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minnesotajoe
minnesotajoe
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January 26th, 2012 at 12:49:15 AM permalink
Here's my story. I love the gaming atmosphere. I could wake up, and spend 12 hours talking to people about gambling and be entertained the entire day. I work as a poker dealer. I used to consider myself an all purpose gambler. I just turned 24 years old. I feel that I need to be more financially responsible. I also am in the middle of what I consider an extremely unlucky streak, which possibly for the better.

In the movie Two For The Money, Pacino said it best, "People don't join GA because they want to stop gambling, they join because they want to stop losing". I agree with that 100%.. Today, I had a revelation of sort... where it is not that I want to stop losing.. but rather I want to stop gambling. I really was an all purpose gambler, so I realize that I should get an itch every now and then. I was wondering on any advice out there to help. Keep in mind that - I refuse to join GA or go to a GA meeting or self exclude myself from casinos. I would purchase literature, read online articles, watching movies/videos on gambling. Perhaps shared stories. Anything out there.

Thanks
---
--Purpose of post was to seek advice on stopping gambling. From here I am just going to go on a rant---
I feel it should be noted how I feel about different categories of gambling.


Sportbook - This will be the easiest for me to quit. It's just too hard to win. My last bets were during the early Bowl Games and I literally was losing by a hook or 1 point so often... Last second scores... "meaningless scores".. Would only need one more score in football game with a quarter and half left and no scores. Basketball, bet the over, need 3 points with 1:30 left and the under still hits. I strongly feel that all sports are in a way 'rigged'. Which I do not see me as being cheated. Not at all. I do not feel bitter like, "Oh this game was clearly rigged. I lost, I am so mad the game was rigged". I feel, "Damn the fix was in, I should have bet the other side".. Like I am mad at myself for not seeing the fix before the game.

Horse Racing - My last trip to the race track... Losing a trifecta because my WIN horse got DQd after a day of losing really bummed me out. Obviously if I consistently won, I would not mind, but I do not like Horse Racing because it is a bad sweat IMO. There are so many ways to lose in Horse Racing... Harness Racing.. if your horse (or one of your horses in an exotic) breaks stride... particularly right after leaving the gate.. you lost. Your horse is winning with 1/4 mile to go, breaks stride. You Lose. You have a horse that gets boxed in, end up upset because with a better trip you know you would have won.. There plenty of examples I can give for thoroughbreds and quarter horses.

Craps - to play "correctly" need a huge bankroll. The table mins where I am are 10$: Even just playing the Pass Line with 345X odds can add up very fast.

Blackjack.. the last hand I played. I got JJ 20.. dealer was showing 5. I felt great. Dealer had 6 in the hole (11). my heart sunk. Out comes a 4 (15) I felt relieved. 6 --> 21. Blackjack is the crack of gambling.

Baccarat.. I go crazy when I play it. I know the House Edge is so very low.. so when I lose a hand.. or end up just a little bit stuck, I hammer huge bets and end up way in the hole.

Table games in general... the house has advantage.. when the entertainment value is not worth the money being bet.. just not a good play.

Poker.. I actually do very well. Problem is.. I take the winnings and bet on craps.. OR after numerous winning sessions.. I end up playing.. getting sucked out on.. and tilt off the rest of my money.. then I rebuy and chase. Realistically... if I limited myself to one buy-in per day and I left after reaching 'x' goal, I would turn a profit.. but I just want to quit gambling all together. So have to stop poker as well..

Other.. Dominoes, Gin, Spades, Video Games, Chess, Checkers.... I used gambling as an enhancer.. but I see that games can be fun without having to be for money.
Paigowdan
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January 26th, 2012 at 3:15:32 AM permalink
I can relate, can undestand. I have slowed WAY down.
The bug for drink and gambling has died greatly within me. movies, books, restaurants, shows, everything else began to fill it up. I gamble a couple of hundred every couple of weeks, like I was spending for a couple of concert tickets. NO sports book, NO slots, just pai Gow, dice, bac, and 3CP. if I play for two hours, I'm done. If I lost, i'm done, no chasing, no whining. if I win 4x or more, I'm done. It goes for something else. If the wife says we go, we leave.

