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Dave Ulliott

During his time working at G K Beaulah's, Ulliott had a common-law wife, Diana, with whom they had a son named David. He went on to marry Susan, with whom he had two children named Darren Paul and Kerry. Later he met Amanda (Mandy) Ashby, a laboratory worker for British Cocoa Mills, who became his second wife.They are currently going through a divorce.
In his spare time, Ulliott is very fond of music. On the night he met his future wife Mandy, they listened to Simon and Garfunkel records together. He enjoys playing the piano and guitar and has a fondness for blues music as well as AC/DC, The Rolling Stones and Fine Young Cannibals (whose vocalist Roland Gift is a close friend of his, and played for free at his 40th birthday.) Ulliott has also been known to occasionally do Elvis impersonations. He is also a good friend of Jimmy White (Ulliott's own snooker break is 73.
Ulliott is fond of movies, and has identified Once Upon a Time in America, Heat and A Fish Called Wanda as his favourite movies. He is also a fan of the works of Peter Kay.He resides in Hull, not far from where he grew up, in a house with a garden, pond, snooker room and music room. He has seven children.
Dave Ulliott appeared in the short film Poker Face, directed by John Hales in 2006.

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Late Night Poker

In 1999, Dave Ulliott was one of 40 players to appear in the first series of the Late Night Poker television series, the first poker show to use hole cam technology. He won his qualifying heat against a field that included Charalambos “Bambos” Xanthos and future Hendon Mobster Ross Boatman to advance to the Grand Final. Ulliott dominated the final from the first hand (where his flush beat Surinder Sunar's straight). During the event, he made four of a kind against Joe Beevers, eliminated Liam Flood and slow-played 3 Aces against Dave Welch, prompting commentator Nic Szeremeta to say “I've never seen a hand played so well”.Ulliott went on to win the heads-up confrontation against Peter Evans, and the £40,000 first prize.
Dave Ulliott's win was watched by over 1,500,000 people (a huge figure for the channel and timeslot of the broadcast) and his character at the table was part of the reason for the renewal of the series, which went on to run for 5 more series, with Dave Ulliott appearing in them all. Ulliott also made the final table in the second series.


Dave Ulliott Poker Professional Profile


Dave (devil fish) Ulliott Poker Professional


Dave “The Devilfish” Ulliott (born David A. Ulliott on 1 April, 1954 in Hull) is an English professional gambler and poker player. Formerly, Dave Ulliott was a minor figure in the Hull underworld , but went on to become a World Series of Poker bracelet-winner, and a mainstay of televised poker. At the poker table, he is known for wearing orange-tinted prescription sunglasses, a sharp suit (or leather jacket) and gold knuckleduster rings reading “Devil” and “Fish”, which he made himself.

Dave Ulliott was born the son of Stanley Ulliott, a world war 2 paratrooper turned truck driver and his wife Joyce (nee Jefferson). He grew up in a small council house in a working class area, where he shared a room with his sister Janet (who later died of cancer). Other than when he was briefly a member of a band, Ulliott was unmotivated throughout his education and left at the age of 15, without any o levels, to take his first job making trophies for G K Beaulah's. After visiting the bookies with his father and winning his first bet at 50:1, he picked winners at horse racing with his work colleagues during lunch breaks, and also played them at poker. He was eventually fired from the job for taking an afternoon off to go to the races.

At the age of 19, Ulliott was involved in a fight on the way home from the Golden Nugget Pool Hall in Hull.Dave Ulliott was set upon by five men and their wives (one of whom slashed his face with a steel comb), after protecting his younger brother. He fought back and eventually returned home, missing a tooth and with damaged ribs. Ulliott later claimed that he was proud of the experience and the incident made him realise that he could not be beaten in a fight “inside”.

Dave Ulliott became involved in a safe cracking team soon after, after being advised by the rest of the team that everyone was involved in the operation, including the shops, which carried out insurance fraud, and the police, who turned a blind eye in exchange for cigarets. Together they targetted tobacconists,off licience and garages. On one occasion, when Ulliott lost over £5,000 at the bookies, he robbed that safe too, and took it home in a pram. One of the team was eventually caught, and informed the Police that Ulliott was involved. He went on the run for a week, but was eventually caught.

