THE world of poker was today mourning the death of legendary Hull player Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott.
The 61-year-old professional was one of the most acclaimed players of the game, with tournament winnings of more than $6.2 million, according to the pokernews.com website.
Mr Ulliott was rated as the second biggest poker winner of all time in the UK.
He had been diagnosed with terminal bowel and liver cancer earlier this year, and “died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones”, his son David said on Twitter.
Mr Ulliott, who often appeared on televised poker tournaments, won the first-ever Late Night Poker game in 1999, and is considered one of the players who contributed the most to the rise of the game in the UK.
The name Devilfish came from a Chinese gambler he outwitted in Birmingham, and it resurfaced, via a British fan, when Mr Ulliott and the Vietnamese poker legend, Men Nguyen, were left in a head-to-head in Vegas in 1997. The ‘Devilfish’ triumphed and the name became his trademark.
In 2010, the Doncaster gaming firm Weather Lottery bought the online poker company Mr Ulliott founded, Devil Fish Poker, in a £330,000 cash and shares deal. It said the Devilfish brand was recognised nationally and internationally, especially in Europe.
Those paying tribute today included former snooker champion Jimmy White, who called him the “greatest character in poker.”
Journalist and poker player Victoria Coren tweeted: “It’s so awfully sad. You won’t be forgotten, Dave.”