By Simon Young

PartyPoker’s James McManus won a huge 800,000 pot to put him second in chips with just 162 players left. He moved up to 2.7 million after busting Mao Qiu with aces.

But it was not easy. Qiu opened up for 36,000, Nicholas Sliwinski called from the small blind and James raised it up to 110,000. Both others called, and they saw a flop of 9-6-10 with two hearts. Sliwinski checked and James bet out 170,000 – Qiu moved all in for 750,000 more, Sliwinski folded and now James had a decision. Was he up against a set of tens, or was Qiu on the flush draw.

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McManus stays cool as Qiu (black shirt, standing) fears worst

He thought for a couple of minutes and made a great call, tabling A-A and Qiu sheepishly turned over K-Q with one heart for the ill-timed bluff. He needed a jack, and a jack only – James had the ace of hearts to cover the runner, runner flush. In the event, the turn came a 9 and river a blank 5, and James raked in a monster.

A few hands later, while on the big blind, the button eyed up James as if to make a bet. “How much have you got,” he joked, before tossing his hand in the muck.

Stephen Kenna has eased up to about 550,000, but his stack is dwarfed by James on his right.

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