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Newhouse a New Man at LAPC
In the fall of 2006, Mark Newhouse was on top of the poker world.
The Chapel Hill, North Carolina native had made a World Series Poker final table that summer and after taking down the WPT Borgata title and it's $1.5 million first place prize, he went deep just a month later at WPT Niagara, finishing 17th.
His faced donned the cover of poker magazines everywhere, who hailed him as one of the game's brightest young stars.
It was as hot a start to a poker career as you'll find, but things cooled off just as fast.
Two years passed before Newhouse would find another big score and another two came and went before he would seriously start to climb out of what ended up to be a $2 million losing streak.
"There was a period that I was just not playing well in tournaments or cash games," he told PokerListings on Day 4 of the L.A. Poker Classic main event at Commerce Casino Monday.
"I was in the process of losing a lot of money and kind of out of my mind. I pretty much fired off $2 million. I didn't care. I made practically every mistake you could have made and kind of lost my mind."
Bad decisions, both personally and financially, started to add up and it soon began to look as though big-time poker had chewed up Newhouse and was about to spit him out.
Rock bottom came when he was barred from Commerce for an altercation regarding a joke that got out of hand, putting him out of a card room he had once called home.
But instead of heading a few miles away to the Bicycle Casino in nearby Bell Gardens, or online to continue the grind, Newhouse decided to take a much needed break from the game.
"I took a break from poker and just started enjoying my life and I feel like I started thinking really clearly and that's really helped my game," he said.
Results soon followed. Under his online handle Newhizzle, Newhouse outlasted 8,357 to win the PokerStars Sunday Million and $245,897 this past December.
Now, deep into Day 4 at the World Poker Tour's L.A. Poker Classic with under 40 players left, he finds himself among the chip leaders.
"I fixed a few leaks," he said. "And I feel like my tournament game has gotten better over the last several months."
Newhouse is backed in tournaments by famed backing duo Eric "sheets" Haber and Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy. Like many in the pair's stable, he counts on them for support and advice.
Even after the Sunday Million win, the three went over the hand histories diving deep to look for inconsistencies, mistakes and ways to improve.
Having plugged few holes both personally and professionally, Newhouse now says he feels as ready as ever for another big score.
"I feel better than I've felt in a couple years and I'm playing better as well," he said. "Taking three weeks off was probably the best thing I've ever done. Now I'm back on track, focused and I'm playing better than ever."