I was under the impression that the player who did not get first pick was guaranteed to get the priority pick for the 2nd and 3rd rounds of territory selection. In reality, they are just guaranteed to get both their 2nd and 3rd pick (if they didn't get their first pick), but they will be beaten out in pick priority in the 3rd "round" of territory selection.
Here is an example of what I mean. I was very surprised after the game to see that I got Central Russia, and it showed that I had been thinking about who gets what starting territories in a very flawed way. Here is how I assumed it worked:
Round 1: I win the die roll, so I get first pick. I get Scandinavia. Since that was Nuck's first pick as well, he gets Indonesia, his 2nd pick instead.
Round 2: Since I got first pick, Nuck has priority in this round. He gets India, his 3rd pick. I get Central America, my 2nd pick.
Round 3: Since I got first pick, Nuck has priority picking in this round again. The next territory on the list for both of us is Central Russia (his 4th, my 3rd). He gets it. I would then look to get India and Indonesia (my 4th and 5th), which were both selected earlier in the process, and finally end up getting my 6th pick, Antartica.
Round 4: If both players started with more spots, I would have priority in this round.
Round 5: If both players started with more spots, I would have priority in this round.
Round 6: If both players started with more spots, Nuck would have priority in this round.
In other words, I thought it worked in an ABBAAB system where each "A" and "B" represent an individual round of picking. This is clearly not the actual case. From reading the help, it seems like it works in an ABABABAB format, which definitely benefits the person who gets first pick and makes the "first pick" penalty more reasonable. Previously I had never really liked the first pick penalty, since I was under the impression that it worked in an ABBAAB system, and it's debatable whether being A or B is actually better. Is getting priority picking in the first round of territory selection more valuable than being guaranteed to get the next 2 spots you want? I think that can be argued either way.