After being arrested, Dave Ulliott was confined to a small cell in Hull Police Station for 3 weeks and later sent to Leeds Prison, where he was kept in isolation for 23 hours a day for the first 2 months of his 9 month sentence, which included his 21st birthday. Not long after his release, he was arrested again for an armed robbery at at off-license, but was released 3 days later without charge. Upon his release, he got a job at a timberyard, working 12 hours a day lifting wood, before being fired for taking too long in a break. Later, he again became involved in the safe-cracking team, whilst also working as a bouncer and gambling.

Dave Ulliott was arrested again aged 28 for a fight outside a nightclub, and served 18 months in Leeds and Durham Prisons. Again he spent much time in an isolation block for 23 hours a day. During this time he met a criminal named John, with whom he planned to carry out a bank robbery upon his release. However, on the day that it was due to happen, John was arrested by the regional crime squad, and Dave Ulliott was advised by John's wife to go straight. Not long after Dave Ulliott met his second wife, he did indeed go straight, and there is no evidence he has committed a crime since. Together, they bought a cobblers shop for £10,000 cash and turned it into a pawn boking buisness, which later expanded into a jewler's.


Dave Ulliott began playing poker with his parents as a young child and later learnt three card brag at the age of 16, after being introduced to Hull's Fifty-One Club casino. By the time he was married for the second time, Dave Ulliott was organising poker games in the back of his shop and dominating the home games of others to the extent that people stopped telling him where games were being held. At the end of 1990 he met Gary Whitaker, a cafe manager from Wakefield, in a Leeds casino. They travelled together to poker games 6 nights a week, and Whitaker placed bets for Dave Ulliott after he was banned from all of William Hill's betting shops for successfully gambling £4,000 up to £70,000. Whitaker went on to become Ulliott's regular driver as he took part in a regular game with Dave Colclough, John Shipley and Lucy Rokach, and held a 10% stake in his action.

When they first traveled to London (where the regular game at the time was lowball), Ulliott was forced to change his style of play as he found the players harder to bluff, and he credits the experience for improving his game. On one occasion in London, Ulliott lost a £60,000 pot to Donnacha O'Dea when he hit a two-outer against him, but made all the money back within 24 hours. On another occasion,Dave Ulliott played in 5 cities in a day, winning in each to earn £35,000.

When playing in private games, Dave Ulliott often took a gun with them to ensure they would be able to leave a poker game with the winnings. He fired it in the air one night to scare off some opponents who were planning to rob him of the money he had won off them.

The Origin of the Devilfish

Dave Ulliott first cashed in a noted poker tournament in 1993. Over the following years, Ulliott worked on his tournament game to the extent that during 1996 he won £100,000 in a two-week period at The Vic. His success at that time led to him and Whitaker going on a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada for the first time.

Dave Ulliott took £10,000 with him on the trip, and was around even until he entered the $500 pot limit Omaha event of the 1997 Four Queens Poker Classic. When the event reached the heads-up stage, numerous Vietnamese-American followers of Men Nguyen supported him by cheering “Go on the Master” at him. In response, Whitaker cheered Ulliott on by cheering “Go on the Devilfish.” The support was in reference to a nickname given to Ulliott by Stevie Au-Young, who ran a poker game that Ulliott had frequented in Birmingham, where he indicated Dave Ulliott was like a devilfish (or tako) - a poisonous fish that can kill when ingested, if not properly prepared. Ulliott reduced Nguyen's stack to one chip, and the tournament director insisted upon still taking a one-hour scheduled break, much to Nguyen's protests. Ulliott turned to Nguyen and said “Weare taking the break”, and in all fairness to you, I think you should go upstairs and think about your tactics. Dave Ulliott went on to win, and the headlines the next day read “Devilfish devours the Master.” Since the event, Ulliott has claimed that the event was only of significance for defining his nickname.

Prior to earning the nickname,Dave Ulliott had been referred to as “Dave the Clock” because he used a grandfather clock as a buy-in to a local game where he knew a furniture dealer was playing.

1997 World Series of Poker

Dave Ulliott arrived at the 1997 World Series of Poker (WSOP) with $200,000, but lost it all on cash games and tournament buy-ins. He borrowed over $70,000 more, but lost this too, burning some bridges in the process. He scraped together a buy-in for the $2,000 pot limit Texas hold 'em event, where he reached heads-up against fellow Englishman Chris Truby. In the final hand, Ulliott got all of his money in the pot with an open-ended straight draw and flush draw against Truby's pocket pair.Dave Ulliott won with a straight on the river to claim $180,310 and his only WSOP bracelet to date. Whitaker jumped over the barricade to join in the celebrations. The press release the next day claimed he was lucky to draw out on Truby, but mathematically, Ulliott was a 54.5% favourite to win when the money went into the pot. After winning his bracelet, he had the nickname “Devilfish” engraved onto it.

