2007 World Series: The Official Nut

"Wait, wait. See," he said, digging in his pocket.

Humberto Brenes is an imposing man. He stand tall, wide in the shoulders, and has a face that--if it weren't always smiling--could be fierce. With a tip of the hat to Dr. David Banner, I wouldn't like to see him angry.

Brenes' hand came flying from his pocket and suddenly a red light was in my face. It shot directly from the mouth of a bite-sized shark.

"It's Super Shark 07," Brenes said, his smile growing ever larger. In a half a second, he'd pulled another shark from his right pocket. "This was 06." And then the red light again. "Super Shark 07."


Today arrived with the news that the World Series has dubbed Planters as the official nut of the WSOP. Mr. Peanut can now be found printed on every baize around the room, his monocle an ever-peering eye into the poker player's soul.

Brenes has become pretty well-known for his table antics. The shark is just part of his shtick. In fact, he's more than just a Costa Rican with flair. He's a poker champion with whom people should be careful not to trifle--especially if you're playing Omaha.

Long thought a game mastered more by Europeans, the Costa Rican has made the game his. Now in his mid-50s, Brenes is no doubt the best known player from his country. Nowhere near Europe, and a long way from Omaha, Brenes already holds one World Series Omaha bracelet and he's aiming to pick up another one this week.

As I type, Brenes sits at the final four tables of yesterday's $5,000 PLO re-buy event. There's still a long way to go, but Brenes is making his way just fine. Still, as the field was star-studded, he has some competition.

Looking forward, I think if Planters ever decides to give up its sponsorship of the World Series, Brenes has a real chance to taking over the important role of the World Series Official Nut.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in