WSOP 2013: Handling the inevitable departure

Elimination will visit all but nine players in this next week and, for the player taking part in the biggest event of their lives, it's a gruelling process of grief.

The player stands, looking decidedly gloomy as the cards deliver their fate. Picking up their bag they accept the condolences of anyone prepared to give them, although more often than not none come. After all, elimination might be contagious. It's best to get the afflicted away from the others as soon as possible.

The first instinct is to reach for the phone. This is usually followed by a natural hesitation. What exactly do you tell whoever it is tops the list of first to call. Will they understand? Will they sympathise? And do they know if all cost ten grand?

At some point you have to leave all this behind

One eliminated players faced this dilemma. He walked for a bit first, in no particular direction, until he'd solved such problems in his head. Then he made the call, walking in whatever direction offered a little space.

The man said "yeah" a lot, no doubt listening to the voice of someone doing their best to sound sympathetic when no words really work. Then, phone call complete, he turned and walked back the way he came, glancing back at the Brasilia Room on the way past one last time.

There are other types to those who seem to find it hard to big their World Series dream goodbye. Others can't wait to leave, the thought of being physically present in this place suddenly too much to bear.

That'll all change when the bubble bursts and eliminations at least come with a payoff. For now, hundreds are departing, but for each it's a lonely walk out of here.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter. Pictures courtesy of Poker Photo Archive.