Wednesday morning many in the poker world woke up to the news that British poker professional Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough had passed away from cancer. The longtime poker player was only 52 years old.
Colclough wasn’t a household name in the United States, but in the remainder of the world he had a sizeable effect. He began playing at the World Series of Poker in 2000 (but actually has documented tournament success dating back to 1995) and, over the next decade and a half, would continue to battle on the baize around the world. In that very first trip to the WSOP, Colclough would come the closest to winning a bracelet in finishing as runner-up to Jimmy Athanas in the $2000 Limit Hold’em tournament. Colclough would reach that pinnacle again in 2003, losing the heads up battle against Eddy Scharf in the $1500 Limit Omaha tournament, and in 2008 achieved his highest ever finish (427th) in the WSOP Championship Event.
The WSOP wasn’t an event that defined Colclough, however. He was a legitimate terror on the felt around the United Kingdom and especially the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT), ritualistically reaching the final table of many of their tournaments. Colclough earned cashes in France, Austria, Spain, Australia, Monaco, Lithuania, St. Kitts, the Netherlands and the Philippines (his last cash was in Manila in March of this year), demonstrating his success around the world. In his career, Colclough would rack up 181 cashes and over $2.6 million in tournament poker earnings, paving his way for induction into the European Poker Hall of Fame.
While Colclough was known for his skills on the table, it is more impressive to hear his friends’ recollections of the man.
On Facebook, Poker Hall of Famer John Juanda commented that it was “sad to hear the news (of Colclough’s passing). Dave was one of the nicest guys I’ve met in poker.” Joe Beevers, who battled against Colclough in the U. K. and Europe for most of their careers, said “Devastated to hear of the loss of one of my true friends in poker…miss you, mate.”
The litany of players offering their condolences to the Colclough family virtually encompasses anyone who has played on the European continent. Richard Ashby (“very sad”), Ben Grundy (“He was one of the first people I remember playing against”), Praz Bansi, Luke Schwartz (“what a gent”), Samuel Trickett (“you will be missed”), Roberto Romanello, Marcel Luske (“Very sad to hear this”) and John Kabbaj all took the time to remember Colclough, perhaps making the untimely passing more bearable for the family.
Similar condolences were passed over Twitter. Julian Thew commented, “Such sad news…the original blonde, a huge influence and always a pleasure to sit with.” Vicky Coren Tweeted, “I’m very shocked and sad to hear of (Colclough’s death), one of the friends and heroes of my early days in poker.” Barny Boatman added over the Twitterverse, “A rare combination of sharp mind and easy manner, Dave Colclough was universally liked and admired.” Others including James Dempsey, Allen Kessler, Rupert Elder, Matt Savage and Eric Danis also used Twitter to pause and remember Colclough.
As of press time, there has been no statement from the family as to arrangements. Poker News Daily would like to pass along their condolences to the family in remembrance of one of the elites of European poker.