David, let's talk a bit about the Main Event and how things went for you.
Yeah, well actually the first day I finished with $23,000 in chips, and I never really had any hands or anything, I was on a real tight table so it was tough. At the end of the day, when they give you your new seat allocations they forgot about us. So then they waltz up with the blue cards and they dealt them out to us and like five of us were on the same table the next day, so that was a bad start for me because these guys were real tight you know, you're never really going to win a lot of chips off of them. I don't know about a random draw but I don't think that was very random.
Anyway, one of the same guys who was on the table that day came onto my new table, and I flopped a set of eights against his set of aces and then at the end of the second day I moved in with a pair of nines and he had two aces again. This guy was a little strange looking to say the least, so I said to the TV cameras "nobody in the world can beat the Devilfish, so now they're sending aliens to get me." (Laughs) I was really sick to go out but that's poker you know? You got to get some breaks.
How are things going for you in there today?
I got down to $200 in chips, and I'm back up to about $1,500, so who knows huh? I mean, it's a joke the way they're doing this, first prize is 23 percent, $230,000 which is what, like 110,000 pounds? I won a tournament at The Vic (The Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London) two years ago for 130,000 pounds, know what I mean? It's just a joke really.
You're well known to everyone here, and you definitely have a big rep. How does that affect the way people play against you?
Well it probably evens out in the end because some people are afraid, and you can do moves on them, but a lot of people just want to go to war with you. They all want a story to take home and say "I knocked the Fish out." I get some strange calls man, people just call me with anything. I just did a move there, I bet $500 and the guy called. There were four cards to the straight on the board and the guy called me with a pair of sixes at the end.
I've seen you make some amazing reads, putting people on hands. How are you able to make such accurate calls?
Yeah, I reckon I'm the best at putting people on hands. I called Gus's [Hansen] hand twice exactly right on TV. The other day I called three hands right at the table. I don't know, obviously I can't do it without seeing the flop and the turn and the river. It's just working out how they bet the flop if they raised before the flop and at the end. It's just taking everything, and the two cards I folded, so I just make an educated guess, and like you said, I get it right a lot of the time.
How do you feel about the caliber of play in the events at this World Series of Poker?
Well in the Main Event it was really strange because I could walk like three tables in any direction and not actually know one player on a table, which is unbelievable when you think that I've traveled all around the world playing poker, not just in America. That just shows you these guys are coming out from I don't know where. Obviously the caliber of players has gone a long way, it's a lot tougher to win now. I saw a guy on my table, he was the big chip leader and he didn't even know how to stack his chips up.
That brings me to my next question. Are you finding it dangerous not knowing who the good players are with all these guys coming in with a lot of Internet experience?
I mean there are some good Internet players obviously. The way I learned to play poker though was the old-school way. Traveling around, playing in Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, gun in my pocket you know what I mean. Flying by the seat of your pants. You had to win otherwise you didn't eat. Those were tough old days, but I think that was a better education than sitting playing on the Internet. There is some good players coming off the Internet, there's a lot of good Swedish players, but in general I think the Internet players have a lot to learn.
How do you think these Internet players have to adjust to playing live games, face-to-face with their opponents?
Well, I think a lot of these guys are going to come down with a bump because they win a lot of money early in their life. They're 21 or 22 and they're millionaires on the Internet, and they're playing fast and furious, but money's easy to get rid of and hard to get hold of. When you get it so easy when you're young, it can affect you later on. I hope they all survive and do well, but it's going to be tough for a lot of them
One last question David. What are you doing in your life these days away from the poker table?
I've just done a movie called "Poker Face" which got released in Cannes and I've got a book out there called "Swimming with the Devil Fish." And of course I've got my own poker site which is DevilFishPoker.com which is the coolest site out there and I hope people will take a look, just come on the site and have a talk. We're doing the Aruba Classic and people can qualify for that for $10 and if anyone wins a seat to that through my site I'm going to take them out and party, and I can party, don't worry about that.
David Ulliott is indeed an old-school poker player, but he has managed to not only keep pace with the young guns in the game but show them a thing or two as well. We all look forward to seeing more of the Devilfish in the coming years.