Mark Newhouse: “Stakes Are Even Higher” at This Year’s WSOP

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On Monday, Mark Newhouse(pictured) will be one of nine players vying for a $10 million top prize in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Newhouse, as you probably know by now, made history as the first ever two-time November Niner and is the first person to make back-to-back Main Event final tables since Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004. Newhouse, however, navigated fields of over 6,000 entrants in order to make it. Special thanks to 888 Poker for setting up this interview.

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Many would argue that Newhouse reaching back-to-back November Nines constitutes one of the greatest feats in poker history. Newhouse, however, is a bit humbler. He told PocketFives, “I don’t feel that it’s my place to comment on my own achievements or accomplishments. I let people say whatever they want to say about it. It’s cool and it’s something I’m proud of, but I can’t say it’s a great achievement. I’ll let everyone else talk about it.”

“The first time, making the November Nine was such a big deal,” Newhouse said of his 2013 accolade. “This time, the reality is the stakes are even higher. People are rating this accomplishment as whatever they are rating it as. There should be more pressure on me, but that’s not the way I’ve felt. I have been relaxed. Last year, I was nervous. This year, I have felt more comfortable.”

We heard rumors that Newhouse checked out of the poker industry last year after his ninth place finish. Essentially devastated at the time, he said, “I disappeared for a few weeks. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. The first time I made an appearance at Commerce Casino, I got dealers, food runners, and servers telling me congrats. I was like, ‘It was a disaster. Why are you congratulating me?’ It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. After finishing ninth, the WSOP was the last thing I wanted to talk about.”

He added, “I went into last year telling myself whatever happens, happens and I wouldn’t be affected by it. I was short-stacked, but didn’t financially prepare myself to finish ninth. They pay you in July and if you go out first in November, you don’t get anything else. It didn’t hit me right away, but over time, I was somewhat devastated. I didn’t win at poker for a few months after that. I got into a demoralized mode. It took me a while to mentally recover from that.”

WSOP officials gave Newhouse 120 tickets to distribute for Monday’s action in the Penn and Teller Theater. His rail will consist of the likes of former November Niners Chino Rheem and Michael Mizrachi (pictured) along with former Main Event winner Huck Seed. As such, he’ll be surrounded by a ton of brain power.

Mizrachi finished fifth in the Main Event in 2010. When asked if Newhouse had sought out any advice from the three-time bracelet winner, Newhouse said, “I haven’t talked to him about it. A lot of people get coaching, but I am trying not to think about it. I don’t feel pressure at all. I’m not putting much thought into it. I feel that works to my advantage.”

This year marks the seventh installment of the November Nine. “Last year, I didn’t mind the four-month break,” Newhouse told us of the format. “It was a time to celebrate. I traveled to Europe for two months. Now that I’m doing it again, it’s getting old. The sponsorship money isn’t what it used to be and the four-month break is brutal. Your life is literally on hold for two months. So much can change between winning $700,000 and winning $10 million, so you have to wait. Maybe they could air the One Drop after the Main Event and condense this period a bit.”

Catch all of the action from this year’s November Nine right here on PocketFives. Newhouse will be promoting 888 Poker. If you don’t have an 888 Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get an enhanced 100% up to $600 deposit bonus (regularly 100% up to $400), $88 free in most locations, and a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your doorstep. Click here to get started.

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