LAS VEGAS (July 21, 2017) – The 2017 Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF) Class has its newest members as first-time eligible Phil Ivey and British poker legend David “Devilfish” Ulliott enter poker’s most exclusive club. Ivey and Ulliott become the 53rd and 54th individuals to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
They were nominated by the public, vetted by the PHOF Governing Council and voted in by the 27 living Poker Hall of Fame members, and an 18-person Blue Ribbon Media Panel, it was announced today by the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council.
Ivey and Ulliott will be inducted officially on Friday, July 21 as part of the live World Series of Poker Main Event final table coverage on ESPN.
Ivey is well known throughout the world for his poker prowess and checked all the boxes required for consideration. Ivey sits fifth all-time on the live poker tournament money list with $23,856,034 in winnings, and this does not take into account any of his online poker or cash game play. Ivey is the youngest player in WSOP history to amass 10 victories, and just this year turned the required minimum age of 40 to be considered for Poker Hall of Fame induction.
“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,” said Ivey. “It’s an honor 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.”
Ulliott, who passed away from cancer in April, 2015, gets the ultimate recognition in poker for his role in growing the game in England. From Kingston Upon Hull, Ulliott was a fixture on Late Night Poker throughout Europe, which helped show the game of poker on television and the “Devilfish” was a true character who captivated audiences and kept them tuning in. He won a WSOP gold bracelet at the 1997 World Series of Poker and was a fixture at poker tournaments for more than two decades.
The Ulliott family released the following statement on receiving the news:
“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! One thing we know he would be happy about is the progress of John Hesp in the Main Event, a regular at Napoleon’s in Hull, David’s home city in the UK. John represents what poker is all about - a true game of the people. There are too many people to individually thank but we would particularly like to thank Rob Yong and Simon Trumper of Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham for their support and also we would like to thank Leon from Kings Casino in advance for offering to commemorate David’s induction into the Poker Hall of Fame at the WSOP Europe in October. Just remember, as the Devilfish would say – ‘Life is a blast. It doesn’t last. Live it long and live it fast’.”
The Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council would like to recognize and congratulate the other 2017 finalists, all whom remain eligible for future induction: David Chiu, Mori Eskandani, Ted Forrest, Thor Hansen, Mike Matusow, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage and Huckleberry Seed.
About this year’s inductees:
Ivey was born in 1977 in California and shortly thereafter moved to Roselle, New Jersey. He first burst onto the poker scene in Atlantic City in 1998, when as a 21-year-old won a customer appreciation invitational tournament at the Tropicana. He won his first WSOP gold bracelet in 2000 at the 31st annual tournament, achieving his first six-figure tournament score in Pot-Limit Omaha. From there, he seemed to win non-stop, including three WSOP gold bracelets in a 21-day span to become the youngest WSOP player to reach four WSOP gold bracelets. (Age 25). To date, he’s cashed in 151 poker tournaments around the globe, including wining $3,582,753 – his largest tournament poker score – at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia in 2012. He’s a ten-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, a WPT champion who has made nine WPT final tables and recorded cashes on four different continents. Ivey is also a renowned cash game player, traveling far and wide to participate in the biggest cash games around the globe. Perhaps the most-feared player of his generation, Ivey was always willing to sit down with anyone at the poker table, and usually ended up on the right side of the results. While tournament poker hasn’t seen too much of Ivey in recent years, you could even say he is doing the players a favor. Anytime Ivey shows up to play he is a favorite to run deep.
DAVID “DEVILFISH” ULLIOTT
Sadly the poker world lost the physical presence of David “Devilfish” Ulliott in 2015, but his legacy and influence on the game of poker is sure to live on. Ulliott is one of Britain’s most famous poker faces. A colorful character, Ulliott has a WSOP gold bracelet, a WPT title and more than $6.2 million in lifetime earnings to his name. He has cashes dating back all the way to 1993. You couldn’t help but notice “Devilfish” when you were seated at a poker table with him, and it was his personality that shone through on television, particularly in Europe, that made him one of poker’s biggest stars. David Ulliott was a beloved figure in poker whom was taken too soon, but not before he left an indelible impact on the game and all those he came in contact with.
The Poker Hall of Fame, established in 1979, was acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars) along with the World Series of Poker in 2004. Though the Hall of Fame is virtual in nature, its membership includes poker's most influential players and other important contributors to the game. There are now 28 living members.
The main criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame are as follows:
- A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
- Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination
- Played for high stakes
- Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
- Stood the test of time
- Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.
The entire list of 54 Poker Hall of Fame members includes (alphabetical):