Humberto Brenes

Humberto Brenes, a professional poker player, is known both for his accomplishments on the felt and his lively personality. He has two World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets to his credit. Brenes’ has had 60 money finishes at the WSOP, and earnings from it amount to over $2,000,000. Brenes’ total earnings from playing poker professionally come up to nearly $5,300,000. He is fondly called the Godfather of Costa Rican Poker. In addition to playing at live poker tournaments, he also plays at PokerStars, as a pro member. When he plays here, he uses the screen name ‘HumbertoB’. brenes

Brenes’ Skills with Baccarat, Craps and Poker

Brenes started playing poker when he was seven years old. As a child, he learned other card games too, like baccarat, by watching his father play socially. Brenes eventually became a skilled card player who could play a variety of these games. In addition to playing, he also earned an industrial engineering degree. It was during this time that he developed an interest in establishing different businesses in Costa Rica. Some of the business areas he has ventured into are those of real estate, restaurants, construction and food export among other ventures.

Prior to playing poker, Brenes played at several craps tournaments and excelled in them. In a tournament held at a resort in the Bahamas, he won more than $300,000. However, with poker gaining more popularity, he started honing his skills in it. Brenes’ transition from being a baccarat and craps player to a poker player was quite smooth, as he had sufficient practice playing the latter. He took up poker professionally, as he had the skills required for it. Years after having stepped into the professional poker circuit, Brenes is one of the players with the highest earnings.

Playing at the WSOP, WPT and Other Tournaments

The first WSOP tournament Brenes participated in was in 1987. It was a No-Limit Hold’em World Championship with a $10,000 buy-in. He placed 14th in this event and took back his first WSOP earnings of $12,500. The following years saw Brenes visit the tournament on a regular basis. It was in 1993 that Brenes took home his first WSOP bracelet in a Pot-Limit Omaha Event with a $2,500 buy-in. The next bracelet came a month later when he played in the Limit Hold’em event featuring a $2,500 buy-in. Brenes earned over $120,000 and $149,000 from the first and second events respectively.

In 2002, Brenes participated in the Jack Binion World Poker Open in which he came first. In this, he played against Erik Seidel, one of the top poker professionals in the world poker circuit. In this, he played in the No-Limit Texas Hold’em Championship, and earned $500,000. Brenes is yet to match his spectacular streak of wins at the felt, in tournaments after 2002. Nevertheless, he has had some memorable near misses and wins in a few tournaments. One such was his massive $330,000 win when he came in 36th in a field of players exceeding 8,770 in a No-Limit Texas Hold’em Championship event with a $10,000 buy-in. At this WSOP event, Brenes tied with Phil Hellmuth Jr. for having the most number of money finishes that year, making it a memorable year for both Brenes and his fans. In 2007, he took back $82,476 when he placed 83rd in a No Limit Hold’em Main Event Championship. In this, he played in a field of more than 6,350 players. His elimination in this event was due to the layout of cards on the board. Holding an ace of hearts and king of hearts, Brenes went all-in. He was bested when Hevad Khan, a professional poker player, called with his pocket aces, of which one was a spade, on a board with four cards with spades.

Interesting Facts

Brenes is an extremely charismatic player who the media is extremely fond of. He can easily be recognized at any table, as his bright and vivid tracks set him apart from other players. Brenes is well-known for the open mouthed shark card protectors he uses when playing the game. Sometimes, he sings at the table when the cards are being dealt. All these make Brenes extremely popular with both his peers and fans.

When he has time to spare, Brenes visits Costa Rica, and does what he can to help those in need there. Brenes is currently associated with a project that helps save sharks in Costa Rica. He also attends to his business empire and teaches his family the nuances of poker.


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