player dies after battle with cancer, aged 61
One of Britains most successful poker
players, who was influential in helping the game to cross into mainstream
culture, has died after a battle with bowel and colon cancer.
Devilfish Ulliott, 61, became one of the highest-earning
professional gamblers ever after taking up the pastime in the 1980s following
two spells in prison in his 20s for involvement in a safe-cracking team and an
assault outside a pub.
Ulliott, who grew up on a Hull council estate,
became famous on the Channel 4 series Late Night Poker in 1999 where he sported
orange shades, swept-back hair and homemade knuckledusters with
Devil and Fish written on them. His skills were
revealed to viewers by a covert camera under the table and helped make the game
appealing to a new generation of players.
He earned more than £4m in his career and
won a World Series of Poker bracelet in 1997 and the World Poker tour title in
The snooker player Jimmy White, a friend of Ulliotts, led
the tributes: RIP Devilfish. Greatest character in poker and a good
Victoria Coren Mitchell tweeted "British poker legend
Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot died today. It's so awfully sad. You won't be
At the funeral son Chris said: "Words cannot explain
how proud I am to be able to call you my dad. You always had time for your
family and that's what makes you a legend in my eyes. You made life an
adventure full of love and laughter. You were one of a kind with an amazing
were treated to many tales of Mr Ulliott's colourful life, before a recording
of the star singing Journey's Don't Stop Believin' was played in church.
Mrs Ulliott said: "We are very honoured at the amount of people here
today. "David never took anything seriously, except his gambling. He was so
kind and caring. He always worried about me and Lucy".
He is survived
by his wife, Anpaktita, and eight children.