The Session: David "raptor" Benefield Part 2

Find More Posts by One1. Nobody is going to want to finish ninth, and with Kelly Kim having only 10BB the bigger stacks have a huge edge in that regard. Find the best poker sites to start your online poker quest. Raptor said the poker break was partly due to his commitment to coaching high school baseball, of all reasons. Raptor's Blog entry Quote: Send a private message to SoulPower.

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Highly sought-after high-stakes CardRunners coach. Well-read and controversial blogger. Famous former housemate of Tom "durrrr" Dwan. If not for a sick beat deep in this year's personal CardRunners blog - has made more than a few waves in the poker forums over the last few years.

The result has been a heavily warped image of Benefield as a somewhat petulant kid with little appreciation for the old guard that paved the way for his online poker success. That image, of course, couldn't be further from the truth. Grounded, thoughtful and just plain smarter than most, at only 22 years old David "raptor" Benefield has accomplished more in poker than most of us will in a lifetime - and set himself up financially for the rest of his own in the process.

Benefield graciously took the time to chat with PokerListings. For the people that don't know about it, can you give a brief synopsis of your poker career thus far? I did well there. When I was 18 I made the switch to online sit-and-gos. I had dabbled in cash games but never got serious about it and then I finally made the switch full time to cash 2. So most of my attention goes to PLO. It's where NL was at years ago - nobody really knows how to play it properly. Also, it is much easier to trick yourself into believing you are good at than NL [is].

The variance is so sick it's not that hard to run up buy-ins just running hot. There are so many spots that you can pretty much turn into coin flips. I mean there are ways to play hands where you increase variance and bring everything close to the middle as far as EV goes, but ultimately you will never gain an edge playing that way. If you continuation bet that, get check-raised, and then just shove all-in with the No-Limit mindset of " Oh, I am a favorite vs.

Well, that is partially true, but you can also be crushed. Did poker always come naturally to you and what was your biggest obstacle to overcome? To be honest, poker always came relatively easily for me. As far as obstacles I honestly have had a pretty smooth ride. I've never gone broke or even been close. I have always been a bit of a bankroll nit and always game selected whenever I took shots or played extra-high stakes.

I guess my biggest obstacle was not letting downswings affect my nonpoker life. Well, not really take it out on them, but just not be as friendly in general.

A lot of times I just wouldn't go out or hang with friends because I was pissy about a loss or if I had plans that night I just wouldn't play during the day because I knew that if I lost I would be shitty company. The biggest fix to that was I guess just having more money, where the day-to-day swings don't really matter that much.

Also time, meditation and experience really all help. I still get a little upset when I have a really bad day. But I am tons better than I used to be. I think it's mostly just experience. Poker isn't real life; it's a fantasy world.

With all of your success how do you manage to stay grounded at such a young age? I guess it's a "product of your environment" thing: I mean some guys will go out and buy ridiculous diamond watches and bling or whatever. You see it all the time on the tourney circuit , all the young somethings do it.

That's just not me I guess. I mean, the friends that I still hang out with for the most part don't have any money; it's just a completely different world.

It's hard to explain. What about your poker-playing friends - durrrr et. How did you meet them? I started talking to Tom online and met up with him at online sit-and-gos a few years ago. We had always gotten along well. I have always been friendly and talkative at the tables. When someone is good I want to get to know them and pick their brain.

So I was always chatty and got the AIMs of people from asking them at the table. Is that because good players use other good players as a resource and develop a friendship, or is it coincidence that you guys are all at the top? The most important thing in becoming successful these days is having a good group of people to discuss strategy with.

I mean I really want to win a tourney and I'm not even sure why. I just think it would be awesome and I've been in such good spots in the last few months and just got unlucky deep. That's tourney poker though and it's something that people fail to realize - that [it's] soooo much luck in tournament poker. Everyone thinks they are the nuts but you really just have to run hot and it doesn't really matter how great you are. I mean to a varying degree there are things that you can do to lower variance and keep your tourney life alive, but once you get chips it's usually best to just flip it up.

Why not run up a stack? This is a very hard-to-explain concept: You can afford to take some flips in an attempt to get massive chips and put yourself in a spot to win. But I mean lose three flips and you are out, and that happens all the time. That's what tourneys are - whoever runs the best wins the day; that's all there is to it. There is no long term. I mean, look at the upcoming Main Event final table. It will be what, like hands? Of course there are things you can do to increase your chances but ultimately it comes down to who runs hot.

That is who will win the Main Event this year. I've taken up enough of your time. Bah, that is such a hard thing to answer. As to who is better at which I can't really say. Hardware, software, gadgets, etc; like poker, but from the future. Play Poker Best Poker Sites. Find the best poker sites to start your online poker quest. Our in-depth reviews make it easy to pick the right poker site. Ready to play for real? Check out the top online poker sites to play on for real money.

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Benefield: Set Up Financially for Life

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