Who is November Nine's David “Raptor” Benefield?August 1, 2013 2:10 pm
Texan David Benefield is an internet poker legend having amassed over $5 million playing tournaments online under the screen name “Raptor.” Although the 27 year-old Texan’s live tournament results may not have been quite as impressive at just $633,243, having made it to the final table of the 2013 WSOP Main Event, Benefield’s live results are about to bridge that gap in a big way. Already, he is guaranteed a minimum payout of $733,224, but if he was able to overcome his short stack and win the prestigious tournament, he could find his live earnings given a massive $8,359,531 boost.
However, the Texan’s recorded earnings do little justice to the millions he has also won from playing cash games over the years and at his peak Benefield said he would win around $10,000 per hour playing $2/$4 and $3/$6 PLO and NL heads-up games.
Neverthless, David Benefield is also experienced playing at some of the highest stakes and recounting one of his favourite poker moments, explained: “My first time playing in Bobby’s room I was playing $500/$1k PLO (2007ish). This was way higher than I had ever played before..I won a 200k pot in the first orbit, then Bobby showed up and forced my hit and run. I would have stuck around a while, but honestly I felt really great about the run good and was happy to lock up the win.”
Despite his incredible poker success, Benefield remains driven to pursue other avenues of interest and after the former CardRunners instructor confessed in 2008 to having made a “ton of money” and setting himself up for life, Benefield still recognised he needed to achieve greater fulfilment in his life, and so started working on some lifestyle changes.
These included studying philosophy and literature at St. John’s College in New Mexico, before transferring to Colombia University, where he currently studies Chinese and political science. Not surprisingly, the part-time student has also taken time to travel to China, where he has also taken part in Macau’s ‘Big Game,’ in which only the very wealthiest or the very best compete.
Come November, David “Raptor” Benefield may be entering the WSOP Main Event in 9th place but if he manages to get off to a good start he will have an enormous store of poker skill and experience to draw upon, that could eventually see him forever immortalised in poker history.