It just lifted, why I do not know. Seeing it daily as a dealer started to turn me off: people crying over losing the mortgage money, people win $14,000 only to lose $10,000 back before "coming to," having a guy chase hundred after hundred after hundred while telling me, "you know, I was in GA for 20 years, until I walked into Treasure Island for some reason, six months ago, and hit a $15,000 progressive. Gone in a week, but I'm back....." Also stopped drinking, seen the effects of alcohol on people much too much as a dealer, it can be ugly....

I don't watch sports anymore. I can't. A game just doesn't have the juice if no money on it.

If I didn't have such a mild, weak and occasional interest in gambling at this point (which I thought would never die down), then I'd be in GA.

About two years ago, I just decided to stop for four months. I read books, i went to the Movies, I did extra project work (on casino game design, believe it or not), and all of that became interesting and enjoyable again when for a while only gambling seem to have juice.

If gambling is a problem, and be honest, I'd go to GA, at least try it for a while, I mean months, and let all sorts of other activities fill up your life.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
odiousgambit
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January 26th, 2012 at 3:18:02 AM permalink
Quote: minnesotajoe

I refuse to join GA or go to a GA meeting or self exclude myself from casinos



I don't know how GA compares to, say, AA. In the matter of the latter, you run into people who claim it was the only way they could have gotten sober, that doing it on their own was impossible. Academics who study this seem to have decided it has something to do with taking "12 steps", but from what I know about it the "cure" works because of a few simple things: problem acknowledgement in front of a group, respect for others in the group who have done it, and especially the phenomenon of being able to stay sober through the dedicated act of helping someone else get and stay sober. There also is an emphasis on seeking help from a higher power; this bugs the Wizard evidently about GA, but I think in practice proselytizing is not what is going on at all at these places. {PS: hearing that they put huge pressure on you to self-exclude sounds worse to me}

So you have excluded yourself from something that may be about the only thing that will work. Bear in mind I am drawing from AA and don't actually know if this is true about GA.

Quote:

I want to stop gambling.



Perhaps there is enough self-help stuff out there. You need to immerse yourself in that. Get educated, start looking at something like horse racing with the knowledge it has a very high HE - then you know it is no wonder you can't win in the long run. You want to become a different person I think, one with great contempt for your previous behavior. Calling on a higher power for help can be part of it, if the idea doesn't offend you. For sure you need to displace the desire to gamble with another activity or I think you will go crazy. You can't just sit at home and do nothing during those times now.

Good luck. Perhaps blogging here with your progress will help you. Try that.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
teddys
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January 26th, 2012 at 9:19:24 AM permalink
I wouldn't bother with GA just yet. Take a break for a while. Like Dan said, two to four months sounds good. There are other things besides gambling. Like you said, it's not the gambling that's bringing you down, it's the losing. You seem to have a good grasp of things and play low house edge games. Take a break, and when you come back, cut your wagering in, say, half, only sticking to the games you really enjoy. I would cut out craps, blackjack, and baccarat completely, and maybe make just a couple sports/horse bets a week, plus live poker.

It's possible to gamble as a hobby without losing control, but it is difficult and requires self-discipline. Good luck with your progress.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
MarieBicurie
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January 26th, 2012 at 9:48:29 AM permalink
Have you considered taking up another hobby? I found that whenever I wanted to quit something I'd just move onto something else that I was passionate about and I'd soon forget about my previous obsession. I guess it's transferring one addiction/obsession to another. I have specific guidelines for what I would consider addiction though. In short, to me an addiction is when it is serious enough that it begins to really adversely affect you and those around you. I think I have only really been addicted to one thing in my life. As far has having an obsession, I think everyone does it to some degree or another. I think everyone has something to be passionate about. The biggest factor for me is finding a new hobby that isn't too expensive. Hobbies can get really expensive if you get serious about them. Once you find something else that takes up your time and effort, I think it might be easier to realize how much time and money you wasted in a casino and it just may not seem anywhere near as desirable as it once was. Anyway, just my personal opinion. Hope you find something that works.
konceptum
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January 26th, 2012 at 9:56:24 AM permalink
I am, obviously, in no way qualified to give advice. However, I do feel that programs like GA or AA are not as effective as they could be. I'm sure I'll get attacked for that, and feel free to do so, but I will present my side. The AA programs want you to give in to a higher power. This is great, unless you don't believe in such things, in which case you're screwed. The programs want you to acknowledge that the alcohol, drugs, gambling, whatever, have control of your life. The reason I don't believe this is effective is because this isn't always true. That's why some people join these programs and never succeed. And also why some people quit their addictions without going through a program.

