David “Devilfish” Ulliott, Phil Ivey Join PHOF

Updated: July 24th, 2017 by Haley Hintze

The newest members of the Poker Hall of Fame have been announced, and the PHOF’s class of 2017 is comprised of David “Devilfish” Ulliott and Phil Ivey.

Ulliott, the prominent face of British poker for a couple of decades until his untimely passing in 2015 from cancer, was elected in his thrid appearance among the PHOF’s list of ten finalists. All three of Ulliott’s appearances in the final 10 came after his passing.

Ivey, as expected, got the nod from the PHOF’s voting committee in what his first year of eligibility under the PHOF’s modified system, which calls for all enshrinees to be a minimum of 40 years of age. Ivey and Daniel Negreanu (who will be eligible in another couple of years), were once finalists under the old PHOF system which carried no age minimum, though they were passed over at that time.

“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, according to a WSOP presser. “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’s family also prepared a brief statement about his induction, which many people on the European side of the Atlantic had felt was long overdue. “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.” (Hesp a wealthy automotive dealer and amateur poker player, eventually finished fourth in the 2017 WSOP Main Event.)
“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 World Series of Poker (WSOP) operates the annual Poker Hall of Fame selection process under the auspices of the owner of both brands, Caesars Entertainment. The election of Ulliott and Ivey was officially annouced during the just-concluded final table of the 2017 WSOP Main Event, won by Scott Blumstein.

This year’s selection of Ulliott and Ivey was conducted by the 45-member voting committee, which consists of the 27 living members of the PHOF, plus 18 veteran media members. The committee was forwarded a list of ten finalists by the PHOF’s Governing Council, which generallt accepts at least eight of the top ten publicly nominated figures as generated through the PHOF’s initial, open-to-the-public nomination process.

Ivey and Ulliott swell the ranks of the PHOF to 54 official members, and Ivey will also be able to cast his own voted for enshrinement in 2018, should he so choose.

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