Fresh off his sixth-straight win on PokerGO’s High Stakes Duel, Phil Helmuth is riding quite a wave. Along with 15 World Series of Poker bracelets, the Poker Brat attracts what few poker pros can – product endorsements and sponsorships.
The latest is with BitCoin Latinum, a new cryptocurrency offering. Hellmuth has found partnerships in an industry where adding a major company to the ranks isn’t always easy. He spoke this week with USPoker about his own endorsement deals, the poker industry, cryptocurrency, and more.
Growing number of endorsements
Hellmuth is no stranger to repping companies or products. Not many players are as well-known as Hellmuth. Love him or hate him, the Poker Brat persona draws fan interest.
When it comes to marketing to the poker segment, Hellmuth offers brand awareness not many other players have. His name or mug have appeared on beer cans, online poker sites, and his own brand of apparel.
More recently, Hellmuth has become the face of Brèinfúel. The “cerebral beverage” promises a blend of vitamins to “provide antioxidants to support the brain’s response to caffeine.”
The company has become a regular sponsor of PokerGO events. The idea of a beverage allowing a player to better focus seems appropriate in poker.
Last week, Hellmuth added another brand to his stable – Bitcoin Latinum. Considering so many poker players are involved in cryptocurrency, Hellmuth and Latinum seem a fitting combination.
And when it comes to finding a poker player to get behind, companies could do much worse than Hellmuth. He’s never afraid to sing the praises of his sponsors.
On the most recent High Stakes Duel, Hellmuth started off the match by immediately discussing the new companies he’s involved with. The Poker Brat is quite the pitchman.
Adding a crypto brand
Before signing with Bitcoin Latinum, Hellmuth considered a few crypto deals. His interest in Bitcoin goes back several years, but he unfortunately lost out on some investment advice.
“I’ve been following crypto since my Silicon Valley ‘masters of the universe’ crew told me to buy Bitcoin at $90,” he says. “Then, they pushed it again after it fell to $300. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen. They also told me to buy Apple, Tesla, and Amazon too – and I didn’t listen, oops.”
Bitcoin Latinum’s technology provides faster handling of large transaction volumes, cybersecurity, and digital asset management. Transaction fees are typically priced at $0.10 with a current maximum fee of 1%.
The company is backed with $1 billion in trust assets and completes transactions in seconds to minutes, not days, Hellmuth says.
“I signed with Bitcoin Latinum because I believe the company will make it easier for crypto to be used by everyone on an everyday basis,” he says. “In the future I’ll be able to use Bitcoin Latinum to buy my everyday purchases such as Starbucks coffee. Try doing that with Bitcoin or Ethereum and it’s nearly a $10 fee.”
The company describes itself as the “next generation of Bitcoin.” Additionally, trust assets are constantly increasing as 80% of transaction fees go directly into the trust.
The idea is that a constantly growing trust means constantly growing token value. The Bitcoin Latinum tokens launch in July with an initial value of about $20.
“This is not investment advice, I’m not telling anyone to buy the coin,” Hellmuth says, “but I’m looking forward to watching Bitcoin Latinum list on crypto exchanges all over the world soon.”
Crypto and poker
As any poker Twitter observer can attest, poker players seem infatuated with crypto. Players document the ups, downs, and latest Bitcoin news on a daily basis.
Hellmuth believes it’s a natural reaction to something still fairly new in the financial world. By their very nature as risk takers, he believes, many players find crypto a unique and interesting investment vehicle.
“I think poker players are rebels in the best possible way,” Hellmuth says. “Decentralization is a cool concept, and there is an element of freedom associated with it. Also, poker players don’t mind a little risk.”
Does he foresee a time when crypto could be used as a deposit method for safe, legal online poker? The Poker Hall of Famer certainly believes that’s possible.
“We are one step away from that with the Luxon (a multi-currency payment processor) app wallet,” he says. “Luxon allows you to deposit on and off all poker sites, and will let you buy or sell crypto within the same app.”
Whether that happens or not, Hellmuth doesn’t see the crypto interest among poker players letting up. The poker pro serves on the advisory boards of several companies and likes seeing players branch out in the business world.
“The poker world is super smart and pays attention to cutting-edge technology,” he says. “This is evidenced by so many successful pro players going on to make a fortune in other businesses, including crypto.
“Sinatra said, ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!’ This is apt for pro poker players. I hope that our world continues to crush it outside of poker.”