Lee Davy jumps into his time machine, sets the date for October 2010 and steps out into a world that’s very different to the one that you see today.
They say a lot can happen in a hand of poker.
Imagine what can happen in four years.
It’s October 2010, and I was in pretty good mood. After just a few months in the business I managed to get my first front cover. No, it’s wasn’t my ugly mug that ended up gracing the sheen of Poker Pro Europe magazine. It was the aesthetically pleasing mush of Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott.
The Fish had broken my one-on-one interview duck. Like all violated virginities – it wasn’t as beautiful as I thought it would be. I never got to visit Hull. Instead, I conducted my interview over the blower. He was sitting in his Hummer and I was sitting in a hotel room in Brighton. It was the night of my wedding anniversary – what a bummer.
“Devilfish Tells All – A Poker Life Without Compromise.”
I’m not sure if he disclosed everything. Difficult to decipher at the best of times, especially over the blower with the wife nagging in the other ear, I’m surprised I got anything right at all. He went ballistic after the interview was published as I hadn’t allowed him to first vet it. A big own goal on my part, it was a real beginners’ balls-up.
“Don’t worry about it Dave.” I said. “It’s raw. It’s right. It’s ruddy marvellous.”
I was shitting myself.
I kept expecting to bump into him for the next few weeks and was worried what would happen if I did. Like predicted, I ran into him, but fortunately for me, he didn’t have a clue who I was. I have interviewed him numerous times since. We’ve shared taxis, plane rides and even spent the night dining together in Paris restaurant. He still doesn’t know who I am.
I still find it interesting looking back at that old magazine. They still owe me $100 for the interview, by the way. The pages are dripping with Full Tilt advertisements. John Juanda, Phil Ivey and Mike Matusow asking you to ‘Learn, Chat and Play With the Pros.’
“Anyone can play like Ivey. But nobody does,” stated another advert.
Back then Ivey was a star. He was sitting at the top of the all-time money list with $13,545,958 in live tournament earnings. He’s still a star, of course, but things have changed a lot. Last year alone Dan Colman won more prize money and didn’t even blink an eye.
Fifty per cent of the October 2010 Top 10 are still milling around. They say that skill is king over the long run, a statement which holds true by evidence of the current rankings.
Daniel Negreanu was second in 2010 with $12.7m in winnings, now heading the list with close to $30m in earning to date.
Phil Hellmuth has dropped from fourth to seventh. His slice of the pie, however, has still grown from $11.4m to $18.2m.
John Juanda is still in eighth position despite his earnings increasing from $10.4m to $16m and Erik Seidel has moved from tenth to fifth with earnings increasing from $10.3m to $20.8m.
Neil Channing had just won the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Main Event in Luton for £64,050. It was the Daddy of British tours back then, but the United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) has taken over the reins since.
Nick Abou Risk was heralded for his victory in the UKIPT Main Event in Edinburgh. Little did anyone know he would go and do it again in Galway only two months after the magazine was published.
The winners photo included the newly crowned European Poker Tour (EPT) champion David Vamplew and a very young looking Max Silver. Both would go on to have tremendous careers. Risk, however, fell by the wayside.
At only 20 years of age, Toby Lewis was featured for his victory at EPT Vilamoura. He was a small, podgy kid, not resembling the fit young man still crushing the game today. And what a final table it was.
Martin Jacobson (2nd) would go on to win the WSOP Main Event for $10m, Sam Trickett (4th) would go on to become the most successful player in British history and Teddy Sheringham (5th) is TEDDY F**KING SHERINGHAM. Despite finishing sixth, Frederik Jensen would win his EPT title in Madrid two years later.
Americans dominated online poker charts. Chris Oliver was the number one ranked player in the world and only Mickey Petersen – who was ranked second – stopped the entire top 10 from being red, white and blue. Chris Moorman was the UK’s number one (some things never change), while Yorane Kerignard held top spot in France (he would later become a WPT champion) and Mike Telker was the hotshot in Canadian online poker.
A little controversy also brewed as a spat between Tom ‘Durrr’ Dwan and a coach from Cardrunners, a man known as Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates, set the poker world alight.
The last sentence in that piece read, “Stay Tuned”.
Well, we’re still waiting.
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