David Benefield, known better in the online poker community as "Raptor," will be sitting on the shortest stack heading into the November Nine with 6.375 (16 blinds) million in chips. Despite this fact, Benefield's experience on both the virtual and live felt will make him a worthy adversary to the other eight competitors who are looking to be crowned world champion.
In fact, Benefield's quest from Day 7 up through the November Nine was one that was filled with picking spots and playing the short stack to his benefit.
“I just kept winning hands and staying alive,” said Benefield. “I was the short stack going into Day 7 and I’m the short stack going into the final table. I’ve just kind of progressively been staying alive each level.”
Perhaps his success has come from the fact that this is territory that he’s explored before. Benefield made a solid run at the Main Event in 2008 where he ultimately finished in 73rd place for $77,200.
"My deep run was, I guess, about five years ago, and I got 72nd? 73rd? Something like that,
Benefield said. "I was pretty certain that was the deepest I’d ever get. There’s just so many people that play you have to get so lucky to get this far."
Benefield hails from Forth Worth, Texas and began playing online poker during his senior year of high school. After finding much of his freshman year of college consumed with grinding online as well as underground live cash games, Benefield opted to drop out of school after just one semester. Despite successfully grinding his bankroll up, he ultimately found himself nearly broke and longing for a social life. Benefield then enrolled back in school but found himself doing more partying than studying. Eventually, he returned to the game he knew so well and began grinding once again.
Although he was not old enough to participate, Benefield took to the 2006 World Series of Poker where he spent the summer living in the "Ship It Holla Balla Mansion," a place rented by some of the best online young guns around. Benefield used his time this summer to increase his bankroll and solidify his place as one of the best Internet players around.
Prior to his finish in the November Nine, Benefield racked up a total of 12 cashes at the WSOP including his 2008 Main Event run and an eighth-place finish in the €50,000 No Limit Hold'em — Majestic Roller at the 2012 WSOP Europe.
Benefield has been active post-2013 WSOP as well, making numerous final tables at high roller events around the world. Benefield had a successful trip to the EPT Barcelona where he finished fifth place in the €50,000 Super High Roller for €208,150 ($278,439). He immediately followed that up with a 110th-place cash in the Main Event and he capped off his trip with an eighth-place finish in the €10,000 High Roller for €47,850 ($64,008). Benefield continued his high-roller consistency at EPT London where a seventh-place finish in the £50,000 High Roller earned him a payday of £139,600 ($226,348).
The 2013 WSOP Main Event final table will take place starting Monday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. Las Vegas time, and you can follow all of the live, hand-for-hand coverage right here at PokerNews.com.