David “Raptor” Benefield has not the easiest run to the "unofficial" final table of the WSOP Main Event. He finished Day 6 at the bottom of the chips counts in 27th with only 1.84 million. He now currently sits in ninth with 8.6 million, while still attempting to make to the November Nine.
We caught up with Benefield during the recent break to discuss his “bad call” in the last level, his evolution in poker, and his sentiments toward making the November Nine.
It was a bluff catcher. I didn’t really think he had a strong hand. There were two flush draws on the turn and they both missed. He was an aggressive player who I thought was capable of bluffing in that spot. He may still be capable but he happened to have top pair. It just didn’t turn out to be a good call. It was a wrong spot for me to pick and I realize that now.
You finished 73rd in the 2008 Main Event. How has your game evolved since then?
I was arguably better relative to the field back then. I played a lot more no-limit hold’em cash games and no-limit hold’em tournaments during that point in my life. I don’t really play that much poker anymore, in general. Even so, I primarily play pot-limit Omaha now. I think in a tournament like this it takes a lot of luck in addition to skill. I’m just running insanely well and trying to make good decisions.
Last night you finished Day 6 in 27th place, last in the chip counts. What was your mentality going into the start of Day 7?
There was absolutely no pressure. I was in last place. I didn’t feel I had to prove anything. I just wanted to get my money in good and get lucky a few times. So far so good, and hopefully that continues.
You mentioned there was no pressure. How important is it to you then to make the final table?
I think it is every poker player’s dream to make the final table of the WSOP Main Event. I really hope I do. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t. I think it’s still a pretty good payday at the end of the day either way. But it is something I want and it’s something I’m trying really hard to do.