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Joseph Elia Leads 34 Survivors of the Seneca Summer Slam Main Event's First Starting Flight

Joseph Elia
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  • The first of two starting flights for the Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam Main Event was a wild one

The first of two starting flights for the 2016 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam $600 Main Event was a wild one inside the Niagara Falls Poker Room on Friday.

The flight itself drew 184 entries, putting the event well on the way to smashing its $100,000 Guarantee with Saturday's second starting flight still to come.

By the time 15 levels were through, just 34 survived a roller coaster day.

Mike "The Mayor" Rellinger grabbed the early chip lead and then lost that again in no time. He fired a second bullet and rose from the ashes again to bag a healthy stack.

The chip lead changed hands more times than it's worth counting, until suddenly, in a wild flurry at the end of the day, Joseph Elia (420,500) grabbed the overnight lead, getting in a 420,000-chip pot with queens versus aces and flopping quads to crack them.

Satellite qualifier Julie Billiteri also had a crazy end to the festivities, starting the 14th level with around 20,000 and running it all the way up to almost 400,000 over the next hour.

Sammy Iraci, Linda Hackney, David Paluch, and local hero Jason Nablo also bagged over 300,000.

All 34 survivors will return Sunday at 11 a.m. local time where they will be joined by those who push through Saturday's second starting flight to play down to a champion.

Tune in tomorrow at 11 a.m. local time for PokerNews' coverage of the second starting flight for the 2016 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam $600 Main Event, because if today was any indication, it should be a humdinger.

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