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Generation Next: Michael Benvenuti Forgoes a Career in Medicine for Poker’s Bright Lights

by Craig Tapscott |  Published: Dec 10, 2010


Michael Benvenuti loved emergency medicine. While attending the University of Texas, he worked in an emergency room alongside the doctors, tending to the immediate needs of each patient. And some mornings he worked in the laboratory dissecting rat brains, which was all part of his premed training to move into neurosurgery after graduation. To relax from a jammed class load, Benvenuti played online poker. He read a few books, played basic ABC poker, and gradually built a bankroll. Then, one day changed his life. “I remember winning $20,000 one night after a long day,” said Benvenuti. “Then, I had to get up and go to the lab that morning and put rat brains onto slides. I just couldn’t think about anything work-related. I was so excited about poker. I was hooked.” Around this time, Benvenuti studied all of the Harrington on Hold’em books as if he were cramming for year-end ...

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