Mike Caro poker word is Chip

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.

David "Chip" Reese: March 28, 1951 — December 4, 2007.
(Photo from original 1978 Doyle Brunson Super/System.)


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…

A tribute

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.

— MC

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.


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  1. If you don’t mind answering, how did Chip convince you that you had a flair for a game that you hadn’t much experience in?

    1. Hi, Jonathan —

      It’s been too long ago and the conversation is too fuzzy in my mind to answer accurately. But I’m guessing I was convinced because Chip’s praise had a true ring to it. I actually am able to master games quickly and might have done so with backgammon, had I chosen to pursue it. The point is, I wasn’t ready to play at his level on that day.

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

    1. I would have called Chip more than a Gentleman of The First Order. Doyle once looked at my First Super System Copy and hollered across the room: "Hey, Chip, Billy's friend has a 2nd Edition. Chip gave me one of the nicest smiles I ever saw. Thanks for sharing that with You, Mike. I couldn't stop the tears from cutting loose.  take care…

      1. I just thought I would say, The reason that I was so impressed with the smile Chip gave Me, Was That I Knew It Was So Genuine…Not Bragging, But I Read People Real Well…(One Of My Few Talents,) But I Have about 6. I only Had 5 (OH-They Are Unreal;) Hey cut me some slack, That’s all I got, kinda. Anyway, Like I said The Way I got to 6 talents from 5…Was I read this Book in the 70’s, Called “Book Of Tells.” Can’t think for the moment Who Wrote It;..But My Creative Genius From A.D.H.D.And This Book, Yep, Fact; Gave Me That One! (Hell, I’m A Promoter! chuckle) We were in Bellagio, But I Had Been Brought To ‘Vegas’ By “Billy Baxter” Big Time Pro Gambler, and 7 Bracelets”/ And The Only Game I Didn’t Know was Holdem, And I Had Been Learning Low Limit. Most Of the Guys Who Had Written Super System Knew Billy, and knew who I was.(A Guy Who Couldn’t Spell Cat’ At Holdem,) And Most Were There at a Tournament; When I Showed Doyle My Super System Copy. As You can see. I Felt like and was a Beginner. (Had Paid Taxes For Years, On Poker, And Promoting–So I Felt Down)…But When This Great Man, “Chip” Looked At Me, With His Sincere Smile…He Was More Than Just Smiling…He Was Telling Me, To Hang In There, We All Had To Learn; And By The Way…We Didn’t Have This Book You Have!

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