At 29 years of age, Mark Newhouse found himself the center of what many considered a Cinderella story in the making. His professional poker career has been a rocky but ultimately successful one over the years. Last year, he found himself the short stack of the November Nine in the 2013 WSOP, his 9th place elimination coming as little surprise. Newhouse did the unthinkable by returning to the final table of the 2014 WSOP Main Event, and despite holding a much larger stack, ranked 3rd among the field, he suffered the exact same fate last night.
The 2014 WSOP reconvened in the Penn & Teller Theater of the Rio in Las Vegas yesterday evening, Monday, November 10. Last year’s WSOP Champion, Ryan Reiss, was on hand to give the official announcement every member of the final table (and millions of poker fans alike) had been waiting four months to hear; “Shuffle up and deal!”
With 26 million chips in hand, Newhouse found himself playing hard on the very first deal, committing 1.85mm to the pot before mucking to Will Tonking’s paired Aces and 9’s at the showdown. The American poker pro from North Carolina dropped 900k on hand #7, and another 2.175mm on the 8th. Things did not seem to be going Mark’s way, but he recovered a few hands later, seizing 7.35mm on pocket Jacks.
By hand #44, Newhouse was back down to around 21mm chips when he was dealt pocket 8’s. The WSOP Main Event’s lone Spaniard, Andoni Larrabe, opened with 1mm and Newhouse called. A 6-7-J rainbow flop brought another 1.1m from Larrabe, called again by Newhouse. Larrabe fired 2.5mm when a 5♥ fell on the turn and once more Newhouse was quick to call. The K♣ river was checked by both before Newhouse showed his 8’s, but Larrabe’s pocket 5’s made a set, leaving Newhouse with 16.65mm.
Mark Newhouse spent the next half hour slowly rebuilding his stack before making his fatal mistake on hand #56. The chip leader Jorryt van Hoof opened with 1.1mm, called by Newhouse and 3-bet raised to 3.75mm by Tonking. Hoof got out of the way, but Newhouse remained. The dealer delivered a 2♦-4♣-J♥ flop. Tonking tossed 3.5mm and Newhouse called. Tonking considered the 4♥ turn before checking, and Mark fired 4.5mm. William called to see a J♣ river, then checked it down once more. Newhouse shipped his remaining 10.2mm and after a lengthy consideration, Tonking made the call. Newhouse showed pocket 10’s, but his confident demeanor quickly faded as Tonking tabled pocket Queens.
Newhouse rose grimly from the table as the reality of the situation set in. The young poker pro from Chapel Hill, NC had become the first victim of the WSOP Main Event final table not once, but twice, in back to back appearances. Back in July, the almighty odds calculators stated Newhouse had beaten incredible odds of 524,558-to-1 just by making the November Nine two years straight. One has to wonder, what were the odds of faltering in the same position both times?
Newhouse was bestowed the 9th place prize of $730,725, slightly less than the $733,224 he earned last year. For his indubitably skilled efforts, Newhouse’s live tournament career total rose to $3.5 million; $1.6 million of that coming from WSOP events. His vanquisher, New Jersey native Will Tonking, was rewarded with a substantial chip lead, nearly doubling to 48.45mm on the hand.