Humberto Brenes confirms that nice guys don’t always finish last: although he is one of the most charismatic and popular players on the poker circuit, his tournament record over the last two decades has been more than impressive. Year in and year out, Humberto has cashed in many tournaments; in fact, this skillful professional poker player has placed in the money at major tournaments over 40 times.
He was born on May 8, 1951 in Costa Rica, where Humberto learned to play poker by watching his father play with friends. Brenes eventually became an accomplished poker player but he decided to pursue a different goal and he attended the University of Costa Rica, where he earned a degree in industrial engineering.
His next career move was building successful businesses in Costa Rica. Throughout the years, Humberto has owned an Univision television station, a construction company and many restaurants. He always insists that he is not a professional poker player, but rahter that poker is a hobby: his main source of income is Nueces Industriales, his peanut and legume company in Costa Rica.
Brenes already had a deep understanding of the odds when he started his career as a baccarat player. Before long, he switched to poker and was easily able to defeat the tourists who visited the casinos of the Bahamas. Some angry opponents challenged him by saying that he could not beat the professionals; soon enough, Humberto started playing in professional poker tournaments and he proved his detractors wrong when he placed fourth in his first major tournament.
Humberto has two World Series of Poker bracelets and he is known as “The Godfather of Costa Rican poker players.” He played his first World Series of Poker event in 1987 and he won his bracelets in the $2,500 Limit Hold’em and $2,500 Omaha Pot Limit events at the 1993 World Series of Poker. Over the years, Humberto has made final tables consistently, placing second and third on many occasions.
At the 2006 World Series of Poker, Humberto finished in the money in eight events, including a 36th place finish in the Main Event. Brenes recently placed 17th in the €1,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the 2006 Barcelona Open and 5th in the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Championship in Las Vegas. Humberto acts as a spokesman for PokerStars and he lives in San Jose, Costa Rica with his wife Patricia; the couple has three children. Humberto Brenes might be an entertaining opponent but the poker skills of this Costa Rican mark him as one of the best poker players in the world.