Instead, I think you should stop and figure out what makes you gamble in the first place, and then attack that root cause. From the little that you've written, it almost seems like you're itching for the excitement and/or rush that gambling generates. If that is the case, then I would say to try and find something else that will generate excitement for you. Marie mentioned taking up a hobby, which can help, but if the hobby doesn't generate the excitement you are craving, you may find yourself back into the same problems.

I don't know what your root causes are for gambling, but I think if you can logically analyze yourself and figure it out, you'll be half way towards quitting gambling.
MrV
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January 26th, 2012 at 10:02:31 AM permalink
Quote: MarieBicurie

Have you considered taking up another hobby? I found that whenever I wanted to quit something I'd just move onto something else that I was passionate about and I'd soon forget about my previous obsession. I guess it's transferring one addiction/obsession to another.



+1

Smoking crack would be a good substitute.
"What, me worry?"
buzzpaff
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January 26th, 2012 at 10:06:28 AM permalink
As a chief shop steward in CWA for over 30 years I have seen 2 many guys lose it all due to many addictions, ranging from
alcohol. drugs, gambling, even religion. AT&T had great medical and rehab benefits , but it seldom worked. For drugs or alcohol. medical benefits with pay for 30 days at a rehab center, and actually pay twice during a lifetime , as long as there was a 6 month interval between treatment. I had a close friend named Ivan who was a gambling addict. He had a car wash on the side , and would empty out the dollar changers to go to the dog track. At the end, he was into poker. I got him into GA and was covering for him at work on evening shifts on Wednesday. Till I found out he stopped GA and was playing poker on Wednesdays instead.

Later we had a buyout offer as they closed the Denver test center. For the last month, all you had to do was show up each morning, say you were going job hunting, and leave for the day. No documentation needed. But Ivan could not wait. He got an buyout 3 weeks early. 6 months later the money was gone and so was Ivan's wife and children.

You should at least give GA a try. Walk out if you don't like the first meeting. I mean as a gambler , what a great betting opportunity. If you don't like GA, just walk out. All you have lost is a few minutes of your time. If you decide it might help, you can possibly win a lifetime of freedom. Surely you will NEVER find a better bet than that !!!
reno
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January 26th, 2012 at 10:19:26 AM permalink
I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but perhaps you ought to quit your job as a poker dealer and find another line of work? If you were a bartender with a drinking problem, I would offer similar advice.

Quote: teddys

I wouldn't bother with GA just yet. Take a break for a while. Like Dan said, two to four months sounds good.



If you don't have the self-discipline to abstain for two months, maybe that's a sign you should consider G.A.

By the way, one of my favorite gambling books is "Double Down" by Fred & Steve Barthelme. You might appreciate it.
boymimbo
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January 26th, 2012 at 10:52:22 AM permalink
For me, my addiction to gambling resulted in spending much more money than I should have -- not to a point that I was going to miss payments on my home, but large enough that it was comprising more than 100% of my entertainment budget. I accept that gambling is a form of entertainment for most, but for few, it is an addiction.

So, you have to define if you are actually addicted or whether you have other forms of entertainment to keep you satisfied. If you are an addict, your quality of gambling will go down. This is what it sounds like you're going through. When you start chasing losses, start making stupid bets, start making hunches, play the slot machines, play scratch tickets, and get away from your core game, you may be addicted. If you are betting with more and more money every time you go, you may be addicted. If you're complaining about losing all of the time, you probably aren't gambling correctly, and the losing is probably taking a hit on some other part of your budget.

My advice is to cut back significantly or to quit entirely. Find other forms of entertainment. For me, I really enjoy playing games. So, I bought myself a membership to pogo, and whenever I feel the urge to hit the casino (daily), I pop up my game and start playing. That, and exercise (thank you HotBlonde) keeps me away from the casino.

I'm not cured by any sense of the imagination, but I am gambling at the casino much much less -- once a month. I've also improved my style of play to bet lower amounts and play better games. I gamble with my wife now, rather than let her play her own games. I've won two of the last three months I've played (after having a number of losing sessions in a row), and I am having fun rather than being frustrated and stressed after the experience.

