WSOP 2013: Twenty minutes of break to kill

What do several hundred people do for twenty minutes when they are forced to leave their poker table, because it's not always obvious?

There are a few options. You can catch up with a friend; that is if you can find them. But then they might want to talk about their first level rather than listen to you tell them about yours. There's also that other time-filler, a bathroom break. But while the pause in play is 20 minutes long, the queue is more like 25 minutes. And you could try the bathroom further away to avoid the queues but 150 other people had the same idea.

So players just walk while doing their best to dodge the people handing out flyers along the corridors outside the Amazon Room. If they're not talking on the telephone then they are alone with their thoughts; or would be if the music in the hallways wasn't so loud that the walls shake and turn telephone conversations, made up of words like "flop," "flush", and "fish", into monosyllabic barking.

Inside the Amazon Room, where there's something to do

Then, after walking for a while, they reach the central rotunda. It is here they figure there's little else to do but turn around and go back. So they do, dodging the people with the promotional flyers again, hoping that the 20 minutes is up so they can return safely to their comfort zone.

Gradually the hallways clear up again, leaving just the guy running from the bathroom while zipping up his pants, and the people with the promotional flyers, who will resume talking, or shouting, among themselves for the next two hours.

Pictures courtesy of Poker Photo Archive.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.