Mark Newhouse became the first player since 2004 to reach back-to-back final tables of the World Series of Poker Main Event as Day 7 of the tournament concluded early Tuesday at the Rio Convention Center.
Newhouse, a professional player originally from Chapel Hill, N.C., now living in Los Angeles, scored the final elimination about 10 minutes before 1 a.m. and will be in third place with 26 million chips when the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Texas Hold ’em World Championship resumes with the “November Nine” final table starting Nov. 10 at the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater. The last two players go head to head for the $10 million first prize Nov. 11.
Jorryt van Hoof of the Netherlands is the chip leader with 38.375 million, followed by Norway’s Felix Stephensen (32.775 million).
“It’s amazing,” Newhouse said. “It’s a tournament, I ran very well and played good, and I got there.”
Newhouse, 29, is the first player since Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004 to make two straight Main Event final tables. Harrington negotiated a field of 839 in 2003 to finish third, and he was fourth the following year when 2,576 players entered.
The Main Event drew 6,683 players this year, making it the fifth-largest of all time. Last year had 6,352 entrants when Newhouse finished in ninth place.
Newhouse also is the first player to reach two final tables in the “November Nine” era, which dates to 2008.
The nine remaining players are guaranteed at least $730,725.
Newhouse knocked out two-time bracelet winner Luis Velador of Corona, Calif., in 10th place as his pocket fives held up against Velador’s pocket fours. Velador lost half his stack shortly before being eliminated when his ace-king ran into the pocket aces of Spain’s Andoni Larrabe.
Van Hoof, who owns a poker training website and is a Pot-Limit Omaha cash-game specialist, is the second Dutch player to reach the “November Nine” after Michiel Brummelhuis finished seventh in 2013.
“It feels pretty good,” van Hoof said. “It helps build confidence, and I think I have a decent seat as well, so I’m feeling pretty happy about how it all went, outside of just making the final nine.”
The final table features four European players, including Martin Jacobson of Sweden, who joined Joe Cada and Ben Lamb as the only players to make the final table after having the chip lead at the conclusion of their starting flight. Cada led Day 1C in 2009 when he became the youngest Main Event champion in history at 21, and Lamb led Day 1B in 2011 before finishing third; Jacobson was the chip leader after Day 1A this year.
Brazil also will be represented at the final table for the first time by Bruno Politano, who had a huge cheering section at the featured table that sang and danced between hands and even tried to get fellow spectators to do the wave. Politano is sitting on the short stack with 12.125 million chips.
ESPN will air its coverage of the Main Event beginning Sept. 28.
1. Jorryt van Hoof (Eindhoven, Netherlands) 38,375,000
2. Felix Stephensen (Oslo, Norway) 32,775,000
3. Mark Newhouse (Los Angeles) 26,000,000
4. Andoni Larrabe (Spain) 22,550,000
5. Dan Sindelar (Las Vegas) 21,200,000
6. William Pappaconstantinou (Dracut, Mass.) 17,500,000
7. William Tonking (Flemington, N.J.) 15,050,000
8. Martin Jacobson (Stockholm) 14,900,000
9. Bruno Politano (Ceara, Brazil) 12,125,000
Contact reporter David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.