Berman grew up in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota where he was graduated in 1964 with a degree in business administration. He then went to work for his father's leather business, Berman Buckskin. When the business was sold to W. R. Grace in 1979, he stayed on as president and CEO. The company was then later sold to the Melville Corporation where it became Wilsons Leather. From 1994 to 2000 he was the chairman and CEO of the Rainforest Cafe chain of restaurants and retail stores.
Although he prefers high-stakes cash games, he has as of 2009 won over $2,500,000 in live poker tournaments. His 16 cashes at the WSOP account for $1,446,317 of those winnings. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.