A few facts and figures….

After the satellite tournaments last night there the main event on the partypoker291.com Million V started with 526 players. The average age of the players in the tournament is 39 and 23 different countries are represented. The tournament starts paying at 99th place – a finish in that position will get you $16,000!

Breakdown of players by country:

Australia – 6
Austria – 3
Belgium – 1
Bermuda – 1
Canada – 34
China – 1
Denmark – 13
Finland – 1
France – 5
Germany – 6
Ireland – 1
Italy – 1
Japan – 2
Lebanon – 2
Netherlands – 2
Norway – 6
Russia – 1
Slovenia – 1
Sweden – 11
Switzerland – 2
UK – 11
US – 415
Virgin Islands – 1

STOP PRESS! We have our first fallers…and you will never believe who they are!

According to tournament director Matt Savage first out was Shannon Shorr, second was Barry Shulman and then Paul Darden.

Shannon Shorr, Barry Shulman and Paul Darden. NOBODY EVER EXPECTED IT WOULD BE THOSE THREE! They were seen to be amongst the frontrunners for the tournament. Paul Darden was on the final table in last year’s PPM and has had some serious success on the circuit. I saw him in the corridor earlier on and asked him how it was going and he said: “no good.â€? How right he was…

Shannon Shorr has been awesome in recent tournaments. He played his first live game in Melbourne back in January and came fourth in the Aussie Millions and second in the recent Canadian Poker Championship in The Bahamas. As for Barry Shulman – you would never have expected it.

Barry’s wife Allyn is still in, however, and her play created one of the most memorable sights of day one so far. Mike Sexton came up to her, wished her good luck and then stood behind her for one hand and she cleaned up. The rest of the players on the tale looked on in disbelief – Sexton proved to be a lucky charm!

The last time I posted I mentioned the bar called the Crow’s Nest and that was certainly a hive of activity last night. Part of my role here is to log stories from you the players and word has got around! Al Stephenson from Sarnia, Canada came up to me last night and said “I would like to tell you that I crossed 20 crocodiles to get to my computer to qualify for this tournament.â€? Yeah, and my name is Michael Gracz…

Talking of the defending champ – he gets underway tomorrow but Al was telling me that he had the misfortune to be sat next to him on the first day last year. He weathered an aggressive storm and hopes that lightning doesn’t strike twice this time. With some big names busted out already what price Gracz goes out tomorrow?

I wrote a little last night about Gary Suffir, who is on his honeymoon with bride Jackie. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the main tournament and fell away in the satellite but guess what the Crow’s Nest produced last night/ yes, another couple on their honeymoon! Congratulations to Ryan and Julina Andrews from Tucson, Arizona who also got married in Vegas last week. The couple didn’t meet on partypoker291.com but this is their second PPM cruise so it obviously agrees with them! They got married at the Excalibur Hotel so I asked them if they will call any children Arthur and Lancelot – perhaps I should soften up on those strawberry margaritas!

Later on we will be posting comprehensive chip counts…keep your eyes peeled!

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