Newhouse returns to the big table
Having been witness to every single incarnation of the November Nine since its inception in 2008, it’s hard to not be completely blown away by Mark Newhouse and what he’s done twice in a one-year span. Every poker player who plunks down $10,000 for a WSOP Main Event seat would be thrilled with a final table appearance — just one. Outlasting 6,000-plus players two years in a row to make back-to-back November Nines is simply unfathomable and even the most clichéd Hollywood screenwriter wouldn’t bother writing this script.
The prototype of every November Nine is this: one well-known pro, a couple of online superstars, a live grinder or two with the rest of the seats filled by amateur players with the “happy-to-be-here” gaze. In 2013, Newhouse was playing the part of the live grinder with J.C. Tran happily filling the Well-Known Pro seat. He finished ninth and nobody gave him much more thought as Ryan Riess went on to beat Jay Farber for the title.
Now, thanks largely to his ninth-place finish last year and a less-than-compelling group of characters in the 2014 November Nine, Newhouse finds himself in the starring role. The Big Name Pro. He’s also not the short stack this year, so there’s an expectation that Newhouse’s experience will be more of a factor and he might have a legitimate shot at winning the whole thing.
Regardless of where Newhouse finishes, he’s cemented his place in poker history by living every poker player’s dream twice in his life. If he goes on to win the $10 million first-place prize money, he’ll have capped off one of poker’s most amazing stories in the most dramatic way possible.
If not, there’s always next year.
Editor in Chief