Dave Ulliott

Dave Ulliott
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WPT Wins: 1
Total Live Earnings: $6,235,083
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Nickname: Devilfish
The Hendon Mob


Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott was a British poker player. During his career, he won both a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and a World Poker Tour title.

He died in 2015 and was posthumously inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017.


Ulliott was born in 1954 in Kingston upon Hull. He left school at 15 and became involved in organized crime. During his 20s, Ulliott served a number of spells in prison for various crimes including insurance fraud, armed robbery and affray.

Shortly after Ulliott met his second wife, he decided to abstain from criminal activities and focused on poker. He would regularly travel to poker games across England.

Origin of the Devilfish

On one occasion while playing in one of these private games, Ulliott was — in his words — bossing the table. A player then said that he was a devil fish. This is how the encounter was described in the book Devilfish: The Life & Times of a Poker Legend:

“Now I’d been called some things in my time, but never that. He said 'devil fish' was the slang name for a Japanese fish, the tako fugu or blowfish, which was poisonous to eat if it wasn’t prepared exactly right. I like the name 'Devilfish', but we just laughed about it and carried on playing. When I left the game I forgot all about it.”

Months later, on his first trip to Las Vegas, Ulliott was playing in the Four Queens Poker Classic Omaha tournament. Having made it to heads-up against Men "The Master" Nguyen, the atmosphere was rowdy with the crowd cheering on Nguyen.

History in Spades: The Origin of the Devilfish Nickname

With Nguyen's rail shouting "Go on the Master!" it was Ulliott's friend Gary Whitaker who retired "Go on the Devilfish!" Ulliott eventually managed to triumph over Nguyen, with a local newspaper headline the following day reading 'Devilfish Devours the Master'. And the nickname stuck ever since.

In 1997, Ulliott won a World Series of Poker bracelet in $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em. He came close to winning a second bracelet on numerous occasions, finishing second in events at the 1998, 2000 and 2001 WSOP.

With his fame peaking, Ulliott also made appearances on Late Night Poker, the first poker show to use hole cam technology. He won the first season for £40,000.

Ulliott added a World Poker Tour title to his bracelet in 2003, winning the Jack Binion World Poker Open for $589,175. He defeated Phil Ivey heads-up.

PokerNews Covered Events

Event Place Prize
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack
265th $6,368
2013 PokerStars.com EPT London
£5,250 Main Event
31st £14,940
2013 PokerStars.com EPT London
£10,300 High Roller
6th £82,315
2013 International Stadiums Poker Tour Wembley Stadium
€3,000 Main Event
14th €14,000
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #35: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha / Six Handed
13th $23,519
2010 World Series of Poker
Event #55: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship
20th $24,815
2010 World Series of Poker
Event #46: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better
3rd $150,925
2010 World Series of Poker
Event #32: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em / Six Handed
19th $21,036
2009 World Series of Poker Europe
£10,000 WSOPE Main Event
35th £21,142
2009 World Series of Poker
Event 35 - $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha
16th $18,732
2008 World Series of Poker
Event 46 - $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Six-handed
47th $12,107
2008 World Series of Poker
Event 31 - $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-handed
94th $3,724
2008 World Series of Poker
Event 19 - $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
60th $3,522

Related Articles

Search for other players