By Simon Young

PartyPoker’s James McManus has had something of an eventful day. Starting with 63,000, he’s been up to over 120,000, down, up, down and now up again to 140,000.

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James McManus, right, escapes a punishing pot

But as I passed his table, his pre-flop raise started off an incredible hand that he did well to escape with his stack intact. Early position player Mohamed Kowsarrie limped for 1,000, and when McManus raised to 3,500 he got four callers, including the limper.

On the flop of 8d-Jd-4h McManus bet 8,000 and got a call from the eight-seat and Kowsarrie. The turn was 4 of diamonds, checked to the eight-seat who bet 15,000, again called by Kowsarrie – at which point McManus gave up. The river was the 9 diamonds, and Kowsarrie put the eight-seat all in for 45,000. The unfortunate player called, showing 8-8 for the full house – but he had been rivered by Kowsarrie who held 7-10 diamonds for the straight flush. A one-out river wonder!

McManus, from Dublin, Ireland, showed a visible sigh of relief as his neighbour raked in the monster 150,000 pot. Not too long after, and Koasarrie himself was busted by Raja Kattamuri – now the chip leader with 410,000.

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Jan Skampa

Meanwhile, PartyPoker qualifier Jan Skampa has been drifting a bit, and is down to 90,000. He’d been up to 150,000 at one stage, but then seemed to get stuck in a rut. He’s now been moved tables and is looking at it to be a catalyst to recovery.

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Rebuilding: Neil McCluskey

Canadian PartyPoker qualifier Neil McCluskey has been battling bravely with a short-stack all day. He started with 39,000, but lost a large chunk early and spent several hours stuck on between 12,000 and 15,000. A small recovery late on put him up to 35,000, and he’s still in with a shot at moving up to a decent stack once more.

Finally, Stephen Kenna is still going strong on his table with Johnny Chan, Shawn Sheikhan and Willie Tann. He’s up to 150,000.

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