Really, what I should probably do, if I was a martyr, is quit altogether as this gambling lull is just that. But I figure that if I set a budget and don't go over it, that is acceptable. My trigger for gambling is boredom and stress. So, if I keep busy, I don't have time to go, and if I am stressed, I want to go as a form of escape. Now what we do is not go at all during the month until the last weekend, or if there is a celebratory excuse. Running to the casino when I am stressed is no longer an option. Going to the casino as a form of entertainment is.

But really, if you want to continue gambling, do the following:

- Stop gambling for a month or longer.
- Plan your next gambling event and stick to the date and time.
- Play with a reasonable budget and leave your bank cards, visa cards, etc at home.
- Budget your time and choose your games. Pick the games you are going to play, and define a hard stop for the session.
- your feeling after the gambling experience should be the same if your gambling excursion met those expectations. You shouldn't feel "bad" about losing and "good" with winning.
- Gauge how you did. Were you able to stay within budget? Did you play the games you planned on? Did you leave on time? How did you feel about the experience?
- Do not return to the casino until your next scheduled time, win or lose.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
P90
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January 26th, 2012 at 11:11:07 AM permalink
Quote: minnesotajoe

Poker.. I actually do very well. Problem is.. ... OR after numerous winning sessions.. I end up playing.. getting sucked out on.. and tilt off the rest of my money..

Quote: minnesotajoe

Realistically... if I limited myself to one buy-in per day and I left after reaching 'x' goal, I would turn a profit..


Yeah, that's my problem too.

Just kidding. But it always works that way, you play, you win, then you lose. We naturally tend to attribute our wins to skill and our losses to bad luck or tilt. If you always win X amount and leave, you'll be a winner in every game.

You probably know it already, but even a player considerably above the rest can only turn a few BB per hour. Individual pots will be much more than that, and it seems like your expectation is more like doubling the stack each hour, then you lose and it's bad luck - except it's not, it's the same variance that lets you win much more than your actual advantage warrants.
While you would still turn a profit if you are above the game's level, if you left after winning your expectation, you'd have to leave on the first stolen round of blinds.
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dwheatley
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January 26th, 2012 at 11:22:01 AM permalink
I used to gamble a lot more than I do now. I have a series of suggestions, some of which have been mentioned above:

- Take up a hobby. I personally suggest modern board games, which for some strange reason scratches the same itch that gambling does for me. I find learning how to play games, maybe reading about strategies, actually playing the games, it's all like learning about new gambling games. It has been a great substitute for me. Find friends who play games, or join a board game club. Check out boardgamegeek.com to get started.

- Cancel your TV, replace it with Netflix. This way you CAN'T watch sports at home, and won't want to bet on it. Or, join centsports.com for no-impact betting

- Get further away from the casino (find another job, move, anything that makes it harder to go to the casino).

- When you do go, ALWAYS BET THE MINIMUM! Never press, never chase. Don't even take full odds in craps. Whatever you can do to lower the amount of money at risk. You will soon see something strange happen: gambling starts to matter a little less when there is less money at stake. Maybe you will even start to think it's dull.
Wisdom is the quality that keeps you out of situations where you would otherwise need it
minnesotajoe
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January 26th, 2012 at 12:01:54 PM permalink
Thanks for all the feedback.

Like 'boymimbo' I too have never gambled so much where I could not make car payments/rent. So I do have sense of financial priorities. I do not borrow money to gamble. So I am set there. I don't put myself in situation where my liferoll is completely shot from gambling. Yes, I have gambled more than I planned on losing, but never to the point to destroy me financially.

I'm with 'Paigowdan' on not watching sports. I just do not have the interest in watching a game without action. I used to be able to watch teams such as: Southern Methodist, Troy, Central Florida, Louisiana Monroe, etc play entire game and sweat it. Without gambling, I do not watch sports. It doesn't appeal to me without action.... Ironically I strongly feel that sportbook will be the easiest one to stop betting. I genuinely have zero desire to bet sports.

