The 2014 Summer Slam Main Event continued Saturday morning in Niagara Falls, New York with the second of two starting flights. The $600 tournament featured a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool and will crown a champion on Sunday.
After 130 entries were tallied on Day 1a, 239 more hit the felt on Saturday to create a total field of 369. That number nearly doubled the $100K guarantee and created a top prize of $47,000 which will go to Sunday’s champion.
After 14 and a half levels on Saturday it was Jimmy Thomson leading the final 35 survivors with 275,000 in chips. Thomson benefitted from a timely suckout against Dennis Durante to stay alive late in the day and continued climbing to barely clip Blake Napierala and John Theofilopoulos for the Day 1b lead.
Summer Slam Main Event Day 1b Top 10
Day 1b attracted many of the best players in the region, including Travell Thomas, Nick Walker, Matthew Sande, Scott Aitchison and defending champ Andy Spears. However, only Thomas was able to punch his ticket to Day 2 from that group.
WSOP bracelet winner Jonathan Dimmig, who won the $1,500 Millionaire Maker Event in June for $1.3 million, made it through with a big stack. Dimmig won a massive three-way all in when he flopped middle set of queens against bottom set and top pair to take the chip lead with 245,000. The aggressive pro has the talent and experience to make a run for the title on Sunday.
Two-time Summer Slam champ Joe Ciffa also bagged a healthy stack when Day 1b came to a close. Ciffa was a huge pot in Level 9 to take a massive lead over the rest of the field. With the flop showing Ciffa checked and Scott Aitchison bet 5,000. Ciffa called and the hit the turn. Ciffa check-called again, this time a bet of 11,000, and the completed the board on the river. Ciffa checked for a third time and Aitchison bet 20,000, leaving about 16,000 behind. Ciffa moved all in and a startled Aitchison shrugged his shoulders and announced a call.
Ciffa went runner-runner for a flush to crack Aitchison's set of aces, sending the pro out of the tournament.
But the most memorable hand of the day involved the chip leader Thomson. We heard a commotion at Table 8 and saw Dennis Durante standing up and staring at the board in disbelief.
"This is some sick s***, man."
Durante told us that Thomson had opened to 7,000 from early position and Durante three-bet to 17,500 from the button. Thomson called and then checked the flop. Durante bet 17,500 and Thomson moved in for about 55,000. Durante called and was a 96 percent favorite with the against Thomson's bluff with just , but Thomson went runner-runner for a straight to double up to 160,000.
Durante was eliminated in the last level of the night. Others who failed to make Day 2 were Josh Knight, Jeff Joseph, Cameron Bartolotta, Rick Block and Johannes Mueller.
The Summer Slam Main Event continues Sunday at noon ET when the final 51 play down to a champion. We’ll have complete coverage of the tournament until a winner is crowned so keep your browsers locked to PokerNews.com until the conclusion!