Lee Davy sits down with Sam Trickett to talk about his car crash, his appearance at the Global Poker Masters, Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, and preparing for the World Series of Poker.
It’s been a tough year for Sam Trickett.
Stitches in a foot wound, and several visits to the hospital for lethargy and flu like symptoms didn’t bode well for a 2014 World Series of Poker (WSOP). Then he parted ways with his long term partner Natasha Sandhu. Add in the fact that he failed to secure a seven figure annual live tournament haul for the first time in five years, and then crashed his Ferrari; it’s time for an upswing.
I caught up with him as he began searching for that upswing at the 46th Annual WSOP. This is what he had to say.
I heard you crashed your Ferrari, what happened?
“I swerved to avoid hitting a fox, and struck a gate. To make things worse, only the airbag in the passenger seat went off. It ripped out all the leather interior, and there wasn’t even anyone sat in the seat.
“I was devastated to be honest. It cost me a fortune, but it’s the inconvenience of the whole thing. And, true to form, the weather was amazing and I wasn’t able to use it. I guess I should look on the bright side. I wasn’t hurt.
“I am always grateful for the opportunity to even drive a Ferrari. I remember where I came from. My life is pretty good and I will never take it for granted. This is especially true when tragedy affects you as it did when Devilfish passed away recently. We were good mates, and had only recently agreed to take a trip to Macau together, when he heard he had got cancer. It happened so quick, so brutal.”
You knew him quite well, what was he like?
“Dave had a big ego and always wanted to be the center of attention when he walked into a building. But he was all heart. I thought he may have had a problem with me after I overtook him in the British rankings, but there was never a hint of jealousy. I think he was always proud of me. We respected each other and got on really well.
“Sometimes he could be a bit much, but in the main he was brilliant. He made everyone laugh. It was a big shock, and one I never saw coming. He partied a lot, but he was always in good shape. He worked out, and always liked to flex his muscles. It wasn’t as if he was dragging his feet.”
Do you have any funny Devilfish stories?
“I remember this one time during a night out in Vegas, Devilfish joined us. As we walked into this club the bouncer asked us all for ID. When he got to Fish he asked him as well.”
“ID?” Said the Fish before shoving his two dusters in his face, “I’m the Fish.”
“He walked straight passed him, and the bouncer didn’t do anything. That was the Fish. He was always the man.
“I went to his funeral. It was a huge turnout and it was a nice send off for him. They played a recording of him singing and playing his guitar, his family said nice things about him, and his wife was great. She was so strong and said some really funny things about him. The one thing you can say about Dave was he lived a full life.
“Death can put things into perspective. I have been working my ass of lately, and I have never felt better. I have been seeing a personal trainer, I have a personal dietician, and I am going into the WSOP in great shape. Even my old injuries are feeling better. Who knows, perhaps I could even play football again?”
So you are looking forward to the series?
“I am really looking forward to the series. The structures are much better. There are more chips in play so it might even be beneficial to go in earlier and try and win some of those deeper stacks off the recreational players. I am focused every year, but last year I was so ill, so lethargic, and so tired all of the time. I really feel like I have turned a corner.”
Have you been playing much poker?
“I got to play the Global Poker Masters. We were the first out, but I thought we played well. The presenters kept asking me if I felt we had gelled as a team, but ultimately you sit down and play individual hands of poker against different players. Poker isn’t a team sport. I don’t think we could have done anything more.
“I really enjoyed it though. I think it’s a positive thing for poker. I also like Alex Dreyfus and think he is very positive for poker. I am well behind everything he is doing. The best players in the world turned up, and the structure was decent. I captained Team Europe to victory at the WSOPE, but this felt even more special.
“I also played EPT Malta, but it was an event I would rather forget about. It’s not often I say this but I really wasn’t on top of my game towards the end. I completely butchered my exit hand. I have no excuse. I have looked back on it and don’t have a clue what I was doing. It’s one to forget about that’s for sure.
“I am looking forward to playing in the Super High Roller Bowl this summer. I love the big buy-in events. I always play my best poker in them. With the One Drop absent this year, the Super High Roller Bowl will do well. There’s no rake either, so that makes it even better.”