Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott Honored With £1 Million ‘Devilfish Cup’2 years ago
On April 6th 2015, just five days after his 61st birthday, UK Poker legend and second placed on the all-time money earned list for poker in England, Dave “The Devilfish” Ulliott, passed away after a short battle with colon cancer, having only been diagnosed a few months earlier.
Dave was such a strong character on the poker scene that to read he had passed away from cancer seemed like a sick joke. Surely this charismatic and dominating individual would beat even a dreaded illness like cancer? But it was true, and the poker world was devastated. Since then, it has almost seemed weird that he is gone, sometimes feeling like he was still playing somewhere out of the spotlight, even though we know deep down that he is no longer with us.
Such was the special place poker held in its collective heart for Dave. It was inevitable that there would be some sort of lasting tribute made to Dave and sixteen months on from his passing, the WPT Foundation, the Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club, and Party Poker have collaborated to announce the Inaugural and annual “Devilfish Cup”, which will be held at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, England, during the World Poker Tour’s UK Festival. Play begins on Monday, October 31st 2016 and if you fancy a seat at the event, you will need to find the buy-in of £5,000 for the chance to be the first winner of the Devilfish Cup.
The event is also raising money for charitable causes with three percent of the £1 million guaranteed prize pool and a mandatory donation from each player of £300 being split between the Marie Curie Cancer Charity and the formation of a trust fund for Dave’s youngest daughter Lucy, which she will gain access to when she turns 16.
If you do manage to be the first winner of this special event, you will be presented with the trophy by Dave’s wife, Anpaktita Ulliott. Simon Trumper, himself a well-known poker player from the UK and the poker manager at Dusk Till Dawn, as well as a close friend of Dave’s for many years, revealed that Dave was visited in his last days and specifically requested a high buy-in event to be staged at the club in his honor, so it is extra special that this event was initially a concept created by the man himself.
Adam Pliska, President and CEO of the World Poker Tour, said:
We are proud to announce the Devilfish Cup for the Party Poker WPT UK festival at Dusk Till Dawn, and to honor and celebrate Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott alongside his family, friends, and fellow competitors. As a testament to the community’s dedication and contributions, WPT Foundation has helped raise more than $6 million to date, and we look forward to supporting another non-profit program of excellence in Marie Curie.”
Dusk Till Dawn have also honored Dave in two other ways, firstly by renaming it’s bar after him, which from now on will be known as “Devilfish’s Bar”, but also renaming a popular drink after him. If you want to purchase a Double Vodka and Red Bull you better use the drinks new name “A devilfish”. This is a cute touch that I think Dave, a man who loved a laugh and a joke by all accounts, would have appreciated.
Dave’s poker career spanned 20 years and included a fine run of form at the World Series of Poker where he won a bracelet in 1997 in Pot Limit Hold’em, winning a first prize of $180,310. This turned out to be the only WSOP bracelet he would win but managed to accumulate an impressive 33 WSOP cashes in his career, last playing at the WSOP in 2014.
His poker career also included playing in more questionable and unpredictable cash games across the UK from as early as the 1980’s where he admitted he would carry a gun to the games for fear of being robbed. His trademark “Devil” and “Fish” knuckledusters also had a practical and more sinister potential use than the bling effect he became known for! Devilfish once fired the gun to scare away two people he knew were planning to rob him when leaving a shady venue one night. They didn’t rob him, they ran away. There are too many stories to tell in this article, but if you have time read around the internet for Devilfish anecdotes and prepare to be amazed. He had quite a life.
Dave’s early years were not idyllic and he left school at the age of 15 where he ended up being imprisoned after falling into a life of crime, and, despite meeting an inmate in jail whom he planned a bank robbery with upon his release, he eventually decided to go straight and there was no evidence of him committing any further crime in his life from that point onwards. Dave chose to pursue poker and gambling as a career instead of acquiring money from crime and this turned out to be a good choice as although he went busto a few times, he never went to jail again and he became the legend we remember as the poker boom took hold. Dave’s natural swagger, tons of charisma. and a blatant dislike for the rules made him a popular poker player right from day one.
The World Poker Tour proved a plentiful hunting ground for the Devilfish. In January 2003 he outlasted 160 others in the Jack Binion World Poker Open, winning the event and earning himself $589,175. During the event he had eliminated Phil Ivey, no mean feat, and took out four of his five rivals on the final table. Four years later in 2007 Dave finished in third place at the WPT Doyle Brunson Classic Championship Event, earning $674,500 in an event eventually won by Eugene Katchalov. I think it is very fitting that with Dave’s personal success at the World Poker Tour being revealed as having been such a source of pride for him as he looked back at his poker career towards the end of his life, the WPT Foundation are the perfect organisation to help raise funds in honour of his memory.
If you would like to play in the Devilfish Cup in October but cannot find the full £5,300 buy-in, details of satellites to the event, which will be held on Party Poker, will be announced soon, so look out for that. This event will offer great prizes and will give a legend of poker a fitting poker send-off. It will honor an amazing man who gave so much to the game by offering the sort of awesome prize money and prestige that he spent his life chasing and, when he won such a plentiful prize, enjoying.
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