GA... I am not sure why I really have gripe with them. I don't want to be surrounded by losing gamblers. I genuinely want to stop GAMBLING. It's not that I want to stop LOSING. Plus I think I'd feel like Dave Chappelle in 'Half Baked'. For those that have not seen the movie. He goes to a drug rehab center for his marijuana addiction. Then people addicted to meth, heroine, crack, pcp, etc make fun of him. Bob Saget, "Weed isn't an addiction. Have you ever sucked ----- for weed before?" Hilarious. I do not feel that people at the meeting will make fun at me... but rather... I am going to be at a place where people have lost fortunes, cars, families, careers... I got friends that if they lose 20$ at casino they are LIVID. Extremely upset over 20$. Whole time I am thinking, "I lost 1,200$ at baccarat in 7 hands without a winner"
-------
Slots/Video Poker - Only time I play them is when a girl I am dating tells me she wants to go to casino.
Sportbook - Already mentioned... have no desire. I will not bet the games.
Horseracing - Like sportbook, I lost interest. However, like slots, I am willing to go if a girl wants to go there as a night out. In that
case I will only bet 2$ Straight bets, (taken advice from another post) bet many 10cent superfecta bets for fun, and maybe throw in a 1$ extra box (I very rarely boxed exactas when I played).
Roulette - I do not play it
BINGO - I do not play it
Carnival Games in general - Very rare for me to play.
Baccarat - Once I would get stuck, I begin to HAMMER bets and bet beyond what I anticipated. Got to quit it.
Craps - If I got a 10$ Pass Line, I'm taking 50$ odds MINIMUM.. game too expensive. Can't afford it.
Blackjack - I would only play after winning at poker, bacc, or craps. Usually lost winnings.
//
Poker... This will be hardest one to break. Poker in it and of itself... no problem. However, whenever I win at poker, I find myself permitting myself to gamble on table games. Yes, I can go to casino, strictly bet poker exclusively then leave... but I don't want the temptations of other bets. Honestly, lets say that I am +5,000$ player poker over a period of time. Why wouldn't I permit myself to take 1,000$ to crap table and try to make a BIG score. Slippery slope.

Thanks Again All.
Also going to check out that book 'Doubling Down'
EvenBob
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January 26th, 2012 at 12:10:28 PM permalink
Sew all the pockets on your pants shut.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
soulhunt79
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January 26th, 2012 at 12:43:50 PM permalink
I strongly believe you need to find something else to occupy your time. I think it is very common for people to just go back to what they know. When you are bored, you will start to think about things to do. You need that list to be bigger than just go to the casino. :)

While I haven't done this for gambling, with other things I've wanted to stop doing, I found it helpful to plan the next time I would do that. That next time became the reason I could tell myself why I shouldn't do it now. I was also very reasonable with my expectations. I didn't go from doing something 3 times a week to once every 2 months. I went from 3 times a week, to once a week, to once every 2 weeks. Unless you have a lot of outside pressure, I find it very hard to just stop something cold. Although in my situations I wasn't actually wanting to stop all the way, I simply wanted to stop doing it as much.


When you gamble, what do you enjoy about it? If the answer is something you can quantify, there may be a way of either altering how you gamble or even get the same results doing something else.


I've never been a big fan of GA or AA mainly because I don't believe cutting off completely is the best answer. I'm sure for some it may be the best or only answer. The self exclusion list to me is a last ditch effort since to me it is basically throwing in the towel on self control. Of course I could be wrong since I don't have first hand experience, it simply sounds like that is pushed fairly early on.



Obviously everything I said is most likely crap and take with many grains of salt.
buzzpaff
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January 26th, 2012 at 12:47:51 PM permalink
Taking the money from a game you win regularly at , and losing it on another game is just plain STUPID. And a sign you have a gambling problem. And a common failure among gamblers. Some of the best hustlers at pool I ever knew would dump all their winnings at gin or the horses. Makes no sense !
odiousgambit
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January 26th, 2012 at 12:48:54 PM permalink
Quote: minnesotajoe

GA... I am not sure why I really have gripe with them. I don't want to be surrounded by losing gamblers.



This sounds a lot like the old quip the drinker makes, "I can't be an alcoholic, I don't have time to go to all those meetings!"
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
boymimbo
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January 26th, 2012 at 12:57:18 PM permalink
Problem gamblers think that they are unique. Your problem isn't atypical at all. That's why GA might be helpful, as they are a community of people with gambling problems. You don't have to stay if the crowd isn't right for you.

