Joeshlabotnik
Joeshlabotnik
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October 10th, 2016 at 9:54:15 PM permalink
Quote: onenickelmiracle

The one thing is he plays fpdw, which earns money played right theoretically, but then his earnings go to the craps table. So his take is like a second job he never keeps the money. Maybe he should just stick to that and drop craps.



But you could also turn that around and say that the modest profit he earns from his VP sessions finances his craps losses. It's really no different, if you think about it, from saying that his VP sessions help to finance his pizza and beer habit (and we're talking about roughly the same kind of amounts here).

You can't really look at his situation from an AP perspective. What he has to do is maximize his utility. It's clear that he derives some enjoyment from his gambling activities. Now, he has to decide whether that enjoyment is worth the (so far) small cost. It is quite possible that continuing to gamble would be a rational decision on his part, even if he suffers some modest losses.
boymimbo
boymimbo
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October 11th, 2016 at 6:53:18 AM permalink
No. You haven't been an addict before.

I am a gambling addict. From scratch tickets to casinos I am very much a gambling addict. I live in Ontario, Canada. I self-excluded two years ago and I have no regrets.

I'm a smart guy. I know better than to put money on the horn-hi-yo. I know better than to play VP on a 96.5% machine. I know better than to play Pai-Gow poker at $25/hand and play the fortune bonus at a 6% disadvantage.

The problem is that the emotion and chemicals takes over the brains. The chemical adrenaline that you get when you hit something when you get the FireBet worth 4K. The chemical adrenaline when you hit the Royal at Pai-Gow and get the $750 payout. The adrenaline that you get when you hit the 4D+A at Multi-Strike at the 8x level for 4K. I've hit all of the those, and I've lost a hell of a lot more than that trying to get there. You make stupid bets even when you know better because the emotions take over logic.

I was hitting Fallsview weekly and most of the time not telling my wife about it. I would pull out up to 2K out of my bank and credit cards to fund my addiction. Many times I would end up even or ahead, but many times I would come home down $1800.

In the end I realized one day two years ago while just sitting there playing a multi-hand pickem machine, (this one) that this was a complete waste of time. And I broke the spell. I walked into the Responsible Gaming office within Fallsview and self-excluded myself. No more gambling in Ontario. And my wife no longer enables me.

Financially, the damage was done. I am still in a deep hole from all of that gambling. But now I gamble rarely. Seneca is just over the border and over the last two years I have been half-a-dozen times but I am extremely time-limited (2 hours or less). I've been to Vegas twice (which was an unmitigated disaster as I had virtually unlimited time to gamble) and just went to Reno for a few hours which was fine. I avoid the craps table because I make stupid bets. I play the good video poker machines with the 99+% returns. I still play Pai Gow because it goes slow.

I'm not cured by any sense of the imagination. I stay out of variety stores and leave my wallet empty because I'll buy $50 of Scratch tickets otherwise. I pretty much empty out my bank account every paycheck and pay bills, debt, and savings so that I have no disposable money to spend gambling. I have taken up other things instead of gambling when I feel the triggers (stress) to go. I keep myself busy with work, friends, church, and family and so far it has worked out.

I accept that I am who I am, recognize the triggers, and once in a great while, the addiction still take over. I'm human and now I can afford it. But that might be at most 1 or 2 times a year and it's fine. Other people will use alcohol, drugs, food, or some other (could be healthy) escape mechanism.

But don't accept rationalizing the habit or try to convince you that money management and advantage play works. It doesn't. If you feel like you are an addict, you probably are. You should seek counseling, especially if it is giving you financial stress or is taking time away from your family and friends, or jeopardizing your job. And if you don't want to go to counseling, I would suggest putting your credit cards in the freezer and minimizing your available cash. I would try to understand the triggers that make you need to go, understand them, and better yourself.

There are all kinds of gambling addicts who have resorted to crime, had to declare bankruptcy, and have offed themselves because of embarrassment and humiliation. Don't go down that path. Try to help yourself, and if that doesn't work, seek help.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
Joeshlabotnik
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October 11th, 2016 at 9:43:59 AM permalink
Quote: boymimbo



But don't accept rationalizing the habit or try to convince you that money management and advantage play works. It doesn't. If you feel like you are an addict, you probably are.



You see, here's the problem. The vast majority of people don't even know how to define addiction, other than something like "doing something enjoyable too often or too much." Even academics struggle with this. So what we have is the popular conception from Alcoholics Anonymous, where if you're branded as an alcoholic, you must never never never never never never never never even watch a beer commercial for the rest of your life, let alone have a drink. Sure, this absolutist approach is necessary for some people. But it ignores the fact that millions of people are addicted to one thing or another and manage to cope with their addictions. "Cold turkey" or "you're a hopeless addict" is a false dichotomy.

