize cheque of $1,784,640 and his third golden WSOP bracelet when his Ace-Queen held up against Andy Bloch's 9-8 in the final hand. The tournament ended at 9:21 a.m. after almost twelve hours of world class poker action.
How do you feel after winning your third WSOP bracelet?
I'm tired, it has been three long days, and yesterday was really the longest. We played from 2 in the afternoon until 10 in the morning. And we really didn't have much turn around time to get back. I think everybody was pretty tired today, and as quickly as the final table went, I never anticipated that it was going to take this long when it came down to heads-up.
But, I'm really happy to win this event. It's the first time they've had this event, and I think it's going to be a very popular event. I know that the top pros think it's their favorite event and I'm really happy to have won it.
Can you compare this win with the other two bracelets you've won?
I won them so long ago I can't remember what they were for, but I know I won one for Seven-Card Stud, which was a big deal at the time. But back then the bracelets weren't such a big deal, and I didn't even play in the World Series for ten years. Had I known that the bracelets were going to become so important, I would have played in a lot more tournaments.
What was the key to your victory in this event?
My ability to play all the games equally well. Lots of the other players are specialized in Hold'em or Stud, or specialized in just one game. In our big money game, you have to play all games, so I have a lot of experience doing that.
How are you going to celebrate your win?
The runner up in the tournament, Andy Bloch, came very close to winning the title. He had his opponent all-in no less than four times. But Bloch wasn't especially disappointed when PokerListings.com talked to him right after the tournament had ended.
What are your feelings now?
What can I say? I'm glad it's over. It was a long, long match and I wish it had been over in the first all-in, or the second, or the third, or the fourth, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. Chip put up a tough fight, and he's a great player, and given his career, I really feel that he deserves this win. He played phenomenally throughout the tournament. So I'm not that disappointed. If you had told me when I came into today that I would get second place, I would have been really happy. I outlasted some poker legends like Doyle Brunson and T.J. Cloutier, and I busted Phil Ivey and Jim Bechtel.
And winning the second prize in this tournament is probably more prestigious than most of the other bracelets this year. I mean, has there ever been a non-Main Event with a million dollar first place prize? (Bloch got $1,029,600 for his 2nd place finish.) It feels like half a bracelet almost or even more than that.
How do you feel physically after this poker marathon?
Good. I think I want to play the Omaha tournament today. I am going to go home and take a nap and take a shower, and then see how I feel. I want to get back there and reach another final table.