David “Chip” Reese and Danny Robinson came to Las Vegas in the late 1970s. I was dealing high stakes poker for Johnny Moss at the Flamingo Poker Room at the time. They came into Vegas for a short vacation from college in Ohio with a fairly small stake between they and never left. Within a couple of years, they were worth millions. To this day the game of how to play winning poker changed because of them. This was a card room where some of the live action single pots had in excess of $1,000,000 in them. I’m talking live action, not tournaments. At times some players had food tables next to their chairs to hold the racks of black because there was not enough room on the table in front of them. On the table was where they mostly held just the high limit checks. The casino stationed two armed guards in the poker room when these games were being played. The players waiting to get in these games were playing $60 / $125 at other tables to pass the time while waiting to get in. I remember that every summer three brothers would come to Vegas from Europe to play with the best poker players in the world. The three were called “The Frenchmen”. They were well known because they came to Vegas each year with one million dollars that they were prepared to lose just for the privilege of playing with the world’s best. They always lost the million, sometimes in less than a week, sometimes they lasted for up to as much as two weeks. The local high rollers were pleased with themselves, they had proved once again that they were the best in the world. And then Chip and Danny hit town and the “world turned upside down”. Go online and look up David Chip Reese and Danny Robinson. After a while Danny got heavily into coke and his game suffered. They eventually split their partnership. Danny became a Born-Again Christian, which was good, because it saved his life, for a while. Chip moved to southern California and bought into a casino on the coast that had a poker room. But their reputation in the poker world lives on. They came to Vegas with a new style of how to play and cleaned the clocks of the supposedly best players in the world, who were now the second best (LOL).
My sister went to school with “ Chip “ Reese at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire not Ohio. A small prestigious Ivy League college. She never heard of Danny Robinson.
Like I said, look up Chip and Danny on Google. It tells about where they came from before showing up in Las Vegas. By the way, people sometimes go to several different schools. I was born into a military family. You really do not want to know how many different schools I went to. And thanks for reading my post.
There will be more true-life stores like this from the 70s and 80s when the Mob ruled Las Vegas. I was 23 years old when I came to Las Vegas and started dealing live high limit poker on the Strip.
My friends have told me that I should write all these things down before I die, and it is all forgotten.
So, more true-life Vegas stories to come. Stay Safe, David
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas “ Are you in the witness protection program now?
Either way can’t wait to read about it.
Funny. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas is not true. Some of it stays on the bottom of Lake Meade. I hope you will recognize the name Tony Spilotro (AKA - Tony the ant). Most of his top people played poker at the Dunes when I worked there. During that time, I lived just one block away from the strip behind the Alladin Casino. There was a little Italian restaurant on the strip nearby called “The Leaning Tower of Pizza”. I would often drop in there after work for something to take home. Tony’s top people would also often meet there, sitting at a corner table. I knew them all by first names, and I would walk over there because they loved to talk about poker and their bad beats. That is where I was first introduced to Tony. He was in the Nevada Black Book during this time and could be arrested for just being found in a casino parking lot, let alone inside one of the casinos. I saw him enough times that he knew me by name, and he liked to listen to the poker stores along with everyone else at the table, and no, I never sat down with these guys. He seemed a nice enough guy when not working. I will have more stories later about the mob in Vegas.
Stay safe, David
I know nothing and see nothing.
I’m from Federal Hill in Providence Rhode Island. Perhaps you should “ Google “ that or Fuhgetaboutit
Stay safe . Grab the Cannolis, leave the gun …
Hey, Craig, small world. I grew up in a naval household near Newport, Rhode Island when I was a kid. Hell, the bridge was not even built when we lived there. You had to use a ferry to cross the bay.
I was fishing in a small boat one day and hooked a giant bat ray that was bigger than the boat I was in. Damn thing took my pole right out of my hands, and I was just happy to see it go. I did not go fishing again until I was in a Military college in Dahlonega GA, 8 years later. Thanks for reading my post. Stay safe, David
Write the book and let us know! Sounds good/great.
I have a house in a coastal community just outside Newport near Taylor Swift and one on the East Side in Providence. We are about the same age. The Newport Naval War College is top notch. I remember no bridge. The new one is fantastic. They replaced the Jamestown bridge finally.
It is funny, but I actually am in the beginning stages of trying to write my first ever book. It will not be about gambling or poker. It will be fiction, part detective mystery, and part science fiction. If I ever actually finish it, I already have a name for the first book
“THE IRON MIST CRONACLES”. Wish me luck.
