This player drew my attention with his results from the WPT, alongside Anthony Zonno, Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortensen, the only players with 3 WPT titles in their careers. Besides the numerous winnings obtained in his career within live tournaments, Chino is know in the poker community as one of the players with a lot of skill.
20 years of career with ups and downs
The American poker player originating from Asia will soon turn 38. Who is David “Chino” Rheem? Well, he is a controversial character. Between drug possession accusations, issues with casino gambling games and rumors, which were more or less confirmed, with regards to unpaid debts to different people, David is a good poker player. Do not be fooled by his stack size (sometimes small) during poker tournaments, he has an outstanding ability to turn things around. His colleagues and the public really appreciate his ability, intelligence and aggressiveness during the game. “Chino” first played poker on an Indian reservation in Hollywood, Florida. His youth was troubled, with bad moments, especially the 4 months spent in prison for theft and marijuana possession, however, his love for poker has remained intact over the last 20 years. One of the most important lessons learned by “Chino” is the importance of money management for a professional poker player throughout his career. It is amazing to see the moments after he wins an important tournament, when a lot of people “line up” to receive the money he owed them, including through on-line messages.
And still, poker…
In one of the interviews given after winning the last WPT title a few years ago, Rheem said that he wished to be remembered as a good poker player, NOT the best, a sufficiently good one as to be praised and to be given an adequate place on the global hierarchy at a certain time.
He learned his game in the weekly tournaments held at the Bellagio in Vegas, winning pretty good amounts with a minimum investment in 2005-2006-2007. He even participated at the WSOPs in that period and was close to winning his first bracelet in the summer of 2006 when only Allen Cunningham (out of a field of 752 players) stopped him on his way to glory. However, the $327,981 win was good to lay another brick in his bankroll.
The year 2008 brought “Chino” notable results: the final table and seventh place in the World Championship No Limit Hold’em tournament with a $10,000 buy-in and the largest cash prize of his career – $1,772,650 and the first WPT title obtained at Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic. His first WTP title came after a though fight with a lot of top American players and was an unexpected result, as if unannounced, his appearances that year being very rare at live tournaments.
In 2010, we spot him on the old continent, to be more specific at UKPIT 1, within the 7th season of the EPT, when 69 players put £10,000 on the table at High Roller Turbo. The third place obtained here was a performance, especially because only the first 6 were paid for their performance as well.
The year 2011 remains for David Rheem the one of the first great event of the Epic Poker League series (now defunct), when he won exactly $1,000,000! If you think about the fact that he beat players such as Erik Seidel, Jason Mercier, Eugene Katchalov or Sam Trickett, to name only a few of the 137 players who have paid the $20,000 participation fee.
After a “quiet” 2012, the spring of 2013 comes with the second WPT title, this time won at the WPT World Championship, tournament held at the Bellagio. This title is more meritorious as he once again succeeded in passing top players, such as: Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren or Rocco Palumbo. And that’s how another $1,150,000 added to the almost $9,000,000 won throughout his career until now.
Between 2015-2017, he wins at 23 live poker tournaments, which can represent a performance, especially if we keep in mind that his las great success takes place at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown where he beats over 350 players in his successful attempt to obtain the third WPT title of his career.
Despite his problems, David “Chino” Rheem is an asset for poker. And yes, he is a guy with numerous resources, his talent is obvious, and the fact that we still see him at the poker table makes us believe that he wants to prove of lot of things in this field.
“Chino” Rheem’s figures:
- He won $2,617,440 at the WSOP tournaments until 2017, where he won 30 times and played at 6 final tables
- A little over $4,000,000 won during the WPT tournaments, where he has 3 titles, 4 final tables and 8 wins
- $8,846,747 won until now from live poker tournament