I strongly disagree that managing one's addiction (gambling or otherwise) doesn't work. My observation of many, many friends confirms that it does--if for no other reason than that I saw many of those friends FAIL to manage their addictions. The ones who were successful gambling addicts, if you'll forgive my use of the term, were those who figured out ways to make their addiction less costly. Ironically, perhaps, it's easier to do that in Las Vegas--manage your gambling--than it is if the only fix within reach involves a two-hour drive to the Scalp the White Man Indian Casino and Bingo Parlor.

Another aspect of the popular view is that any addiction leads to an unstoppable death spiral. Have a glass of wine with dinner and it's only a matter of time before they find you dead behind a dumpster, clutching an empty bottle of Ripple. Play $5 blackjack once a week and before you know it, you're kidnapping the neighbor's poodle and selling him on EBay so you can play keno with the proceeds. In reality, addictive behavior, like most human behavior, is nuanced. I certainly sympathize with and understand your plight and applaud that you've learned to cope with it (albeit with substantial damage), but your situation applies to you alone. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa.
boymimbo
boymimbo
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October 11th, 2016 at 1:50:53 PM permalink
I disagree. You know when you're addicted. Managing your addiction does work. If you are happy with your addiction and it isn't damaging your life, go for it. I certainly was for a while.

An addiction doesn't lead to an unstoppable death spiral either. I would say 90+% of the population who gamble are not addicts.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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October 11th, 2016 at 4:09:00 PM permalink
Boymimbo.

Thanks. I got a lot out of that long post. So, just thanks.

A couple of thoughts.

The most prevalent addiction in America, IMO, is the fitness addiction. Millions of them, and they're encouraged by everyone. It's annoying. It's expensive. It takes time and focus every day away from work, family, chores, other pleasures.

But people are encouraged to feed the addiction a thousand times a day, through interactions, media, advertising, their own endorphin cravings. No less an addiction for being "good" for them. Usually not referred to as one. Lots of very, very fit people in prison, though. There's a relationship.

So, addiction is emotional . Going for that high. I was an ATC addict. No question. Wanted the radar high, working in the zone, absolute mastery of my corner of the sky. Made me a very, very good controller, because I was always working to be better, learn more, work more time on position, become the best every day. That it was beneficial in almost every respect just made it easier for me to get my fix.

Addiction is also chemical. Endorphins again. But also chemical changes in your brain from the substance. Alcoholics experience this; I don't know what that particular buzz is, because I don't metabolize alcohol like they do. Opiates for others. Uppers or downers for others. Cocaine or crack. Nicotine. Food.

The error, I think, is in condemning the behavior, selectively, without regard to the disease, or the underlying personality.

Only the OP knows the emotional ties he feels to gambling vs other important things. Whether he can be a functional addict at some level or must completely avoid it. But because he's in the middle of the emotions, he can't be objective. So that's what he needs outside help with, or gets to a crash point he can hopefully recover from if he doesn't. Help now would be the smart thing.
"If the house lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game."
Joeshlabotnik
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October 11th, 2016 at 6:35:37 PM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

So, addiction is emotional . Going for that high. I was an ATC addict. No question. Wanted the radar high, working in the zone, absolute mastery of my corner of the sky. Made me a very, very good controller, because I was always working to be better, learn more, work more time on position, become the best every day. That it was beneficial in almost every respect just made it easier for me to get my fix.



I passed the ATC exam back in the 80s, and was seriously considering it as a career, when the controllers went on strike and Reagan fired them all. Suddenly, I would have been competing with a whole bunch of chastened, out-of-work, experienced controllers--most got rehired, but they were forced to work insanely long hours, as the government took advantage of the opportunity to downsize. I read that they lost a LOT of people to burnout as a consequence.
FDEAD3709
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October 11th, 2016 at 8:38:50 PM permalink
Lots of gambling addicts are self medicating their depression. Just wonder how many workaholic ( no offense beachbumbabs ) on their deathbed, wish they had spent more time at the office?
odiousgambit
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October 12th, 2016 at 5:18:46 AM permalink
About the need for abstinence:

This is so effective, for so many people, that I can tell that many who replied here do not have much of a concept how infuriating it is to a great faction of recovering addicts to hear a suggestion otherwise - I'd bet it -abstinence - is a large majority of those successfully recovering from any substance addiction. But as you can see from the google search link below, the claim that it is essential is not accepted by the professional treatment community.

