Friday marked the first day of action in the 2015 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam, with the first two of four starting flights for Event #1, a $200 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament featuring 30-minute levels, 15,000-chip starting stacks, and a $50,000 guarantee.
At the end of the two starting flights, just a combined 34 players remained from the 228 entries generated. Topping them all was John Stempien with his Day 1a stack of 216,000. Behind him was Day 1b's Jason Nablo with 174,200.
Combined Day 1a and 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
The first flight drew a total of 132 entries, and just 19 players survived through 14 levels of play. Stempien found a late rush that saw him push over the 200,000-chip mark and into the chip lead, and from there he closed out the day to finish on top. In fact, Stempien was the only player to bag up over 200,000 in chips on either of the opening Day 1 flights, finishing over 40,000 in chips ahead of his closest competitor thus far.
The second flight drew a total of 96 entries, and just 15 players survived through 14 levels of play. Alex Rivera had over 200,000 chips heading into the late levels and looked like a lock for the chip lead. However, he dusted off a substantial portion of his stack and Nablo, the local rounder, out-chipped him at day's end.
Combined, Day 1a and 1b saw 34 players advance to Sunday's Day 2. Saturday will see the second group of two starting flights take place at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., local time. After Day 1c and 1d play out on Saturday, all remaining competitors will return to action on Sunday at 11 a.m. to play down to a champion.
The PokerNews Live Reporting team will return to cover all the action, so stay tuned to our 2015 Seneca Summer Slam coverage.