BY RUSS SCOTT
DECEMBER 11, 2007
WHAT CAN PLAYERS LEARN FROM THE LATE CHIP REESE?
“What makes a pro a pro? What sets him apart from other players?”
The question last week from Marty K. of the Illinois Quad-Cities stopped me for a second. The easy answer is that a pro is someone who makes a living playing poker, but that’s not all Marty was asking.
What separates a true pro from the rest? It’s a combination of experience, consistency, and respect for the game and your opponents. The ultimate test is that you are held in the highest esteem by your peers.
The day after Marty asked the question, poker legend David “Chip” Reese died at age 56 in his sleep at his Las Vegas home. Reese is the answer to the question.
Many new players know Reese mainly from his 2006 World Series victory in the inaugural $50,000 HORSE tournament. It was the largest WSOP buy-in event ever. Whoever survived against the elite field, playing poker’s five most popular games, arguably could be called the best in the world.
A lot of players already had Reese in the top spot. When he prevailed over the toughest final table ever and came from way behind to defeat Andy Bloch in an epic 8-hour heads-up battle for $1.8 million, it just served as Reese’s formal crowning.
Reese didn’t win the most WSOP bracelets (three) or the most tournament money ($3.4 million). He didn’t blitz the World Poker Tour (one final table). But for three decades he built a reputation as the best seven-card stud player, the best ultra-high-stakes cash player, and was recognized with his selection in 1991 to the Poker Hall of Fame. At age 40, he was then the youngest ever enshrined.
Reese zoomed to the top of my list after I read his chapter on seven-card stud in Doyle Brunson’s landmark 1978 book, Super System. By then, stud had been my game of choice for nearly 20 years, but reading Reese’s chapter refined my approach to stud and improved my results.
Very few may match Reese’s accomplishments, but he had one quality all of us should copy.
His good friend Brunson explains in this media quote: “I knew him for 35 years and I never saw him get mad or raise his voice. He had the most even disposition of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s certainly the best poker player that ever lived.”
There’s your answer, Marty.
(SET ITAL) * Hey LuckyDog, do any of the people running for president support legalizing online poker? — John S., Moline, Ill. (END ITAL)
Well, John, your question spurred me to send an e-mail to all of the candidates. I asked this question:
“If elected president, will you support legislation — such as HR 2610, the Skill Game Protection Act, and HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act — with the understanding that the latter would effectively cancel the UIGEA, establish a regulatory framework to license companies to accept online bets, and require protections against underage players, compulsive gambling and fraud? Please explain your choice.”
My Nov. 25 e-mail explained that I intend to use responses in a column before primary voting starts in January.
So far I’ve heard back from only two campaigns:
– A reply from the campaign for Chris Dodd, the senior Democratic senator from Connecticut, thanked me for my “interest” in his campaign and promised to send “a specific response to your inquiry as soon as we can.”
– Mike Gravel’s campaign responded by asking me for a contribution to the former Alaska Democratic senator’s effort.
I wouldn’t try to sway anyone’s vote, John, and I certainly don’t think online poker rivals other major issues facing our country.
But what if several candidates held positions matching yours on the top issues? And what if only one of those candidates also held a position you liked regarding online poker? Would that influence your vote?
It’ll be interesting to see if I receive any position statements from the candidates. If I do, I’ll mention them in a future column and present them in full on www.luckydogpoker.com — which, by the way, has been updated to make it readable for visitors using Internet Explorer 7 as their browser.
E-mail your poker questions and comments to email@example.com for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit www.creators.com or www.luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2007 RUSS SCOTT
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