David Benyamine enjoys the status of being France's number-one poker player in terms of earnings. His winnings for 2004 totaled 649,940 Euros.
He actually started out as a professional tennis player in his native south of France but suffered a back injury. A friend who worked at a poker club brought him in to play one night; he quickly progressed from small games to being a top European player. Now, he is a fixture at the Aviation Club in Paris, which, in his opinion, has the best service on the continent and is frequented by many of the best players.
David Benyamine has a reputation for playing poker with intensity. Though his outward manner is affable, he is said to be formidable within. He has appeared in televised tournaments, including the 2003 Grand Prix de Paris, on which occasion he exuded confidence and won a tidy sum, maintaining his cool and composure in the face of tense play against Jan Boubli. There were several all-in bets and the chip lead bounced back and forth between the players but David prevailed, raising to 38,000 with A-10 suited while Jan moved all-in with pocket eights. David called, winning the hand with a diamond flush, thus earning 357,800 Euros.
He then set himself the goal of one day winning the World Series of Poker. Aggressive though he may be in his game, he greatly values polite behavior at the poker table. He is on record as saying, "I would like to see the players behave, so it would be fun to play in a nice ambiance." Furthermore, David believes that more penalties should be enforced to ensure that players comprehend the necessity of proper table etiquette.
David Benyamine defender of table etiquette
His favorite games are Hold'em and Omaha, as these have afforded him his greatest successes. Humble for a poker player of his standing, David says that one of the factors behind his rapid advance in the poker world is his relentless desire to improve: "It's a lot about knowing yourself. I think I don't know myself enough right now."
In 2005, Benyamine solidified his poker profession by winning the World Poker Tour Battle of Champions II. Today, he’s part of the distinguished group of players known as Team Full Tilt Poker.
David has been trying his luck out in Vegas for several years now. He would usually go home empty handed from his trips to the States because his first losing session would last for days until he lost whatever he had brought. Somehow his game became ready for prime time after spending 2004 in exile in France, where he honed his skills by dominating the Internet poker world.
His control is still suspect, but his skill has overcome it. David bets and bluffs well, calls down his opponents well, and is also capable of making great laydowns.
One day, David was stuck several hundred thousand in the Big Game and had been playing for 24 hours when I entered the game. Twice he made comebacks and got close to even and then informed me that he was quitting soon. Each time he lost a big pot and then that plan was shot.
After another 24 hours, I was up $500,000 and David was down over $1 million and playing recklessly. I was determined to stay until David quit, although his stamina had become legendary. David went on a rush 60 hours into his session and, amazingly, got even. Most of his winning was at my expense, and I was now stuck $800,000.
He looked at me with the innocence of a young child and said, "I think we have been playing too long and the other players have been alternating resting. We should quit." Apparently, he thought I wouldn't notice that the fact that he got even was the only reason he was saying this.