The history of professional poker playing in France is littered with great names, but the challenge for a historian is to decipher certain common characteristics among this diverse roster.
While nationality is far from the most important trait when it comes to assessing the style and temperament of a given competitor,
at the same time is would be foolish to utterly discard the significance of a French worldview toward the game of poker. Perhaps no other player offers a better case study for this type of approach than David Benyamine.
Obviously, a man with Benyamine’s long list of accomplishments must point to a wide range of factors attributing to his success.
In some ways his lifetime arc is typical of the average French competitors, while in other aspects Benyamine remains unique.
Born on July 5th of 1972 in Paris, Benyamine focused much of his early life on the pursuit of a career in professional tennis. He was forced to abandon the game due to chronic back pain.
Fortunately, his hand-eye coordination applied with near-equal success to the game of billiards, which was far less demanding on a physical basis.
But poker always exerted a powerful pull on Benyamine’s attention.
He was only 12 years old when he first learned to play poker,
and had participated in high-stakes cash games by the time he turned 20 – he is often seen at the highest online poker tables.
His ability to read the cards and manipulate weaknesses in other players manifested itself early in his career.
Rather than remain content with his inherent skills, Benyamine has always applied a ruthless work ethic in the hopes of bettering himself as a poker player. This keen thirst for self-improvement has been a hallmark of his ongoing success.
As most of his fellow countrymen would be quick to point out with a surge of well-founded Gallic pride, Benyamine has earned a seat at two final tables in World Poker Tour open events.
He won first place at the 2003 Grand Prix de Paris (netting 357,200 euros in the process) and finished sixth at the L.A. Poker Classic the following year, for which he won $132,355.
Anyone who wants to win a seat to this tournament should visit bodog poker, a site that regularly runs satellites to L.A. Poker Classic.
On top of those two achievements, Benyamine can also boast of winning the World Poker Tour’s Battle of Champions II invitational event.
The final table was populated by some of the fiercest players on the scene: “Cowboy” Hoyt Corkins, Phil "Unabomber" Laak, Mel “Silver Fox” Judah, and Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari.
Any competitor able to emerge victorious in such a treacherous field truly deserves the designation of champion.
And if those accolades are not enough to keep David Benyamine warm at night, he has an estimated total in excess of $1,000,000 in live tournament winnings to put a smile on his face.
Clearly, this is a French poker player who stands poised for total world domination. Unlike Napoleon, Benyamine seems likely to continue his prudent attack without getting carried away by the vagaries of fortune.
By sticking to his tried-and-true game plan, he seems certain of success well into the future.