The 2013 Seneca Niagara Fall Poker Classic $1,500 Main Event kicked off Saturday morning at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino, just a short walk away from the world famous Niagara Falls. The no-limit hold'em tournament began with 30,000 in chips with one-hour levels, and unlimited re-entries will be permitted until the start of Day 2.
Day 1 attracted a total of 140 entries, and after 11 levels only 46 remained. Leading the way was Andy Spears, who bagged up 293,000. Also among the leaders were Alex Barker, Mike O'Hallahan and Greg Nasso, all of whom finished with more than 200,000.
End-of-Day 1 Top 10 Stacks
Spears was the leader right out of the gate on Day 1. Spears, who won the Summer Slam Series Main Event in Niagara Falls this year for $23,700, picked up pocket aces against Dale Decklyer's pocket kings in Level 2. All of the chips went in on the turn, and Spears' aces held up through the river to double his stack.
Several new leaders emerged throughout the day, but Spears quietly amassed a massive stack and will be a force to be reckoned with on Day 2.
In second place behind Spears is Alex Baker, who finished second in this event last year. Baker scooped a nice pot in the last level against one-time chip leader Tom Guindon when the two saw a flop. Guindon led out for 4,000, Baker pushed out a pile of T5,000 chips, effectively putting Guindon all in, and Guindon called.
Guindon showed for top pair, but he was outkicked by Baker's . The meaningless and completed the board, and Guindon was sent to the rail.
Pete Kaemmerlen also got off to a quick start and then won a huge pot against Charlie Wiggins. Kaemmerlen raised to 2,600 from the cutoff and Wiggins three-bet to 6,500 from the small blind. Kaemmerlen called, bringing a flop of . Wiggins open-shoved all in and Kaemmerlen snap called, flipping over for top set. Wiggins stood up from his seat, let out a sigh, and slapped on the felt. The board completed with the and the , sending Wiggins to the rail and moving Kaemmerlen above the 200,000-chip mark. He lost a large chunk of that late in the night but still enters Day 2 with a Top 10 stack.
Other notables who advanced to Day 2 were Jeremy Joseph, Mark Roberts, Erik Lemarquand, Steven Przybyl, Travell Thomas, and WSOP bracelet winner Greg Ostrander.
Obviously, though, not everyone was able to survive. Among those who hit the rail and didn't re-enter were D.J. MacKinnon, Art Demmerley, Alex Rivera, Tom Guindon, and Chris Myers, who took a nasty beat toward the end of the day when his pocket aces were cracked by Dennis Durante's pocket kings. Myers and the others will have a chance to re-enter tomorrow morning.
Day 2 will begin noon ET on Sunday. Registration will remain open until play restarts, so we'll have the official entrants and payout numbers available shortly after the cards are in the air. PokerNews will have live coverage of the tournament until its completion on Monday, so stay tuned to our Live Reporting Page for all of the updates!