David 'Devilfish' Ulliott Is Back and Tweeting

After sliding into relative obscurity over the past couple of years, charismatic British pro David 'Devilfish' Ulliott has joined social media site Twitter and looks set to embrace poker once more. Here's an opportunity to take a closer look at one of game's more colourful characters.

Early beginnings

By triumphing in the inaugral Late Night Poker Series in 1999 (the first show to feature hole-cam technology), Devilfish inspired a generation of UK poker players. Ulliott turned quad tens to eliminate "Hendon Mob" member Joe Beevers, and went on to claim the coveted crown. Having left school at 15, Devilfish was proof that you didn't have to be a college graduate or maths whizz to succeed. Instead, a little bit of street savvyness could get you a long way.

With his slicked back hair, dark shades and rugged complexion, Ulliott looked like someone from an American gangster movie. Dressed in a black suit, Ulliott looked suave and sophisticated. But as his past revealed, there was a more sinister side to the Devilfish.

As documented in his critically acclaimed book "Devilfish: The Life and Times of a Poker Legend" Ulliott led an unsavoury young adult life which saw him establish links with the criminal underworld and imprisoned after a fracas outisde a nightclub.

Ulliott, also a successful sports bettor, turned his hand to poker in the early 1990s. His honed his skills in Britain, reportedly winning £100,000 over a two week stretch at The Vic card room in London, before embarking on a trip to Las Vegas for the 1997 WSOP.

A fruitful trip saw him scoop victory in a $2k Pot-Limit Hold'em event for $180k. Devilfish ravaged the cash games and brought back $742,000 in winnings to Britain. Ulliot was first awarded his nickname by Simon Au Yeung, who ran the home games that David was attending in Birmingham in the 1990s. The name Devilfish stuck when at the 1997 Four Queens Poker Classic friend Gary Whitaker chanted "Go on the Devilfish" from the rail, in response to people supporting Men Nguyen shouting "Go on the Master". A Devilfish is a poisonous fish that can be fatal when ingested if not properly prepared.

Devilfish achieves poker stardom

After his 1999 Late Night Poker victory, Ulliott began to cement his reputation as the UK's premierpoker player. With just under $6 million in live tournament winnings, he is the most successful British player. Notable triumphs include 1st at the 2003 WPT Tunica for $589,175 - a final table performance commentator Mike Sexton dubs the most imperious in WPT history. His largest cash was at the WPT Doyle Brunson Classic in 2007, where he finished 3rd and pocketed $674,500.

Ulliott has flirted with controversy throughout his career. He was reprimanded for a publicity stunt at the 2005 Monte Carlo Millions Full Tilt invitational when he flashed a "www.devilfishpoker.com" sign on his back to promote his website. Ulliott is known for his intense feud with Tony G, and drew criticism when he made disparaging comments about online poker players and female players. Rumours have circulated on forums in recent years of Ulliot having a mid-life crisis, womanising and making lewd, inappropriate comments at the tables.

Devilfish is certainly no angel, but his straight talking, witticisms and cutting sense of humour provide great entertainment. He was even a guest speaker at the world renowned Oxford University student union. 

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szabby69 Silver 2
2742d ago

We missed you, Dave

Nearly all major countries have their flagship poker pros or their flamboyant characters. The USA has Hellmuth, Ivey and Matusow to name but a few. France has ElkY, Canada has Negreanu, Denmark has Gus Hansen and Finland has Patrik Antonius. 

But since Devilfish faded from the limelight over the past few years, Britain has lacked a household name. Stalwarts of the British poker scene such as Surinder Sunar and Ram Vaswani have never reached international stardom, and whereas the likes of Sam Trickett and James Akenhead are shrewd, successful players in their own right, they lack the table presence of a Devilfish.

At this year's WSOP, Ulliot made headlines with a deep run in the $5k 6-max Pot-Limit Omaha event. He bust out in 13th place in unfortunate circumstances, as eventual winner Jason Mercier spiked astraight after Devilfish had hit top set on the flop.

Ulliott has since joined Twitter, and promised fans that they can expect to see more of him in upcoming months.
motriuc Silver 1
2740d ago

Devilfish,Brunson,Sexton the real poker player who make all the money of the world

boomee88 Silver 1
2740d ago

You're right szaby.

We missed yuo.

bravo Dave.

TedHeris Silver 3
2739d ago

I look forward to viszzatérését! Good player. the colorful world of poker

axistilt23 Silver 2
2734d ago

Is it just me or are all these younger, internet players way less entertaining? They are like robots, which makes sense seeing as how they don't interact with people while playing online. I miss these old school, live game characters. If I were to name the top 20 most entertaining players to watch, I don't think I'd have anyone under 30 on it.