By Simon Young
James McManus today sits down for the biggest poker game of his life. It’s Day 4 of the WSOP Main Event, we’re already into the money, and the Irish PartyPoker qualifier is a highly impressive ninth in the overnight chip counts with 875,000.
He’d been ducking and diving with a nice stack all day yesterday, much of it spent on the TV feature table, then got into a monster pot late on with one of the then chip leaders, Sigurd Eskeland, that propelled him towards the one million mark.
With blinds at 2,000-4,000 with a 500 ante, James made it 12,000 to go and Eskeland re-raised to 40,000. James re-popped again to 108,000 and Eskelund shoved all in over the top – which our man called with A-Q to Eskeland’s A-5. The hand held up and James finished the day in excellent shape.
He’s one of five PartyPoker players to make it into the money – they are already each guaranteed at least $23,160 – and into Day 4. Ireland’s Stephen Kenna has 354,000, Jiri Hlavaty from the Czech Republic has 235,000, Tyron Krost from Australia has 212,000, and Denmark’s Martin El-Kher has 155,000.
James McManus: In the top ten
James starts today in the Orange section of the Amazon Room, and sharing the table is a certain 10-time bracelet winner Johnny Chan, who has 252,000 chips. Stephen Kenna can certainly help James out there because he spent the whole of his Day 2 playing with the great man with impressive results.
Stephen starts as the second chip leader on his table, and will look to push on after getting a bit bogged down late on last night. Tyron Krost’s table looks slightly tougher. He has two players on more than 700,000, another on 650,000 and another on 500,000. He’ll also be sharing the felt with Kara Scott, who won the PartyPoker Sports Stars Challenge III earlier this year.
Jiri Hlavaty, who sold his software business and now works as a consultant, was impressive yesterday. Down to 80,000 in the early levels, he doubled up with Q-Q v J-J and then made it into the money with room to spare. Late on, while sharing a table with formidable Victor Ramdin, he made it up to 235,000. Today he is not surrounded by big stacks, but one player to watch for will be pro Robert Mizrachi, who has nearly $3 million in tournament cashes to his name.