What the Poker Hall of Fame means to me
You may not have heard, but recently I was nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame. I'm one of ten finalists and the first to ever come from Latin America!
I can't begin to describe what a huge validation this is for my poker career. The nomination means that I've succeeded, throughout my whole career, at the game itself and at portraying a positive image for poker. I can honestly say that for me, being a great ambassador for the poker community is more important than winning any tournament.
To me the Hall of Fame is a mark of a lifetime of achievement. Anybody that applies themselves for eight consecutive days, knows about the game, and presents themselves well, can win the World Series of Poker Main Event and be a great ambassador for poker. But being nominated for the Hall of Fame signifies that the poker community believes that I've succeeded at being a great player and a great ambassador over my whole career.
Think about how challenging that is! We're not talking about a year or two. We're talking about 25 or 30 years of proving myself, day in and day out, as a great player at the table and a great ambassador away from it. Doing the right thing. Portraying the image that poker is a fair, clean game and that I'm a responsible member of its community.
The fact that I'm the first Latin American player to receive this honor makes it even more special. I love poker and I love Latin America. That's why I've tried to participate in almost all of the live events in Latin America - not only the PokerStars live events but also the other big buy-in live events in the region. This nomination proves that players from the region recognize and respect my talents and ambassadorship of the game.
Prior to being nominated, I would have been overjoyed with all of my previous accomplishments as a poker player and with helping to grow the game in Latin America.
But now that I know that being elected to the Hall of Fame is a possibility for me, now that I know that I'm so close to achieving an honor that so few players have ever achieved, it's difficult for me to think the same way about my career.
Does it mean my career is a failure if I'm never elected to the Hall of Fame? Of course not! But when you're as close as I am, anybody would feel disappointed if they don't get in.
Humberto Brenes is a member of Team PokerStars Pro