By Simon Young

You’ve probably heard of some of poker’s more famous couples. There’s Phil Laak and Jennifer Tilly, Chad Brown and Vanessa Rousso, and David Benyamine and Erica Schoenberg. Now PartyPoker has its own husband-and-wife team launching an assault on the WSOP Main Event.

Sylvia Sulek qualified in one of PartyPoker’s online satellites for just $3 back in March, prompting husband Stefan, who also plays on our site, to join her by buying in directly. Now the pair from Austria have doubled the chances of family Sulek making a big cash.

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Stefan and Sylvia Sulek prepare for their big day

They run an internet marketing business, which is partly based in Las Vegas, so they had a short trip from their home in the nearby mountains to the tournament today.

“We’ve only been playing poker for a few years,” said Stefan. “But we will give this our best shot. We’re both really pleased to be here thanks to PartyPoker.” Sylvia added there would be no competition between the two of them. “We’ll support each other,” she said.

The couple have been together for 22 years and have a ten-year-old son. They have never experienced a big live tournament before in Vegas, or in their other home back in Vienna. “I guess we’ll just take it as it comes,” said Sylvia.

She’s had a tough start today. Sitting on her table is top Swedish pro William Thorson, who has plenty of experience in this event, finishing 13th in 2006, a place good enough for $900,000. Sylvia does not seem to be fazed, however, and after the first hour or so’s play is sitting on her original 20,000.

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Sylvia stares down top pro William Thorson

Some of the big names in the field today include 2004 champ Greg Raymer and recent PartyPoker Premier League winner Andy Black, who was low on chips when I walked by. Playing today but already out is Daniel Negreanu – victim of a set over set.

For Mika Paasonen fans, he remains steady in chips in the first level, and continues to display the Finland flag – a welcome relief from the sea of American flags being waved about to celebrate July 4th, Independence Day.

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