On the other hand, many recovering addicts will tell you the professionals are half the problem, mollycoddling people who need a reality check. There is definitely a claim out there that the professional programs without abstinence included have a bad track record they cover up. And I think it is absolutely absurd for anyone who is not a professional to assert what they think as far as going with some sort of moderation - that it will work for anybody, and especially that just to 'wise up a little' is the ticket.

Personally, I think gambling addiction is different enough I am open to the idea that abstinence possibly is not the only way to get clean.

I did check out at least the article in the bottom link.

Quote: second link

Abstinence Seems to Be Appropriate in the Following Circumstances

*when the gambling has reached the extreme end of the continuum, i.e., when the client has received the diagnosis of “pathological” gambler, using the DSM-IV criteria
*when the client has already made attempts to moderate without success
*when the client names his or her goal as abstinence
*when a client wants to enter an abstinence-based treatment program
*when a client is mandated by an employer or the criminal justice system
*when relationships are at risk, especially for the peace of mind of the partner, or to match the non-gambling partner’s belief system about what needs to happen in order for the relationship to be saved.

Disadvantages of the Abstinence-Only Approach

*Abstinence doesn’t recognize improvements or successful attempts to cut down.
*Abstinence criteria may be excessively stringent and therefore a barrier for some potential clients entering a treatment program where abstinence is a requirement — they might not be ready, it does not match their belief system, or it is too difficult to achieve now.
*An abstinence-only approach contradicts some current research that suggests moderation is appropriate for some clients.



https://www.google.com/#q=addiction+and+abstinence
https://www.problemgambling.ca/EN/ResourcesForProfessionals/Pages/AbstinenceorHarmReduction.aspx
Last edited by: odiousgambit on Oct 12, 2016
"No, I will weep no more. In such a night To shut me out! ... O, that way madness lies; let me shun that; No more of that" - King Lear deciding he has to accept bad Variance
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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October 12th, 2016 at 5:41:12 AM permalink
Quote: Joeshlabotnik

I passed the ATC exam back in the 80s, and was seriously considering it as a career, when the controllers went on strike and Reagan fired them all. Suddenly, I would have been competing with a whole bunch of chastened, out-of-work, experienced controllers--most got rehired, but they were forced to work insanely long hours, as the government took advantage of the opportunity to downsize. I read that they lost a LOT of people to burnout as a consequence.



This is mostly incorrect.

Once Reagan fired them, no striker was allowed to be considered for rehire until the mid-1990's, starting about 15 years after the firings. Only about 800 of over 14000 were eventually rehired, and most only long enough to finish earning a minimum pension, then were removed for being too old to do the job.

You would have been competing with no - knowledge people like me, and the few the military could spare. Even as the National Airspace System was crippled for years, and the FAA struggled to hire enough candidates to train, they were selective enough that only 1 in 1000 applicants were accepted to the academy, which was teaching 3 8 hour shifts a day to handle the influx.

The academy pass rate was 50%, so 1 in 2000 got to train with live traffic . 90% of those were able to certify somewhere, though many failed their first program (don't have a number for that, estimate 30%), but showed enough talent to be placed at a lower level and were successful there.

The government did not downsize the workforce. They finally met their hiring goals in 2001, which was the start of the scab generation's eligibility to retire. The government did, however, beginning in 1992, start to outsource the smallest towers to contractors in order to lay off costs of sustaining benefits to federal employees, and force -move contollers into harder facilities. This was a mixed success.

Enough for now. Thanks to the 3 people who read this far. :)
"If the house lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game."
FleaStiff
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October 12th, 2016 at 7:47:59 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs


The most prevalent addiction in America, IMO, is the fitness addiction. Millions of them, and they're encouraged by everyone. It's annoying. It's expensive. It takes time and focus every day away from work, family, chores, other pleasures.


Even the fitness addiction seems to involve an expenditure on clothing and most outfitter stores make the majority of their money from 'outdoor fashions' rather than actual outdoor sports equipment. The initial fashion expense is akin to selecting a high 'house edge' game. An obstacle life throws in one's path requiring a less than optimal choice. Then of course we add in the costs of driving to the gym, parking, paying for gym membership, paying for the juice bar lunch, etc.

The tobacco lobby got away with the 'not addictive' argument by showing their employees a film of some heroin addict "kicking the habit" and thus allowing witnesses to testify that tobacco was not addicting, coffee was not addicting, etc. because it was not an extreme addiction. Well, being addicted to a morning Starbucks is not as socially or legally costly to the individual as starting the day with heroin, but it is still an addiction.

<<<<So, addiction is emotional .
Precisely. We just view an individual as in a different light if his addiction is jogging rather than mainlining.

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