Another chapter in Humberto Brenes' life is looming on the horizon as he confirms his departure from Team PokerStars Pro Latin America.
In an exclusive report Brenes told PokerNews.com the reasons his run as a Team PokerStars Pro came to an end. For the past eight years Brenes has been a member of the renowned group of professional players sponsored by PokerStars — his contract came to an end on July 31st.
"My contract with PokerStars ended in late July and it was not renewed," Brenes said. "This decision was made through mutual agreement between the parties. The terms of the renewal were not suited for the company or for myself, so we decided to end the relationship."
"I have many friends at PokerStars," Brenes went on to say. "The same owners and some employees, who through the years we have created a good friendship, I even went to have dinner with a few weeks ago and we talked about this matter. This was not a surprise. It had been discussed. I'm very grateful with the owners, peaceful, happy, and very pleased to have been part of this company for many years. There was no insistence of a renewal by either parties, and I think we came up with a good deal at the right time."
"The Shark" is widely recognized throughout the poker world — Brenes has a card protector on his chips when he plays live poker of a shark...dorsal fin up — and he understands business decisions being an entrepreneur himself. "PokerStars is renowned in the poker scene, which hoards most of the global market and is prestigiously recognized worldwide," he commented. "Its new management approach goes beyond poker. They had to make strategic decisions, and I think in my case this came at a good time."
PokerNews.com asked Brenes if he thought other players would be leaving Team PokerStars Pro and he said, "The matter should be treated carefully, especially with Latin American players since the focus of the company will not be only poker. The amount of sponsored players could be reduced, but that's up to the new administration. I don’t see it possible that the company could hire new faces for the team."
Brenes said he felt that decisions made at the commercial level would not influence the operation center that PokerStars has in Costa Rica. "I'm glad that the decisions of the new owners of the company will not impact staff based in Costa Rica," he said. "I have many friends there, and they are almost 300 people working at that office. It will remain working with the same conditions."
Representing PokerStars, both in the Latin American region and across the globe, Brenes is a two-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner and has been a familiar face in the world of poker through a long history of his association with tournament and live play. He has $6.1 million in career live tournament earnings and stacked up a variety of results outside of the WSOP: The $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold'em Championship at the Third Annual Jack Binion World Poker Open in Tunica in 2002 gave Brenes a first-place prize of $502,460. He is the number one all-time money earner in Costa Rica — outdistancing his closest competition by $5 million.
"I was in Panama last week in a tournament and then went back to Costa Rica," Brenes said as his life continues to move forward. "I've been resting and having time with my family, especially my children. One of my sons has already been incorporated into our company working as an engineer, and the other two are close to graduate. My daughter will graduate this year, and I'm happy to be around to support her. My other son is studying economics and he also will incorporate to the company."
Brenes won't drop out of the poker world as evidenced by his statement to PokerNews.com: "I will continue playing poker. This is my hobby, and when you have a hobby you do it because you like it. I also have many friends in the poker scene, and I intend to continue sharing good times and tables with them. By December, I'll travel less than usual and participate only in a few tournaments so that I can dedicate more time to my family."
Brenes talked about goals he would like to achieve in poker. "Among my goals, I want to reach 100 cashes in the WSOP. Today, I have about 80 and want to win one more bracelet to add three to my achievements because I have three children and I would inherit one to each of them. You will see me next summer in Las Vegas for two months to participate in various tournaments of the 2015 World Series of Poker and probably in the Bahamas in January for the tournament organized by PokerStars."
Image courtesy of PokerStars.