The 2015 Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event continued Saturday with the second and final flight of Day 1. Players in the region flocked to Niagara Falls as the field nearly doubled the size from the previous day. The 183 entries, combined with the 92 on Friday, produced a total field of 275, creating a prize pool of $241,491. The eventual winner will pocket $59,162 along with the Main Event trophy.
Only 49 players survived the Day 1b flight, and leading the way when play commenced was Scott Hosbach. No stranger to the chip lead here at Seneca Niagara, the aggressive Hosbach fired a few bullets on Saturday but made the most of his last, cruising in the final levels to finish with 412,200.
Hosbach will begin Day 2 second in chips to Day 1a leader Damian Baird, who got max value on a Royal Flush Friday to end the day with 443,700.
Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
Randy Pfeifer, fresh off his final table appearance at the World Poker Tour in Atlantic City, was among the leaders all day and finished second in chips Saturday with 285,500. He gained steam early on when he went runner-runner for two pair to counterfeit Scott Szatkowski's flopped two pair. That pushed Pfiefer above 100,000, and later in the day he rivered two pair again against Kyle Gauchat to send the friendly Buffalonian home empty handed.
Other notables advancing to Day 2 were Jason Nablo, Cameron Bartolotta, Alicia LaPorte, Scott Aitchison, Josh Knight and Event #1 champion Xiaohu Chen, who won an incredible hand to stay alive during the final level. Chen called a shove from Brad Perkins with on a flop and needed a lot of help against Perkins' flopped straight. Chen got exactly what he needed as the turn and river gave him a full house and a big stack to take into Day 2.
Among the less fortunate on Saturday were Travell Thomas, DJ MacKinnon, Dennis Durante, Rick Block, and defending champion Nick Walker, all of whom busted before the end of the day.
The WNY Poker Challenge Main Event continues Sunday at noon with Day 2 action on the balcony of the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino. Seventy-four players will attempt to make their way into the money and beyond, and we’ll have complete coverage of the tournament until a champion is crowned. Keep your browsers locked to PokerNews.com until the conclusion!
For more information on the WNY Poker Challenge, which dates back to 2012, either visit their Facebook page or contact their poker room at (716) 278-6300.