Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott must be one of the most popular and well known poker legends of his time. He has everything: the criminal background, the sexy nickname, the suave look, the iconic jewelry and hundreds upon hundreds of anecdotes. Most importantly, he has the poker skills to put the fear of God into almost any player in the world, and the money to show for it.
Ulliott was born in the industrial city of Hull in Yorkshire, England. An unruly teen, he left school and got involved with the Hull criminal circles: he cracked safes, got involved in bar brawls and served a total of over 2 years in jail. After his second jail stint he decided to go straight, and he set up a pawnbroker’s shop and jewelry with his then wife. Now he finally had the time to dedicate himself to poker!
The newly law-abiding Ulliott started playing local poker games in Yorkshire with an occasional trip to London, until he was banned from every local game because he kept winning all the time. In the early 90s he met Gary Whitaker, who would be his driver and backer for a long time, and in 1997 – after a particularly spectacular roll – he and Whitaker decided to try Las Vegas, where Ulliott beat Men “the Master” Nguyen and cemented his nickname of “Devilfish”. Success at the WSOP followed shortly, and the Devilfish was launched into poker fame.
A fierce No Limit Hold’em Player, Ulliott is also deemed lethal at Limit Omaha, to the extent that experts have been heard saying: “If the game is Pot-Limit Omaha, you can just hand him the title at the beginning.” With more than $5,300,000 to his name from tournament winnings only, Ulliott is the highest earning British player to date. His biography “Swimming with the Devilfish” was written by Des Wilson and published in 2006, and he was featured in the poker documentary “No Limit” and the film “Poker face.”
Ulliott’s larger-than-life exploits in and out of the poker table are so many that we have added an anecdote section exclusively for the Devilfish.
Devilfish trivia and anecdotes:
• He once bet and lost his friend’s car in a pot that he was an 11:1 favorite to win, and had to offer to buy the car from his friend.
• He made his distinctive gold rings (that say “DEVIL” and “FISH”) himself, and also had his WSOP bracelet engraved with the word “devilfish.”
• Ulliott has been banned by all British bookmakers for his consistent wins (at odds of even 20/1), and he usually had friends bet for him.
• Before being known as Devilfish he was called Dave the Clock, because he once offered a grandfather clock as a buy-in to a local game where a furniture dealer was playing.
• It is rumored that after losing money at a bookkeeper he robbed their safe and took it home in a pram.
• Ulliott allegedly enjoys performing impromptu Elvis impersonations.
• Launched his own site www.devilfish.com which offers 2 card rooms, 2 casinos and a chance to play with Ulliott himself.