Every year, it seems there are new historical turning points as the World Series of Poker Main Event reaches its climactic final table, especially since 2008 when the organizers invoked the 4-month hiatus that resulted in the naming of the November Nine. This year, there were several noteworthy occurrences, including Spaniard Andoni Larrabe and Brazilian Bruno Politano making first-time appearances for their respective countries. But the biggest story was that of Mark Newhouse; the first player to ever make the November Nine in back-to-back Main Events.
Newhouse certainly isn’t the first to reach the final table two years in a row, but he is the first since the November Nine was introduced. The last player to accomplish the feat was Dan Harrington in 2003-04, with legends like Johnny Chan and Stu Ungar achieving such status long before him. But the WSOP wasn’t the same back then. It was still considered the most prestigious stage of the poker world, but the poker boom was just beginning. There were just 839 entries in 2003, quadrupling to 2,576 in 2004 thanks to Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 Championship; the result of winning an online poker satellite to compete for the fraction of the cost of the $10k buy-in (henceforth known as the Moneymaker Effect). Newhouse, on the other hand, had to survive a field of 6,352 in 2013 and another 6,683 in 2014.
Industry expert and online poker journalist Rich Ryan worked the odds and found that Dan Harrington’s back-to-back appearance was a 26,312:1 chance, while Mark Newhouse’s odds were a staggering 524,558:1. If Newhouse can beat those odds, the chances of him winning the 2014 WSOP Main Event don’t seem too bad at all. Having the 3rd largest chip stack, not to mention being one of the most successful poker pros in the bunch, won’t hurt either.
Hailing from Chapel Hill, NC, Newhouse is just 29 years old and already has more than $3 million in combined live and online poker tournaments. Being American, his online activities were stunted by Black Friday, but from 2008-2010, he racked up $579,353 across 28 online poker cashes, including a 1st place finish in the PokerStars Sunday Million in 2009 worth $245,897. Mark’s other 15 tournament cashes came on the live scene, adding up to $2,721,011. The majority of that money came from his 2006 WPT Borgata Open Championship run, worth $1,519,020, and of course last’s year’s 9th place finish in the 2013 WSOP Main Event, paying $733,224.
Newhouse hasn’t had the best track record for money management and readily admitted that he made “nearly every mistake you can make in this business”, but that was a year ago and he certainly seems to have gotten his ducks back in a row. The American poker pro had a very rough start to this year’s World Series of Poker, dropping below the original chip counts by the end of Day 1C, but things came together quickly after that.
By Day 3 he was in the top 20%, increased to top 10% on Day 4 and the largest stack of all after Day 5. By the time the November Nine was set at the end of Day 7, Mark Newhouse was in 3rd place with 26 million chips, about 12 million behind the leader, Jorryt van Hoof, and 14 million higher than the low stack, Bruno Poilatno. Newhouse will be looking to continue his domination of the WSOP Main Event when the final table resumes on November 10 at the Penn & Teller Theatre in Las Vegas.
2014 WSOP November Nine Players and Chip Counts
|Jorryt van Hoof||38,375,000||Netherlands|