The rumour mill is abuzz this week in the poker world with word spreading that Phil Hellmuth and long-time sponsors Ultimate Bet (UB.com) are set to part ways. The black and gold of UB has become synonymous with Hellmuth over the years but recently he was spotted at the NAPT Bounty Shootout not wearing a UB patch.
According to reports Hellmuth and the Cereus Network are currently in conflict over a number of issues. With the UB poker team recently expanding their live professional team with the addition of Maria Ho, the developments with Hellmuth have come from nowhere.
While nothing has been confirmed at this stage, there is already speculation about which other online rooms would be a good fit as a sponsor of the ‘Poker Brat’. Ever opinionated, PokerNews godfather Tony G doesn’t see a big market of sponsors lining up for Hellmuth.
In a recent blog Tony G wrote, “Where might he go? Full Tilt no, he couldn’t handle being part of a team – there’s no ‘I’ in team Phil. As a player he is the definition of Full Tilt and by that I don’t mean the site or team – he’s on life tilt, let’s hope the mind coach has worked” wrote the G.
“Could he come to PartyPoker.com – not unless he wanted to join Team Party as my dog walker! bwin – the name of this sponsor has the word ‘win’ in it Phil so it couldn’t be them,” added the G.
Tony G also ruled out PokerStars and PokerNews.com in his blog which you can read here.
Despite the light-hearted nature of Tony G’s blog, it does raise the question of who would be in the market to pick up the eleven-time bracelet winner if he does become a free agent. This could become a big sweepstakes like LeBron James recently in the NBA. Actually just like LeBron, Phil hasn’t won anything lately either.
Another possibility for Hellmuth is to start his own skin on one of the established networks. PokerBrat Poker could make a run at PokerStars’ reputation as the home of the world champions by signing other former Main Event champions and poker luminaries like Jamie Gold, Darvin Moon, and possibly coaxing Peter Eastgate out of retirement. Between that team they would have a whopping 14 WSOP bracelets and four WSOP Main Event titles.
Whatever the case is, this is sure to be a big breaking story and one to monitor with more to be revealed in the coming weeks.
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