WSOP 2021: Amazon Room’s back corner returns as unofficial ‘High Roller Alley’

Haley Hintze
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Posted on 10/07/2021

At the World Series of Poker, there are usually busy spots, busier spots, and the occasional crush of humanity. There’s one general location, however, where the opposite is true, and it’s the most famous of the Rio’s poker settings: the Amazon Room. As in previous series, the Amazon Room returns as the location where the high-rollers and famous players can most often be found.

It’s a matter of isolating those players — as much as can be done — from the worst of the WSOP crush. The Amazon itself sits at the north end of the Rio Convention Center, at the farthest reaches from both the public entrances to the convention center, and the main hallway leading south to the Rio casino itself.

There’s more isolation besides that. Inside the Amazon Room, the “mothership” sits along the north wall. That’s the televised stage constructed each year that features many finales, including the WSOP’s Main Event. Immediately flanking those are the secondary feature tables. Farther to each side, in the Amazon Room’s northeast and northwest corners, are the quietest areas in the house.

The Amazon Room’s 27-table northwest corner is where early-day action often occurs in events with the highest buy-ins. It’s as far from the Rio’s hallway crush as the facility can arrange. (Image: Haley Hintze)

Northwest corner of Amazon Room is often the high-roller locale

The northwest corner is the most isolated corner of all. This year, it features 27 tables which are most often used for Day 1 and Day 2 action for events with buy-ins of $10,000 and up. The $25,000 H.O.R.S.E., the $25,000, No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed High Roller, the $10,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed, and the $25,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship have all been held in large part in this area. Sometimes event overlaps push some high-roller action over to the Amazon Room’s northeast corner, and that’s almost the only variation on the scene.

The pattern will likely hold throughout the entire series, if past years are any indication. And there’s an added perk for high rollers and famous players: it gives them a chance to sneak in the proverbial “back way” without having to deal with the Amazon hallways crush.

There’s more than one layer to the isolation. The Day 1 action in lower-buy-in events typically takes place in the Brasilia and Pavilion rooms. Only when a very large event overflows those two rooms does Amazon get used. Even then, these large events have morning start times, and as players bust, the Amazon Room breaks first. Since most of the high-roller and championship events have 2 pm or 3 pm starts, the Amazon Room’s back corners are usually (if not always) ready and waiting.

So what else runs in the Amazon Room? It’s typically the home of Day 2 action. Fight through 10 or 12 hours of play on an event’s opening day, and you’ll usually return to an Amazon Room seat. And if you move on to Day 3 — and in most events, that means the final table — you’ll be on or near the mothership yourself, enjoying whatever relative solitude the WSOP and the Amazon Room can offer.

Featured image source: Haley Hintze