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David Benyamine Wins Party Poker Premier League IV
2/19/10 - 37-year-old online and live poker professional David Benyamine has taken down Party Poker's Premier League IV title at the M Resort in Las Vegas.
Benyamine, a French poker ace who lives in Las Vegas, overcame a formidable final table that included Daniel Negreanu, Phil Laak, Roland De Wolfe, Luke Schwartz and online qualifier Giovanni Safina, a 44-year-old lawyer from Palermo, Italy, who qualified through an online satellite for just Euros 100.
The total prize pool was $1.5 million, with $300 000 added by Party Poker.com.
Benyamine had not played a tournament so far this (2010) year and has been quiet on the circuit in general for the last 12 months. Regarded as a legendary online cash player, Benyamine has spent a lot of time out of the spotlight but is now back in business after taking out Luke Schwartz heads-up to win Premier League IV and collect the $400 000 main prize.
Schwartz took home $200 000 for his second placing. The young pro, whose table talk and banter featured heavily all week, said: “I’m really, really disappointed. I think I played the best this week and deserved to come first but that’s the way it goes.”
“It feels really good winning a title, I’m not used to it,” said Benyamine. “The whole time I never thought about winning, I just wanted to do what I thought was right. I know people always say that when they win but it’s true. I haven’t really been around for a while and I hope this gives me momentum going forward! I really enjoyed the format and competition – I’m sure it will make great TV.”
“Position in these final tables can help and I didn’t do anything special today, I just got hands at the right time and played my own game. Luke (Schwartz) is a very impulsive player but I just stuck to my own game heads-up and it was enough.”
One man who thoroughly enjoyed himself was Italian online qualifier Giovanni Safina, who finished third, winning $100 000. “This was a mind blowing experience, truly amazing. I am happy with my result. It is just so fantastic that one online qualifier like me who invested so little money on an online site can get to such a big stage as this playing with the best players in the world for a whole week,” he said after the competition.
Surpringly, gievn his stellar performance in the heats leading to the final table, Phil Laak was the first elimination when his pocket tens ran into Benyamine’s AK and an ace on the turn. Next to go was Roland De Wolfe, who beat Team Party’s Ian Frazer in the heads-up, and then Daniel Negreanu, who had taken out JC Tran in the heads-up. Daniel was his usual chirpy self at the table, at one point saying to Schwartz he hoped they would get heads-up so he could put a bad beat on him. “I can't wait to hear you rant and rave about how washed up and bad I am," joked Negreanu, who exited to the rail in fourth.
Out in third was Safina, who had plenty of support on the rail. A David amongst Goliaths, his fate was sealed by Schwartz.
Heads-up Schwartz had the lead with 1 320 000 to Benyamine’s 580 000, but the positions were reversed in some hevy action that included Benyamine taking some time in the tank on one hand, subsequently coming out and taking Schwartz down shortly after.
The televised Premier League IV will be broadcast for the first time in the UK in September 2010 and then distributed worldwide. The event was organised by Matchroom Sport and presented by Team Party’s Kara Scott.
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