Newhouse finishes ninth for second year in a row at WSOP final table

11 November 2014

LAS VEGAS -- Mark Newhouse knew that William Tonking's hand was ahead of his pocket 10s when Tonking called his 4.5-million-chip bet with the board reading J-4-2-4 in the 56th hand of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table. Since he knew he was behind, he planned to check it down on the river and surrender the pot.

But when another jack appeared on the river, Newhouse changed that plan.

"That looks like an opportunity for me," said Newhouse. "I could very easily have a jack, so I just decided to take a shot at it."

Newhouse moved his final 10.2 million chips into the pot, and the bet certainly made Tonking squirm. Tonking would be left with just 2.5 million chips, or five big blinds, if he called and lost. After thinking it over for a minute, Tonking called. When Newhouse turned over his hand, Tonking slammed his pocket queens on the table and eliminated Newhouse in ninth.

Mark Newhouse was once again disappointed with his ninth place showing at the Main Event.

Mark Newhouse was once again disappointed with his ninth place showing at the Main Event. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Oh, and in case you haven't been paying attention, this is the second year in a row that Newhouse finished ninth at the WSOP Main Event. It's the second year in a row that he got to spend four months thinking about winning more than $8 million (this year, the winner will take home $10 million), only to end up being the only member of the November Nine to go home with nothing more than the money he was given on the final day of play in July.

Sure, Newhouse won $730,725. But he also said numerous times during ESPN's coverage leading up to the final table that he thought that finishing ninth last year was worse than it would have felt to finish 10th. As remarkable as Newhouse's achievement of outlasting a field of more than 6,000 players to make the final table two years in a row is, he wasn't quite ready to put it in context in the moments after his exit.

"We don't need to talk about it anymore," Newhouse said.

The story could have been very different for Newhouse, if only Tonking had bought what Newhouse was trying to sell, or if the jack on the river never presented him with an opportunity to try to steal the pot.

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