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WSOP Main Event November Nine: Griffin Benger

Every week Coral Poker will run through each of this year’s November 9, who’ll appear in the 2016 WSOP main event held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel on the 30th October.

Griffin Benger, seat 1, takes the spotlight this week.

From Counter Strike to poker champ

Griffin Benger is more than just a poker player, he’s also the king of Counter Strike. The first-person shooter is enjoyed casually by millions worldwide, but for a certain few, it is their life. After years of dedication, Benger had the skill-set to dominate the game and as a result joined the one, if not the best, Counterstrike teams in the world. It was at this point where Benger’s friends insisted he try out poker.

While for most becoming a poker profession is but a mere dream, Benger clambered to the top quicker than most. Under the moniker of Flush_Entity, playing on two of the most established poker sites on the web, he took home over $6 million in winnings. As of 2014, Benger has been the number one poker player on PocketFives.

Benger took up live poker in 2013, with a fair amount of success. Cashing a cool $1 million in the yearly Shark Cage tournament, alongside nearly half a million throughout the European Poker Tour in Berlin, he knows what it takes to win big.

Overall, Benger has taken home $10 million in poker winnings; a game that he even admits isn’t his strongest.

From poker champ to burning out

The glory of poker comes at a cost though, and in the case of Benger it was a complete breakdown. Admitting in an interview with Remko Rinkema that burnout was reason he dropped out of the game, it was evident that the last few years had been rough on the Canadian. Benger managed to take home only $40,000 in 2015, after two previous years of rampant success. After the last WSOP he played in, he’s taken home nothing.

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Fast-forward to 2016 and Benger is back with a vengeance. Not on the tables though, no, he’s taken position in the commentary box as a resident expert next to Sam Grafton. Enjoying his new role, he’s stepped away from live poker pretty much altogether, with the Main Even one of few events he’s entered.

Avoiding registration, he came into the competition on the second day and finished with 394,500 and in 62nd place. Moving into the third day he climbed from 62nd to 45th, increasing his chip count to 967,000 and stabilised his position as a contender. Mid-way through the seven days, Benger was solidly positioned in fourth place on day five, with 9,860,000 in chips. Unfortunately day six wasn’t so kind, dropping 3 million chips and crashing into 20/27. After a final strong day though, he nearly quadrupled his chip-count to finish in 7th place, holding 26,175,000 in chips.

So, there you go, everything you need to now about Griffin Berger. Next week we’ll be taking a look at Johnny Wong.