Just stay away from the casinos and fill your life with other activities that you find entertainment and replace that rush of endorphins over a win or loss.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
marksolberg
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January 26th, 2012 at 1:01:04 PM permalink
Minnesota Joe,
I'm betting everyone on this forum can relate to what you are saying. I know I've lost more money than I ever meant to. I work in a casino and a lot of casino workers are gamblers. We commiserate with each other and tell our sad stories. Here's a few things that are common to the gamblers I know. First, we don't gamble to win money, we gamble for the rush of winning. Winning is very addictive. Even if you are ahead in a casino that doesn't mean you've won, few people have the discipline to leave ahead. Second, money loses its value in a casino. While you might seriously consider whether you want to plunk down $100 in a store to buy something you want, you won't think twice about losing that in a casino in a matter of minutes.

My best advice is this. Don't decide you're never going to gamble again. If you do, you're probably just lying to yourself. You should decide to not gamble for a certain amount of time, like a month or until your birthday or whatever. When that time comes make another decision to gamble or pick a new date to wait. The longer you go without gambling the less you desire to do it. If you falter and do gamble, just try again.

Mark
buzzpaff
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January 26th, 2012 at 1:20:10 PM permalink
" While you might seriously consider whether you want to plunk down $100 in a store to buy something you want, you won't think twice about losing that in a casino in a matter of minutes. "

That's why chips are used in table games. Easy to call a bet by just sliding that black chip in. Whole different story if you have to put in $100 cash. Sam Farah commented about WSOP final table, that is easy to push millions in chips around when you buy-in was a $40 satellite. In a strictly cash no limit game, Chris Moneymaker would be eaten alive.
odiousgambit
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January 26th, 2012 at 1:22:34 PM permalink
Quote: marksolberg

My best advice is this. Don't decide you're never going to gamble again.



This and similar advice has been given in this thread quite a bit. I'm guessing that is *not* the advice you'd be getting in GA. I'm not saying I know one set of advice might be more valid than the other.

If it is true that alcoholics need total abstinence [debated already here], then the question comes up: is gambling different?
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
buzzpaff
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January 26th, 2012 at 1:24:21 PM permalink
" If it is true that alcoholics need total abstinence [debated already here], then the question comes up: is gambling different? "
Is any addiction not an addiction ?
charliepatrick
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January 26th, 2012 at 2:19:07 PM permalink
My suggestion is to see whether you can limit the effect and ensure you stay within tighter boundaries. Firstly set a maximum loss (separate this amount of cash before you walk in e.g. turn the notes upside down) and get out quick if you reach this - secondly keep accurate accounts of every visit including listing the games and the profit/loss. However if you are enjoying playing at a table then sometimes allow yourself a "treat", but don't cheat on this idea.

Then using the accounts, establish whether the cost (in money or time) is acceptable - perhaps whether you feel the "entertainment" is worth the money - and whether there are parts (e.g. fruit machines) that contribute most to the loss. Promise to stop the unacceptable parts and concentrate on enjoying the others. Occasionally, suppose you're on holiday and visiting a new casino, you might want to allow yourself a holiday treat.

If you can't do this, then ultimately ban yourself from the offending establishments and find something else to do.

(Sorry if some of this has already been said, but sadly I've seen a few people have their lives ruined but luckily seen a few manage to get a hold of things.)
buzzpaff
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January 26th, 2012 at 2:22:29 PM permalink
(Sorry if some of this has already been said, but sadly I've seen a few people have their lives ruined but luckily seen a few manage to get a hold of things.)

Same here, sad to say. Not only their lives, but friends, family, spouses , children are all too often collateral damage.
P90
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January 26th, 2012 at 2:35:46 PM permalink
Quote: charliepatrick

If you can't do this, then ultimately ban yourself from the offending establishments and find something else to do.


It might be a bit difficult when you're working as a dealer.

And it beats flipping burgers.
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buzzpaff
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January 26th, 2012 at 2:38:58 PM permalink
Difficult, but not impossible. The bigger question is why he is compelled to take his poker winnings and piss them all away on other forms of gambling? Why not save those winnings and use them as a stake in tournaments? Might actually have a chance to win life changing money and do something other than deal !
P90
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January 26th, 2012 at 2:55:18 PM permalink
This isn't the best economy to quit a paying skilled job.
On pissing away - well, yes.

