For November Nine’s Mark Newhouse, WSOP Final Table is Old Hat

Written by:
Thomas Somach
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For November Nine’s Mark Newhouse, WSOP Final Table is Old Hat

The odds of making the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event--the so-called "November Nine"--are pretty long.

The odds of doing it two years in a row are astronomical.

But that's just what Mark Newhouse, a 29-year-old poker pro from North Carolina who now lives in Las Vegas, has done.

He is the first player since Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004 to make back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables.

But there's a huge difference in the accomplishments.

Newhouse participated in player fields of 6,352 players in 2013 and 6,693 players this year.

Harrington faced just 839 players in 2003 and then only 2,576 players in 2004.

If you do the math, it reveals Newhouse outlasted 13,029 opponents in the past two Main Events, while Harrington outlasted a comparitively paltry 3,410 opponents in his two. 

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So Newhouse's feat was four times harder than Harrington's.

But Newhouse, who has won more than $2.7 million in his career playing live tournament poker, can't look back.

He would't want to.

After making last year's November Nine, he was the first Niner to bust out when play resumed, officially ending up in ninth place in the 2013 WSOP Main Event.

No need to shed any tears for him though, the ninth-place finished earned Newhouse $733,224.

He hopes to win it all, of course, this time around, so how is he getting ready for the resumption of 2014 WSOP Main Event final table play?

Gambling 911 earlier this week caught up with the stately Southern gentleman-turned-professional poker player and asked him, among other things, how a back-to-back November Niner prepares to face off against poker's finest in the final.

Here is a transcript of that interview:

Gambling 911: What has been the reaction from friends, relatives, co-workers and others to your making the final table of the 2014 World Series of Poker? Have you heard from people you don't know, or haven't heard from in a long time?

Mark Newhouse: All of my friends and family are very happy for me. Everyone is proud and has shown a lot of love. I get a lot of random congratulations from people I don't know when I am around casinos. That was something that after finishing ninth last year started to get very annoying, but they are allowed to say it now. The night I made the final table I had a couple hundred texts some from people I hadn't heard from in a while. It's always good to hear from people but for the most part I'm only associating with good friends.

G9: Did you meet any celebrities or top pros at the recent WSOP, and if so, who?

MN: I have been around for a while and have played with most top pros already. I don't really get starstruck, so no one worth mentioning or memorable.

G9: Have you gotten any sponsorship or endorsement deals since you made the November Nine, and if so, with who?

MN: Not yet but it's all in the works.

G9: How are you preparing for the resumption of the tournament? Are you studying the tendencies and nuances of your November Nine opponents, or are you just doing your best to improve your own game and not worry about the opposition?

MN: I Haven't played a hand of poker and don't plan to until the WSOP Australia. I Might do some studying when it gets closer but at the moment I am just relaxing and working on getting organized.

G9: Which November Nine opponent or opponents do you see as your main competition for the title?

MN: I would say that Martin Jacobson and Jorryt van Hoof seem to be the toughest players.

G9: Do you think you're going to win the WSOP Main Event title? Assess your chances.

MN: Expectations can only lead to disappointment and I don't like to rate myself. I Plan to play the best I can and have fun with it and hopefully run good.

G9: What other forms of gambling do you enjoy? Do you like to bet on sports?

MN: I only play poker.

G9: What are some of your other hobbies or pastimes that you enjoy in addition to poker?

MN: Just chillin'. Nothing really. Hanging out with friends, eating, drinking, etc.

G9: Please give us some basic biographical infomation, such as occupation, where born and went to school, family, etc.

MN: I am a professional poker player who was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I grew up and went to high school there and then went to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina for two semesters before dropping out to play poker. 

G9: Tell us something about you that you would like your fans to know that you've never been asked about?

MN: Here's a fun fact. I have never been the creative type and never have good answers to questions like these. Hahaha!!!

(This is the latest in a series of interviews with the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table members--the so-called "November Nine." Interviews with other "November Nine" members will run periodically until the WSOP Main Event resumes. Previous "November Nine" interviews can be accessed via the THOMAS SOMACH link on the left side of the home page.)

By Tom Somach Staff Writer