Phil Ivey and Dave Ulliott Inducted into Hall of Fame
Poker legends Phil Ivey and Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott have been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. During the WSOP Main Event final table the news came in that the pair had been chosen by the panel consisting of living Hall of Fame members and a media section. Notable names which missed out this year are Huck Seed, Ted Forrest, and Mike Matusow
Since the Moneymaker boom started the transformation of poker to what we see today, Phil Ivey has been pegged as the very best of all, by the majority of his peers. Only turning 40 earlier this year, he now passes the age criteria for entry into the Poker Hall of Fame, and made the grade at his first attempt.
Ivey’s career has taken him from playing underage in the casinos of Atlantic City, with a fake ID card, to more than $23 million in live tournament winnings and 10 World Series of Poker bracelets. It’s impossible to know exactly how much profit he has made from cash games over the years, but we can be sure that it runs into the tens of millions of dollars.
Ivey won his first bracelet in 2000 at the tender age of 23. Two years later he followed that up with three in one summer to stake his claim as the best player around. Already the poker community was having difficulty trying to argue that somebody else might possibly be better.
In 2003 when internet poker was booming, Ivey became the most feared opponent in every form of the game as he dominated the winnings ladder for trackable cash games.
Three Aussie Millions Main Event wins in four years, and a World Poker Tour title to go with his WSOP successes shows what is likely the most versatile player we have ever seen in the modern era. Times change though, and with the issues with online poker regulation in the USA we have seen Ivey playing most of his hands in the live scene, particularly in high-stakes games around Asia. The crazy amounts which were coming in online have stopped too, with many suggesting that Ivey’s place at the top of the tree is now up for debate once more. Either way, if Ivey isn’t the single best player in a particular format, it’s still likely that he’s the best all-rounder.
Talking to the media after his induction he said
"I want to thank the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame as well as the media who voted for me to be part of the Poker Hall of Fame," Ivey said. "It's an honour to be inducted alongside legends like Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson. I love the game of poker and the game has done a lot for me. I am one of the lucky people who has been able to make a living playing a game which was always my passion. Thankfully, I'm just as passionate about the game today as when I first stepped into Binion's Horseshoe to play my first-ever WSOP. Thank you to my family, my friends, and all the poker fans across the world that supported me on this journey."
Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott
Dave Ulliott sadly died of cancer in 2015 and so never got to see his induction. He will however live on in the memories of all the people who remember watching him in the early days of TV poker. Without doubt Ulliott is one of the most colourful characters the game has ever seen.
Ulliott grew up in a British council estate, and after leaving school at 15 he took a job as a trophy maker. During his lunch hours, he discovered his love for playing cards and noticed how quickly he was able to calculate the odds. By the time he was 19 though, his life began to take a more sinister turn when he joined a team of safecrackers. This led to a stay in prison, with another coming seven years later after a fight in a nightclub which got out of hand.
By the 1990’s he was finding it tough to find people in the local area who would play him at cards, so there was nothing else to do but travel the country and find action in the casinos. In 1997 success and real recognition came when he won a WSOP bracelet in a $2000 Pot Limit Hold’em event. Non-American winners were rare in those days and people were asking who this English guy was. With his distinctive look – slick back hair, orange sunglasses, and gold knuckledusters – he certainly caught everybody’s attention.
In 1999 Ulliott was invited to take part on a TV show called Late Night Poker, which was to break the mould of how card games were shown on TV. The new “hole cam” allowed viewers to see what the players were holding. This was maybe the assistance that Moneymaker’s run to WSOP glory in 2003 needed to make the TV footage go viral around the world.
Ulliott took victory in the event in front over 1.5 million viewers and became a must have for TV producers looking to show an exciting poker tournament with colourful characters.
Over the course of his career Ulliott won more than $6 million from live tournaments with much more from live cash games. His addition to the Poker Hall of Fame roster is more than deserved and welcomed by all.
"As a family we would like to thank the general public, media and current Poker Hall of Fame members that voted David into the Poker Hall of Fame. We know he will be up there strumming on his guitar and probably asking what took so long! How he might say it-I think you all know! There isn't a day that goes past when we don't think of him and miss him but today we are so proud and delighted that he takes his rightful place in poker history -the legend of the Devilfish lives on!"