On a snowy April day in Niagara Falls, NY, the first of two starting flights for the 2017 Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event drew 84 entries and Budwey Salhab outpaced them all.
The weather likely played a role in that number being slightly low, but with a big one expected for Saturday's second starting flight and the skies clearing, the $200,000 prize pool guarantee should still be met and more.
Salhab, a growing local legend, got up to six-figures before most had wiped the sleep from their eyes.
Salhab only built up from there and was in and out of the chip lead all day, bagging the biggest stack in the end.
This came after challenger Chris Gras managed to blow a good chunk of his chips in the late levels. The charge from Jeff Hobrecker and Michael Malm also fell slightly short.
When 15 levels of play were all said and done, just 17 players survived the flight. This group will play down on Sunday to a final table where the lion's share of the prize pool awaits.
In the meantime, the second and final starting flight for the 2017 WNYPC Main Event will go off at 11 a.m. local time Saturday.
Stay tuned to this space for PokerNews' continuing coverage of the 2017 WNYPC Main Event.
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