Back in the seventies I was dealing poker for Johnny Moss at the Aladdin, the Flamingo and then at the Dunes. (All mob controlled Casinos)
It was during this time that I finally got fed up with Puggy Pearson’s all-around bulls-it at the table. After he pulled another of his hundreds of shots at my table, I flat told him that was it, I was no longer going to deal him in while I was dealing at any poker table where he was sitting. He said a whole string of profanities, he was really quite eloquent. He then yelled over to Johnny who was playing at another table and told him what I had said. Johnny looked over and did not even hesitate to say, “It’s his table, he’s running it.” The game being played had a $25 ante. When I reached around the table to pull in the chips, when I got to Puggy, I just took two fingers and flipped his chip back to him and dealt him out. I still had another ten minutes at the table before the next dealer sat down and dealt him in. I was the only one of Johnny’s dealers who would stand up to the (pardon my French) as-hole. Every now and again he would still sit and hope that I would deal him in, (never going to happen). This went on for most of the next year until it was time for the Frenchmen brothers to show up with their cool one million ready to give away. About a week before they hit town Puggy walked over to talk to me while I was on a break. Keep in mind, Johnny did not let the newer dealers deal the high limit games, and without modesty I was one of his best. I stood up and faced Puggy and he said something like this. “You know the Frenchmen are coming into town soon. What do I have to do to be dealt in at your table?” I said, “you have to treat me with respect when I am dealing to you. I know you have your own style of the way you treat the other players, and I will still try to stop you from cheating whenever I can. But I don’t mean just when the Frenchmen are here. I mean forever forward, starting today, any time that I am dealing to you.” He looked in my face, looked at his shoes, looked up at the ceiling. It took almost a minute before he spoke up. I mean were talking a million dollars up for grabs every year. He finally slumped his shoulders, and kind of mumbled, " OK, I agree" I then reminded him that this was forever, Frenchmen or no Frenchmen. He said “Yeah” and turned and walked away. He may have been a smiling as-hole, but he kept his word. I dealt high limit for about another two years, and he never again treated me like he did the other dealers. Surprised the hell out of me.
Thanks for sharing. I find your real life stories from the “big leagues” entertaining and a worthwhile read. You must have some great stories. Please continue.
Thank you, and yes, think I might have a few stories you will find interesting reading. I was working poker and blackjack for 35 years before I finally retired. The first 7 years were dealing High Stakes Poker in Las Vegas. After that it was dual rate, then up to Floor person, then Shift Manager, and capping it off with Table Games Manager (in charge of both Poker and Blackjack) at the Spotlight 29 Casino in the Palm Springs area, in California. This was my first Native American casino that I worked for and my first casino job outside of Las Vegas. I retired in Phoenix AZ, as both Poker and Blackjack Tournament Director. I had to laugh at one of the many bumper stickers I frequently found on cars driving on the: “Res”. Big bold letters that said,
"Custer Had It Coming".
Have a nice day and Stay Save, David
I am new at this and will have to proofread more carefully in the future.
Have a nice day and Stay Safe, David.
You can use the “Pencil” to Edit your posts if you do it within a few minutes after hitting Reply.
Hope this helps.
Thank you. Uhhh, where is the pencil, really. (LOL)
OK, I see it. Thanks. I guess you only see the Pencil after you post.
Yes, it disappears after a certain time period after hitting Reply. I don’t know the length of time you will have to Edit.
I was in the Poker and Blackjack business for 35 years before I retired. I actually worked an extra 5 months that year just so that I could retire on July 4th, it seemed fitting. Anyway, I have worked with and taught a lot of people in what I call the table games industry. Hey, if it has a table and a live dealer, I call it a table game. I am leaving out craps and roulette. They almost never cross over into the Poker/Blackjack rotation. A lot of reservation casinos have a Table Games Manager in charge of both. I was one of those myself when I was working at the Spotlight 29 Casino just outside of Palm Springs, CA. My department had over 50 tables of Poker and Blackjack and a lot of dealers, depending on the time of year. Some dealers were crossovers, meaning that if they had learned to deal both games, they could fine themselves dealing Poker when they went on break and find themselves dealing Blackjack when they got back. It was their choice if they wanted to be rated on both games. Most dealers liked the change of pace throughout the year. We would train them on the job if they wanted to train at a learning table during breaks or after work off the clock.
The point that I am leading up to is that I have kept in touch with a lot of people that I worked with in Las Vegas, California, Arizona and on Poker Cruise Vacations. The feedback that I have gotten back by phone and email is that they all liked my articles so far, but they all want to read more specific details than I have been giving. I was afraid that if I made the articles too long the readers would lose interest. WRONG! So OK, more details. Let me know what you think. I am going to email Linda Johnson at Card Player Magazine and ask if I can repeat a Poker situation that we emailed each other about a few years ago.
Once again, thanks for reading, David