The second of two starting flights for the 2016 Western New York Poker Challenge $1,000 Main Event drew 141 entries to the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino on Saturday.
This brought the grand total of entries up to 244 and ensured the $200,000 prize pool guarantee would be more than met. By the time 15 levels of play were through, just 30 players survived the carnage, meaning a total of 50 are now through to Sunday's Day 2.
Jim Burkett grabbed the chip lead early and appeared to be running away with the day until his hot run cooled off. He still bagged a respectable 324,000, but was leapfrogged by two players.
Mike "The Mayor" Rellinger switched gears successfully several times on Day 1b on the way to bagging 332,500, and thanks to a huge set-over-set pot right near the end of play between "Jersey" Chris Meyers and Jeff Kandefer, it was Kandefer that bagged both the Day 1b and overall lead, ending with a massive 425,500-chip stack.
Several local heroes also bagged big, including perennial contender Joseph Elia and 2015 Seneca Fall Poker Classic champ Kurtis Boutelle. Others that did not fare so well and busted included Cameron Bartolotta, Kristan Mackiewicz, Nick Walker, Silvio DeRubeis, and Jason Stockfish.
The 50 survivors from both starting days combined will play together for the first time on Day 2, kicking things off at 11 a.m. local time Sunday in the hunt for a seat at the 2016 Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event final table.
Of course, PokerNews will be here for all the action from the call to shuffle up and deal until the final table is set. Tune in then to follow all the action live on PokerNews.