Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | Poker Personalities

Misconceptions About Poker Agents: An Interview With Eric Brewstein

Share this
When I went to law school, I wanted to be the next Jerry Maguire. It was my dream to represent athletes, musicians, actors, and anyone else in the entertainment industry. Poker took over my life and I kind of forgot all about those aspirations. As I've worked in the poker world the last few years though, I've had the opportunity to witness first hand some people that are relatively unknown to the large majority... the poker agent. Agents probably get a worse rap than they should. It's probably because a lot of what they do reminds people of a used car salesman. They stand off on the sidelines waiting to pounce on a poker player and offer them their best sales pitch and the competition for a player (especially one at the Main Event) can be cut throat.

I know many members of the media have a bad taste in their mouth for agents. I, on the other hand, can see their value. While it's true that a poker player can probably make a deal with an online site to get a patch to wear at a TV table, what the poker player doesn't have is the resources to first find the person that can get this deal done for them, and usually the time or energy to get the deal done. This is where the agent can come in and save them time, as well as get them the best possible deal through negotiations. Having been to law school... I get this. I also get the perception that agents seem a little shady, so I figured I'd talk with one of the agents I know well, Eric Brewstein of No Limit Management, and let him present a little of his story.

Pokerworks: How did you get into the poker industry?

Eric Brewstein:
It was kind of a fluke. I was in Miami and I was having lunch with a friend. I overheard a couple of girls talking about poker. Me being the shy one I am (he laughs as he says this), I engage them and start talking to them a little bit and it ended up being Vanessa Rousso. She was only playing $500 and $1,500 buy in tournaments at the time. We hit it off, establish a rapport and friendship, and she came to Atlantic City and we both played a $500 buy in and neither one of us cashed. I took a third of her in a $1,500 event at Harrah's where she took 5th for $17,000. From there, we kind of started the business relationship. She then sold pieces of herself to the 25K Bellagio event and I had a small piece, she bubbled the final table... her Ace King against Van Alstyne's Ace Jack... she started a conversation with PokerStars then.

She went to Borgata a few weeks later and won a 5K event for $283,000. At that point, we said hey it'd make sense to take on a manager/agent. She had a friend working with her as well, Brent Sibley, and he and I kind of tag teamed for a bit. He was still in law school in Miami and slowly over time I increased my role and relationship with Vanessa. We got some good TV exposure for her and some other deals. When we got to the World Series, we got an in kind deal with Corum for Chad Brown and Vanessa, and other players like Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, and David Williams whom we don't represent but were able to secure deals with Corum. That's kind of how it all got started.

Pokerworks: So after that was it like word of mouth that brought you more clients or did you start actively seeking them?

Eric Brewstein:
To date, we have never solicited a client to come on board with our roster. Every person that is with us has come to us at some point and asked us if we could add value and help them in their lives and careers. It's been a methodical, slow growth.

Pokerworks: You're not Vanessa's agent any more, what happened there?

Eric Brewstein:
Different times. As our careers each started growing, we realized that the time and energy that I would need and the expectations that she would need just wouldn't meet. We're still good friends but from a business perspective it didn't make sense any longer. It's been over two years now since we've been separated.

Pokerworks: What would you say has been your biggest problem as an agency?

Eric Brewstein:
Making sure that we didn't grow too quick and not be able to do something for a client that we have on our roster. We've really tried to maintain a boutique mindset to ensure that we don't have overlap with our clients so that someone is not passed over for someone else and just keeping everyone happy. We've gone from one, to three, to five, and now thirteen clients. We're not looking for every poker player, we're looking for the right complement that we can bring good value to in their careers and lives.

Pokerworks: What would you say is the craziest agent story you have?

Eric Brewstein:
I don't like naming names and there's nothing insanely crazy that I've seen but there is one agent who has been known to solicit people while they are in the men's room (laughs).

Pokerworks: You've recently brought on an Australian chap, Cam, to help you out. How's that been working for you?

Eric Brewstein:
It's been great. Cam has been a tremendous asset, especially in the marketing and promotional department. There's only so much one guy can do and having him on board really allows us to provide exceptional service to our clients.

Pokerworks: A lot of people, especially in the media, think that poker agents are sleazy and kind of shady. What's your response to that?

Eric Brewstein:
The anecdotal one is someone said, “Oh you're that agent a**hole!” and my response is, “Everyone needs an a**hole, but no one likes being constipated.”

I think that agents roles are sometimes misconstrued. People think we always have a hidden agenda and that we're angle shooting but that's not the case. Especially in this industry as small as it is, you really have to tread cautiously. If you sh** on someone the wrong way, it's going to get out. That's why you have to maintain integrity and just walk slow. That's something I've had to learn moving from telecom which is a very aggressive sales process into the agency brokering deals with the sites and players which is more personality oriented. I think we get a bad rap. I think there are some good guys, some friendlies out there, and I try and put my arms around my competitors rather than stiff arming them away, that way we can align when we need to bring value to the players and the poker industry.

Pokerworks: Thanks for your time Eric, now go get some of those patch deals!

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed