Reminiscing the Devilfish

I went back to find posts about Devilfish — Dave Ulliott — just to refresh my own memories and here are a few:

From this post:

Then on to $25-$25 blind Pot Limit Omaha. Dave AKA the Devil Fish was in the game. I’ve had a few bad sessions with him and he’s not on the top of my list for players that handle themselves well at the table. He won a pot when I first sat down and then a few hands later, went all-in and had to re-buy. His girlfriend came up to talk to him and he had his arm around her waist. He was the second $25 blind and after everyone else had called and the first $25 blind had checked, I looked directly at him and he did a ‘raise/drop’ motion with the hand that held the cards. I pulled in the bets, announced the number of players in the hand and he glared at me with, “Do I get a chance to check?”

I said, “You tapped the table.”

He retorted, “You mean I tapped her ass!” He was referring to his girlfriend, of course.

Well maybe you did tap her ass but you tapped the table also. My unspoken thought.

Instead, I asked him what he would like to do. He said he would check.

That game was kind of fun because the guy in the 1s was carrying on and laughing and gambling. He won a few pots and then a huge one with A-A-?-? He told me he would be my back up if anyone tried to mess with me, he’d set them straight. I left the table laughing.

*****

And this one, did you know Devilfish was a crooner?

I started my day/night in the Tournament. Antes were $200, Blinds were $800-$1,600. Three of the players at my table I knew by name, Bruno, Bob Stupak, and Dave AKA The Devil Fish.

I barely looked up during my down because I didn’t want to miss anything in the action at the table. Several hands were long and quiet while a player faced a large bet or raise but no one went broke and there were no screams of agony. At one point, while waiting for an exceptionally long time for a player to make a move, four players were walking around and all of a sudden,

“Oh, when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire-proof…”

It was Devil Fish, microphone in hand, singing Under the Board Walk, a sweet old tune performed by the Drifters.

That may be one of the few times that I got a glimpse of another character hidden beneath the poker face of the Devilfish.

*****

The next post is better if you read the whole thing, rather than me chopping a piece out of it to post here.  But this is the extent of the Devilfish’s verbal interaction:

As I pushed the pot to Sam, my push showed up, and Devilfish said, “Just think, she wasn’t even supposed to deal that hand. The push didn’t show up.”

I pointed at the Shuffle Master as I stood up and said, “The Machine dealt it.”

Devilfish replied, “Yes, but you cut the cards.”

*****

This post has a lot of big names in it, but it also has this tidbit on how Devilfish got his name:

The next game was a full $100-200 blind PLO – The Devilfish, Eskimo, O’Neil, and Johnny Chan were part of the cast. I got through that one without scrapes or bruises. Most of the faces were new to me. Devilfish called the 8s by name and asked, “Do you know how your name became famous?”

The 8s replied, “I will be famous when you are a dead fish.”

It was pretty funny. He was laughing when he said it and I almost spit laughing.

*****

This post is a full read – it’s about Devilfish and a few others but there is no way to pick out a piece of it. It’s almost hard to believe it was 10 years ago.

*****

This is another one, if you don’t read the whole post, you miss that side of Devilfish’s personality.

*****

There are a number of other mentions on Tango about Devilfish.  As is always the case, when I first started dealing to some of the high limit players, there were a few wrinkles that needed to be ironed out.  I can say that there are a few that I simply dreaded seeing them ahead in my lineup.

Once you get in a bad wrinkle with one of them, most of them stalk you.  They have a tendency to pounce as soon as you slide into the dealer’s box and they watch you like a hawk trying to catch you in a mistake or find something wrong with the way you run the game.

I can’t say that was ever the case with Devilfish.  I didn’t look forward to dealing to him, ever.  Over the few years that I had contact with him — remember, I left the dealer’s box in 2007 — it got easier.  We weren’t pals, we were never going to be buddies, but it got easier.

This post is about a number of things, including a visit to the WSOP to meet up with PokerWorks’ writers, and having lunch.  Devilfish paid for our lunch.  See, time has a way of changing everything.

I saw Devilfish when I went to Aruba to deal the World Poker Tour/Ultimate Bet tournaments too.

A number of players have asked that Devilfish be admitted to the Poker Hall of Fame this year. More information on that here.

As far as feeling that Devilfish was head hunting me when I dealt to him, that was never the case.  I did feel, more than once, that he had a tendency to disassociate himself from the emotional stress a lot of players put themselves through when they work at making a living playing poker. A few times he did get into a rant and managed to drive it through everyone’s brain, but it was not like it ever was meant as a personal attack, just a super burst of flame over the way things were going.

I think he was very aware of what was going on at the table and with the other players although it may not have appeared that way to everyone, he was paying attention.

The one thing I picked up from him as sort of an unannounced read that he didn’t advertise, I felt he was very lonely.  Not in terms of people or female company.  Just isolated and lonely.

Done reminiscing.  RIP Dave.

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