It may be self-styled but few can argue with Humberto Brenes’ nickname ‘Godfather of Costa Rican poker’. Humberto was an industrial engineer and used his entrepreneurial spirit to have a hand in various businesses including hotels, construction, restaurants, food export, real estate and also a TV channel. Yet despite all this Humberto’s big money came from his time at the poker table.
Card games were something passed on to Humberto from a young age by his father and playing in casinos in the Bahamas it was in Baccarat that Humberto found success. But poker was becoming the popular game and Humberto switched to it successfully, shown in the fact that today Humberto stands as among the highest earning players in poker history. Easy to spot thanks to bright clothing, antics at the table and a shark card protector, Humberto is a fan favourite. But despite the noise Humberto is regarded by peers as one of the game’s best players and his career spans two decades, successful particularly at the World Series where he first met success in 1988, finishing 4th in the Main Event for $77,000. That was one of over 40 WSOP* cash finishes, putting Humberto in the top ten of players with the most cash finishes at the World Series. In 1993 Humberto won a total of $277,000 but more importantly within that were two gold bracelets won in the $2,500 Limit Hold’em and $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha events. His WPT record is also mighty, with four appearances at final tables and cash finishes worth $1,735,780.
Humberto is equally known for the generosity he shows in his native Costa Rica and to the people there. While he spends time seeing to his business interests he also finds time to teach family members how to play poker. He is also part of a Costa Rican project aimed at protecting local shark populations in the area.
Humberto is one of poker’s icons having been in the game in the old days of poker and the newer era of multi-million dollar tournaments. As a member of Team PokerStars Pro he plays under the name ‘Humberto B.’.
|1989 WSOP $5,000 Seven Card Stud||May 1989||3rd||$38,500|
|1992 WSOP $2,500 No Limit Hold’em||May 1992||2nd||$96,000|
|1993 WSOP $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha||May 1993||1st||$128,000|
|1993 WSOP $2,500 Limit Hold’em||May 1993||1st||$149,000|
|1995 WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold’em||May 1995||2nd||$134,550|
|1999 WSOP $3,000 Limit Hold’em||May 1999||2nd||$101,400|
|Jack Binion World Poker Open||January 2002||1st||$502,460|
|WPT World Poker Finals||November 2004||3rd||$636,930|
|WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic||December 2004||2nd||$923,475|