By Simon Young

Jan Skampa spends most of his time online playing cash games, but the PartyPoker qualifier is proving he’s got plenty of tournament play in him as well.

The economics student from the Czech Republic, who has only been playing poker for two years, is up to 70,000 and looking assured at his table right by the rail. Also maintaining a good run is Ireland’s Stephen Kenna, now on more than 55,000.

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Jan Skampa

Meanwhile, PartyPoker executive Mike O’Malley is in the field today. He’s been in an “overspill” room, set up to accommodate the huge field that turned out for the last Day 1. The room is a haven of peace, with no spectators allowed.

When I stopped by after the dinner break his table was breaking, with each player’s chips bagged up ready to be taken to a new table in the main Amazon Room. While peeking at Mike’s bag I spotted only 12,000 chips in it. “Where’s your other bag, Mike?” I enquired, rather cheekily. “There isn’t one,” he sighed. Things looked a bit brighter later – I found him in his new home on the orange section with about 17,000.

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Mike O’Malley

A good friend of PartyPoker, tournament director Matt Savage, who recently ran the PartyPoker Million VI cruise event, is having more joy. He currently has about 36,000.

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