I'm somewhat of an addictive personality myself, a thrill-seeker gambler type. As such I'm seriously at risk of a similar situation. What helps me avoid gambling addiction is, as it seems, arrogance. In the good sense, or whatever the good counterpart to the term is.

I think of players who would pull the handle and hope for a golden shower as suckers, with similar thoughts about paying commission on otherwise even table games, paying an ante only to forfeit it half the time, and what have you. Nothing personal - it's not about actual people playing these games, but about a faceless "typical player" image that I associate with the game, and that I would be putting on when playing it. This keeps me from getting sucked in, and if I really want to try them out, I do so online. Or for very low stakes when it has to be live.

So other than poker, I limit my games to blackjack, at which I wong-out heavily (any time the count isn't rising) to keep it right about even. These are games where one can, at least, actively take control. In what I've seen, winning poker players tend to be a similar type, thrill-seekers, but also control freaks. I think all minnesotajoe needs, if what he's telling is right, is to reinforce his control freak side and let it reign over his thrill-seeking behavior. Don't wish for luck - create your own.

Of course, poker is a dangerous game in itself, but it isn't as mindless as others, and you always only have yourself to blame for your losses.
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NicksGamingStuff
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January 26th, 2012 at 4:09:11 PM permalink
One thing I have trouble with is with my work schedule, finding things to do on my day off are tough. Since I am awake 2pm-6am I find going to the casino is an easy way to get some entertainment. I have seen many coworkers lose too much money gambling and it is interesting as people who work in the business, know the loss is very likely still take the chance. I have tried to find some hobbies to occupy my time, but it is tough. Lately I have been going out for drinks with my coworkers after work and I find I am drinking more often than I would like to. Anyway my advice for the OP is to try talking to someone who is experienced in addiction, not necessarily G.A, could be a therapist. If the OP is in Vegas and ever needs a friend to spend time with there are a bunch of us on the forum who live in LV that he can meet up with just to hang out.
OneAngryDwarf
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January 26th, 2012 at 5:18:27 PM permalink
Glad somebody else brought this topic up, because it’s exactly what I’ve been going through for the last several months. After losing much of the money I received as Christmas presents…and then some…over my last vacation I decided to step back, take a hard look, and realize that I was gambling far above my means, and cool it off for a while. (And, to be totally honest, it’s the main reason why I haven’t been posting here much as of late.) Here’s some things that have helped me:

1. Other people already mentioned hobbies…but may not have mentioned specific ideas for hobbies. Non-gambling card games are always a great option—a good game of hearts, spades or euchre among friends gives me plenty of excitement, even with no money on the line.
2. While staying away from the casinos, re-read the Wizard of Odds site and his analysis of all the games. Apply some logical, clinical reasoning—yes, the house edges on blackjack and craps are low, but you still LOSE playing them. Playing the Pass Line ultimately nets the same result as the guy who makes nothing but prop bets every roll…it just takes a little longer. And it shouldn’t matter how much one bets…a $5 bettor still gets the same game as a $500 bettor.
3. Read/watch some materials about gamblers and addiction to gain some perspective. It’s fun, entertaining, and will take up some more time that would otherwise be spent in a casino. “The Gambler” by Dostoyevsky is always a classic choice. Also, check out the 2003 movie “Owning Mahowny” with Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s available online—not linking to it because of legal issues, but it’s easy enough to find. Excellent dramatic portrayal of a man caught up in addiction—and frequently uncomfortable in its similarities to how I felt when I gambled.

It’s been nearly one month since I’ve done any gambling…not much to brag about, I know, but just wanted to encourage you and tell you that it is possible to take a breather and break the cycle. Good luck!
"I believe I've passed the age/of consciousness and righteous rage/I've found that just surviving was a noble fight... I once believed in causes too/I had my pointless point of view/And life went on no matter who was wrong or right..." --Billy Joel
minnesotajoe
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January 27th, 2012 at 12:17:41 AM permalink
Quote: marksolberg

Minnesota Joe,
While you might seriously consider whether you want to plunk down $100 in a store to buy something you want, you won't think twice about losing that in a casino in a matter of minutes.
Mark



So true!!! I totally relate to this.
minnesotajoe
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January 27th, 2012 at 12:26:09 AM permalink
Quote: buzzpaff

Difficult, but not impossible. The bigger question is why he is compelled to take his poker winnings and piss them all away on other forms of gambling? Why not save those winnings and use them as a stake in tournaments? Might actually have a chance to win life changing money and do something other than deal !



