by Joseph Smith Sr.
David Benefield will forever remember earning poker’s most coveted short stack seat at the WSOP Main Event final table. He fills the ninth spot on the chip leader board with T6,375,000, last among the November Nine. Hailing from Arlington, Texas, the 27-year-old poker pro learned the game when he was 16 years old. He dropped out of college and has been playing poker online and live for the past 9 years after his natural affinity for the game provided early success.
He has racked up more than $6 million in winnings, including online poker, where he currently plays as ‘Raptor’. Benefield’s WSOP career record reveals 12 cashes, 3 final tables, 0 bracelets, and $455,713 in cash. Even though he announced in 2009 he would be stepping away from poker to return to college and complete class work for his degree, his play record is quite impressive.
Benefield didn’t totally quit poker, but he did limit the number of events he played. His career numbers for money won is more than $600,000 for live play, and in excess of $5 million online.
As a member of the Full Tilt Poker ‘Red Pro’ crew in 2008, David Benefield became a ‘Team Card Runners’ coach when FTP partnered with CardRunners.com. He finished 2nd in the Full Tilt Poker $25,000 Heads-Up Championship playing under the online name of ‘Aeron73’ to win $315,000. Benefield has regularly played in the highest limit games, live and online, since turning 18-years-old, and his game of choice is Pot Limit Omaha. He once lost more than $600,000 in a few hours playing $500/$1500 limit in 2010, then came back to win a quarter of a million dollars a short time later. Like most young, aggressive pro poker players Benefield handles the pressure of these monstrous monetary swings without breaking a sweat.
The 2013 WSOP Main Event is not his first cash in the time honored WSOP. In 2008 he finished 73rd in the Main Event to cash for $77,200. The same year, he also finished 13th in Event #1 bagging $41,360 and then took down another $53,721 when he finished 10th in Event 50.
What will it take for David Benefield to win this WSOP Main Event? Some card luck with a good flop early in the play day and a double-up or two is definitely in order. Slightly less than 30 minutes remain in Level 35 and the T650,000 per orbit blinds and antes can quickly deplete his short stack. The total per orbit will increase to T1,050,00 once Level 36 is reached so Benefield will need to play aggressively, avoid mistakes, and protect his remaining chips. He certainly has the experience and has demonstrated the maturity and discipline to make the right decisions without regard to the inherent pressures from his short stack position.
He entered Day 7 of the 2013 WSOP Main Event as the short stack among the 27 remaining players. Benefield then built his chips up to almost 15.5 million before going card dead late in the day and falling back to his current 6,375,000 million in checks.
David Benefield’s position at the November final table will be the 8 seat. He will be sitting between chip leader, J.C. Tran with 38 million, in the 7 Seat and 4th on the chip leader board, Jay Farber with 25.975 million, in the 9 Seat. David Benefield will have to strike quickly before the blinds and antes reduce them his to memories. Given a little good luck to go along with his proven poker skills and David Benefield can become a contender from poker’s most coveted short stack seat.