Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. A version of this entry was first published (2007) in Poker Player newspaper.
The most obvious thing we have in common as human beings is that we’re going to die. We don’t know what that’s going to be like. And we don’t know when it’s going to be.
So we seldom dwell on it, otherwise everything we did in life — the parades, the parties, and the poker — would seem overwhelmed by that one event. Our date with death.
Poker games continue without us sometimes, because no matter how good or bad they are, eventually we need to sleep. And the next day everyone goes about their business.
It’s the business of remaining in the game after others need to sleep. All around us, people are leaving.
Celebrities, parents, friends, children, enemies. The chairs are briefly empty and then someone barks, “Seat open.” And our game goes on. With us, it goes on. Without us, it goes on.
David “Chip” Reese left the game on December 4, 2007 after 56 years at life’s table. He had an immeasurable positive impact on my life.
Rounders Radio contacted many of us to record tributes to Chip. The interaction with him that stands out in my mind and seems most fitting happened shortly after we met in 1977.
I’m going to cut this entry short, because this is the only issue I choose to focus on today. Here is the text of my recording…
Chip, do you remember this? The first time I ever played you at anything, it was backgammon. I really didn’t know that game very well. But you sat us down on the floor in Doyle’s office, took out the board and the dice and somehow convinced me I had a flair for backgammon, that I was natural.
And then you won my money.
And as I was trying to pay, you stood up and stretched. You said, “Don’t bother.” And you just walked away, saying, “It wasn’t fair. See you later, buddy.”
Chip Reese. You walked away. It wasn’t fair. See you later, buddy.