Legendary poker player Chip Reese, the 2006 winner of the inaugural $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the World Series of Poker, has passed away at the age of 56.
While several media outlets reported Reese was admitted to the hospital late Monday evening in Las Vegas and passed away in his sleep during the night, Doyle Brunson told the Associated Press that Reese died in his sleep at home where he was found by his son.
Cause of death has not yet been announced, although it was stated that he was suffering from pneumonia-like symptoms.
Born David Reese in Ohio in 1951, Reese was regarded as one of the greatest poker players ever to pick up poker chips. His poker career began in the '70s when he was deciding on whether to go to graduate school or not.
A stop at a casino in Las Vegas, and his resulting success, led him to stay there, so he never pursued his journey into academia.
He was widely regarded as one of the best cash game players in the history of poker. In Doyle Brunson's seminal book SuperSystem, Reese was responsible for penning the Stud section, but later on in life, he concentrated on tournament play.
In the course of his career, Reese garnered almost $3.5 million in winnings and three World Series of Poker bracelets, with his final victory assuring his place in poker history. Going up against the most difficult final table in World Series history (with Doyle Brunson, Dewey Tomko, David Singer and Phil Ivey in attendance), Reese outlasted Andy Bloch in an epic eight-hour duel.
By doing so he took down the first-ever championship in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, the largest buy-in event in the history of the WSOP.
"Many consider Chip the greatest cash-game player who ever lived, but he was also a World Series of Poker legend," said WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack.
"His victory in the inaugural $50,000 buy-in HORSE championship in 2006 won him his third WSOP bracelet and made him a part of WSOP lore forever. On behalf of the WSOP and Harrah's Entertainment, I want to extend to his family our deepest sympathies."
Keep checking PokerListings.com; we'll update you as more details emerge.