Devilfish Dave Ulliott tells PokerPlayer what he’s learned from his life in poker: “I’ve told a lot of players to stop playing for such massive amounts. But most people just say, ‘What’s that old bastard going on about?”

Dave Ulliott, The Devilfish, tells us about fast cars, loose money and why nobody listens

I was influenced most by Steve McQueen in The Cincinnati Kid.

He got me playing poker. I watched it and immediately set up a home game with my mum and dad. It was a no-win situation. If I won my dad would give me a slap, and if I lost, well, I lost.

My dad questioned my choice of career until I started winning enough to pay for his holidays.

He died three years ago and never liked what I did when I was younger. I was a bit of a lad. He threw me out when I was 16 and I can’t blame him. I used to go to a seedy local casino and play a bit of three-card brag and lose my money on strip-deck stud.

I’m a good one for giving people advice and lectures.

I’ve told a lot of players to stop playing for such massive amounts. But most people just say, ‘What’s that old bastard going on about?’

There are two sides to the coin when you’re known in poker.

You get a lot of action when you’ve got a hand because people want to play back at you, but the downside is you get a lot of people calling you because they want to beat the Devilfish and.

I like a bit of banter and having a go at the Tony Gs and the Phil Hellmuths,

but I don’t target the young kids. I don’t want to frighten them. I’ve always been quite a funny bastard, but I’m not a bully.

I’ve never really had much respect for money.

If I did, I wouldn’t be driving around in a Ferrari or a Hummer. That’s just the way I am.

I used to be a stand-up comedian a long time ago.

I used to perform in clubs where nobody else would go. The last time I did an act in Hull, someone threw a petrol bomb and before it hit the floor someone caught it and drank it. That’s how rough it was.

Poker’s got me on television,

I starred in a short film that was released in Cannes and I’ve got a book out. That stuff obviously wouldn’t have happened without poker. If I hadn’t have played I might still be running a jewellery shop. I might still be married. It’s a very different life.

In my day, there was only so much you could owe when you went broke.

These days you get kids who are a few million up one minute, and the next they’re broke. I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes.

I can’t remember any pro giving me advice.

When I started out, if you were winning, you didn’t need advice, and if you had a bad session people were happy to take your money.

I didn’t care about my losses starting out.

If I won at poker I lost it at the horses, I just expected it. In poker you’ve got to be selectively aggressive but I’ve always been that way in everything I do. I’ve been pretty fearless in all areas of life.

Someone once told me I’ve had more bad beats on TV than anyone else.

But I’m still going to go and play the next Late Night Poker and I’m looking to get a new sponsor, so I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.


Devilfish was talking to PokerPlayer magazine which is always packed full of the best poker articles. Try a copy HERE

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