Following the tournament he went through a highly successful period whilst playing in cash games, winning between $10,000 and 20,000 each day for a 2-week stretch. On one day he bought into a table for $5,000 and in the space of two hands worked it up to $83,000. In another session, on the advice of his friend Mansour Matloubi, he played Lyle Berman heads-up pot limit Omaha and beat him out of $168,000. By the end of the trip, Ulliott had $742,000 in cash, that he carried around with Whitaker in bags from duty free. When returning to their casino in Leeds,Dave Ulliott and Whitaker were met with large amounts of applause from their regular opponents.

World Poker Tour

In January 2003, Ulliott won his biggest tournament cash prize in the World Poker Tour (WPT) first season Jack Binion World Poker Open. Dave Ulliott outlasted a field of 160 players, entering the final table with a 2:1 chip lead over his nearest rival, and taking first place and $589,175 after eliminating Phil Ivey. Ulliott eliminated 4 of the 5 opponents at the final table, in a performance that commentator Mike Sexton has referred to as “still the most dominating performance in WPT history”. In the second season, Ulliott was also invited to the WPT Bad Boys of Poker invitational, and finished on the television bubble of the Aruba Poker Classic.

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Other events

Dave Ulliott has come close to winning a second WSOP bracelet on numerous occasions, finishing 2nd in events at the 1998 WSOP and 2000 WSOP, and 2nd at 2 more events at the 2001 WSOP.In two of these events, he was eliminated whilst holding Aces.

Dave Ulliott represented his country in the 888.com Poker Nations Cup, the PartyPoker.com Football & Poker Legends Cup and the Intercontinental Poker Championship.

As of 2006, Dave Ulliott's total live tournament winnings exceed $3,600,000, making him the highest-earning British poker player according to available records.

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Despite the dominance of Texas hold 'em throughout televised poker, Dave Ulliott has a reputation as a very strong pot limit Omaha player, with over 40 finishes in the money in tournaments of that format. Once, in an Omaha tournament at The Vic in 1997, he successfully read that Jon Shoreman had a straight flush and laid down a four of a kind. Ulliott was also considered the best five-card stud player in Northern England.However, Ulliott has indicated that his real preferance is for four card Omaha.
In the UK, Ulliott is such a household name that he has been name-dropped in EastEnders, and in the inaugural edition of PokerPlayer magazine, Ulliott was not only on the front cover, but also voted #9 on their (worldwide) Top 10 Poker Legends List. In the United States, he is described as “... like the Ernie Els of the PGA Tour... deservedly the most-well respected player from Europe in America.”
Dave Ulliott wears a T-shirt advertising his website at the 2006 World Series of Poker.Ulliott is a spokesman for the online poker site Ultimatebet.com. He was recommended for the deal by Mansour Matloubi to Russ Hamilton, and was offered 1% of the company for the deal. Recently, he also set up his own poker room, www.devilfishpoker.com. After being eliminated in 3rd place for $120,000 in the Full Tilt Poker invitational event at the 2005 Monte Carlo Millions, Ulliott stood up, flashing a “www.devilfishpoker.com” sign that was strapped to his back inside his jacket. The event was being broadcast live on Fox Sports Net (FSN), who have a policy against advertising .com websites, and as such Ulliott has been banned from appearing in any forthcoming FSN productions. Ulliott later responded that he only paid the entry money so he could advertise his site; it was originally agreed that he would be able to promote the site, so he decided to advertise his site through the publicity stunt regardless. Despite supporting online poker sites, Ulliott has indicated that many online players do not know what they are doing when playing, which makes them harder to play against.
Ulliott became the subject of some controversy when proclaiming that female poker players will never be as good as male players. He cited Lucy Rokach as a rare example of a strong female player, but indicated that female players would never be aggressive enough to compete with their male counterparts.
Ulliott's periods of consistant gambling wins have led to him being banned from all the British bookmakers. Joe Beevers placed bets on his behalf for a period of time, during which time he managed to back all 6 winners at Ascot one year, including one at 14/1 and one at 20/1.
Recently, Ulliott has attempted to change his image, as he no longer has his slicked-back hair, nor wears sunglasses at the poker table. This was a result of attending a party in Las Vegas, where he felt everyone looked the same as him.

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