WSOP 2013: The long walk, and that call home...

As quickly as it starts, everything comes to its ends. A walk along the hallways of the Rio Hotel serves as a stark reminder as to what this week is all about, and how the success of some people depends on the failure of others.

To anyone who has not been to the World Series of Poker before, even as a spectator, the size and scale of things are quite striking. The walk from the Amazon Room, for example, back to the casino floor of the Rio hotel can be anything from five to 15 minutes, depending on your mood and access to to a mobility scooter - either way, it's ample time to reflect on missed opportunities, all of which are overheard by the people coming the other way.

It's all a bit in your face

The format is typical, a phone call home to a loved one not entirely clued up with the lexicon of language and emotions used at the moment of defeat.

"Hi honey. Yeah. Yeah. I'm out. Yeah. Yeah. I had... yeah, I had queens. Yeah. Well, I know that. I had queens. This guy who'd been raising all day had... yeah, I know it's only twelve-thirty. Yeah. I had queens. Yeah. No. I raised. Yeah. I raised and he... no he didn't. Well I suppose he did. Yeah. Well honey, I had queens. Yeah. He... yeah. Well I know that now. Yeah. I had queens so I bet... Well how was I supposed to know? Honey... honey... fine. Kings. He had kings, okay. Yeah... wait. I feel like crap, okay. Fine. I'll be home tomorrow."

Tragic as they are, similar conversations will be repeated again and again throughout the day to people who had to take the kids to school and take out the trash. Our sympathies are with the callers and those who answer that call.

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