Saar Wilf is no stranger to finance, having a long history built on both his success as a poker player and as a tech entrepreneur. As development into his digital payment system of Q builds momentum, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at who Saar Wilf is, how Q looks to be shaping up, and touch on other figures from the world of competitive poker who have made similar moves into the tech world.
The History of Saar Wilf
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wilf was no stranger to pressure as a youth. Having served in the Israeli military, Wilf played his part well, learning the importance of structure and discipline. Following his completion of service, Wilf looked for new opportunities to branch out, combining his vision for the future with his interest in finance and security. With this in mind, he co-founded Fraud Science Corp, a business dedicated to the use of profiling methods to detect cases of fraudulent transactions. This venture proved so successful that it was bought by PayPal, earning Wilf a great deal of profit and a place as an active investor.
Just one of the innovations adopted by Paypal
With time to spare, Wilf looked to his passion for gaming as a way to enjoy his newfound wealth. As far back as 2009, he saw considerable success as a poker player, earning 11th place in the 40th World Series of Poker with No-Limit Hold’em. Playing both in person and online poker, Wilf not only gained a further appreciation for the art of competition, he saw opportunity in the way in which online casino games operated. Available on mobile and desktop devices, these poker games also included heavy security measures and a variety of payment methods like PayPal and Neteller, which helped inspire Wilf to think about digital currency as a whole and the part which his knowledge and experience could play in shaping the future of this industry.
Knowing this, he went on to create the idea of Q, though his passion for poker remained. While Wilf doesn’t have the time to play as much as he used to, he is still heavily active in the competitive poker scene to this day, and still performs at the highest level.
What is Q?
The current world of digital finance is broad, but it is also often confusing and frustrating. Wilf saw the issues here, specifically annoyed with a lack of openness and the inability to communicate with recipients of online transactions. There are of course many digital finance systems which operate with these areas as cornerstones, such as the many forms of cryptocurrency, but Wilf wanted some more official, more trustworthy, and more helpful to the common man.
With this in mind, Wilf looked to the market and started to consider the inspirations from which he could draw. Of all those different payment methods, he had considered credit cards like Visa to be the form most useful, and the best to emulate. As he looked at this system, he saw it was not without its faults, especially in the additional cost which the consumer would accrue while using this digital payment option.
Credit cards may hold the key to future of Q
Wilf’s invention of Q would reduce these fees, offering a system which was not only just as flexible, but one which was better for the safety and satisfaction of the end user. The kicker, he says, is that in order to become successful, it is necessary to launch with a high level of support, rather than slowly trickle in business over time. Because of this, since June of 2018, Wilf has been building backing customers, with a few hundred thousand already signed up and number constantly growing. Here Wilf credits his success so far from two major means – the viral advertising campaign, and the willingness of a market largely untapped in this particular fashion. People wanted something which improves the old and gives them something new, said Wilf, and that is exactly what he wanted to build.
The Bridge of Poker and Tech
Wilf is far from the only personality in poker who has made strides into the world of technology and with good reason. As World Series of Poker champion Phil Hellmuth says “In general, great businessmen are great poker players. There’s a reason these guys made so much money in the real world. Those skills translate to poker.” This is not a connection which forms in just one direction, as the ability to read people seemingly translates smoothly into reading market trends and predicting a path of future growth and success.
Phil Hellmuth stands (or sits) as one of the biggest names ever in poker
Hellmuth himself is no stranger to the world of technology, playing a key part in the creation of the software used for UltimateBet, and even lending his expertise to help create his own mobile app in Texas Hold’em by Phil Hellmuth. As it turns out, the combination of professional players with gaming tech would prove to be a popular path, with others like World Poker Tour Champion Daniel Negreanu even entering the world of streaming with Blizzard game Hearthstone.
Less targeted in their business adaption of direct poker or online card games, there are others like Bill Perkins who go after the world of technology with a different tack. Operating out of Houston, Texas, Perkins founded the venture capitalist company Small Ventures. Among the success stories to come out of this firm comes the online marketing platform AdPerk, which aims to better adapt online advertisements to the individual user.
Not Just a Bluff
The success of many professional poker players into the world of technology has shown us that there are not just projects of ego, but rather the creations of flexible mind noticing underutilized factors of existing technological markets. As the youth of today become more involved with technology as an inescapable part of modern life and grow more involved with professional gaming due to the convenience of systems like online poker, it is only natural that this relationship should grow stronger in the future. We can’t say for sure how developments like Wilf’s Q will turn out, but we know enough to not bet against them.