Simon Young

They’ve become quite friendly while they travelled the long WSOP road together, but all that will be forgotten today. James McManus and Stephen Kenna, both from Dublin, are our last remaining PartyPoker qualifiers, and with just 189 remaining, they have been drawn to play next to each other today.

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James McManus and Stephen Kenna seated together today

James has over 1.7 million and is in the top eight, while Stephen has just under 500,000. Neither got a great deal of sleep last night, perhaps not helped by the huge electrical storm that swept across Vegas shortly after play finished. It even rained for a few minutes!

Stephen has work to do today, but his luck just may be with him. Walking past a roulette table last night, he put $25 on black 24 – and it came in, giving him nearly $900 back. But there was nothing lucky about his survival yesterday – he made a monster laydown of K-K pre-flop against aces to save his tournament life.

Blinds will remain at 5,000-10,000 with 1,000 ante until we finish the 38 minutes remaining in this level.

During that short first stint, Stephen picked up three pots with little resistance. “That’s the game I like to play,” he said. “I’ll try to pick up the small pots and rise steadily. It’s been my game plan since the start of the tournament and that’s what I’ve stuck to apart from a mad hour yesterday that was full of action.”

His first raise to 35,000 was met with universal folds, and Stephen advertised his A-Q. “That’s setting my standard for the day,” he said.

James has had a quieter start, although he put fellow big stack Nicholas Sliwinski in his place. Sliwinski, sitting on James’ right, made it 35,000 from the cut off, and James re-popped with 100,000, forcing the fold.

After the 38 minutes remaining from last night had had been played today, we had lost another 12 players. We now have 177 left in the Main Event, all now seriously thinking about the $9 million first prize.

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