By Simon Young

PartyPoker qualifier James McManus has become chip leader with 3.4 million after busting another player from the Main Event. James held 10-10 and got Garth Paul all in for his remaining 350,000 while holding A-Q. The flop came A-J-10, giving James a set and Paul top pair and a gutshot straight draw. The turn was a 4 spades, adding a flush draw to Paul’s outs, but the river was a harmless 2 hearts and James stacked up another big pot.

Earlier he had taken half of Stephen Kenna’s stack with a pair of jacks, but Stephen, our only other remaining PartyPoker player, doubled up soon after in amusing circumstances.

Joe Bishop had just been moved to the table, sat down and had yet to get his chips out his rack when he looked down at A-J and put in a raise of 40,000. It was folded around to Stephen in the big blind, and he pushed his remaining 250,000 into the middle. “Oh no, I’ve just arrived and have no idea what you could have,” said Bishop, before reluctantly making the call. “I hope I have two overcards,” said Bishop, but he was aghast to see Stephen turn over A-A.

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Kenna can hardly cope with watching the flop

The flop was harmless, but a third diamond on the turn made Stephen sweat as Bishop had the jack of diamonds. The river blanked out with 2 spades, and now Stephen is back to where he started before his skirmish with James.

“That’s the nicest 2 of spades I ever saw,” said Stephen. Bishop, still with 750,000, added: “I just wish I got moved here ten seconds later – I would never have been in the hand.”

Stephen then looked at James’ huge stack next to him and joked: “I’m like your mini-me now!”

We’re now down to 144 players , each guaranteed at least $41,816.

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