I know... I know...
It is sick. Like. Lets say I have a poker session.. playing 2-5 nL.. and I leave the table after 3 hours with say a 400$ profit.. Then I'll buy into craps for say 200$ (that way I'll still leave with 200$ profit).. but then it will run like.. Point 7.. that or perhaps.. I'll Pass Line.. Buy the 4 and 10. Place the 9.. and I roll. (Point 6) 5-11-11-12-2-5-5-6-5-3-8-5-7 ... and whole time thinking.. man I keep crushing these 5's how come i was not doing COME bets.. why. How many times do you see no action on say Hard 8.. then a guy throws 4 in a row. That or a Yo 3 times in a row. So I end up dumping the 200$ at craps fast... instead of leaving with the 200$ profit as intended... buy in for the other 200$ to chase back the loss. Lose that money.. Then end up buying in for more...
minnesotajoe
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January 27th, 2012 at 12:30:20 AM permalink
Quote: NicksGamingStuff

If the OP is in Vegas and ever needs a friend to spend time with there are a bunch of us on the forum who live in LV that he can meet up with just to hang out.



I live in the Midwest. Thanks, though
hook3670
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January 27th, 2012 at 7:35:43 AM permalink
I was a heavey gambler in my twenties. I mean betting thousands of dollars a week and losing of course, on sports. I was addicted as were all of my friends. All of them were betting and losing these sums of money. We maxed out credit cards, stole from our parents, cashed in whatever stocks our grandparents had set aside etc... As we got older and found better jobs and made more money and met our future wives, the gambling continued but it was not our sole source of enetertainment, which it had been before. We now would go to shows, nice dinners, weekends at the shore etc... We still gamble twenty years later, and love it just as much, however, our bets have decreased dramatically where I bet $20 a game on the internet where I used to bet $250-$500. Somewhere with all my and our losing we learned after years of debotchery how to gamble responsibly. I live in Maryland and there are dozens of casinos within a two and half hour drive and I go maybe ten times a year with my wife. Take a break and reasses your priorities. Oncy gambling wasn't the only thing in my life , the losing and betting decreased substantially. I learned the action was fun, so for me to win a $20 bet is almost as exciting as winning a $250 bet. Once it consumes you, its hard to get out from under it. Trust me I know first hand. Once I matured and took it for the ENTERTAINMENT that it was, I actually enjoy now more than ever. I don't want to throw up when a guy misses a FG to cover the spread and I am much happier for it.
boymimbo
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January 27th, 2012 at 7:41:02 AM permalink
It is great to see that there are actually other forum members on this site who have gone through the same thing that Minnesota and I go through. There are plenty of problem gamblers out there. It really becomes a problem though when it starts affecting your work life, your financial life, and your home life.

If you can't cut back, then you really do have a problem.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
MrV
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January 27th, 2012 at 7:54:20 AM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

If you can't cut back, then you really do have a problem.



+1

Try this: go "cold turkey" for six weeks, just to prove to yourself that you can do it.

Reassess things after six weeks.
"What, me worry?"
buzzpaff
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January 27th, 2012 at 7:57:19 AM permalink
" It’s been nearly one month since I’ve done any gambling…not much to brag about, I know, but just wanted to encourage you and tell you that it is possible to take a breather and break the cycle. Good luck! "

GOOD LUCK to you as well. Look forward to the future posts from someone with such an imaginative screen name.
pokerface
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January 27th, 2012 at 12:01:16 PM permalink
I know some (maybe all ) casinos don't allow their employees gambling in their own casinos.
So if you find a job in a casino with no nearby casino, let's say 3 hours driving, then you probably will be forced to quit gambling.
I know a guy just did that and succeeded.
winning streaks come and go, losing streak never ends.
TIMSPEED
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January 27th, 2012 at 1:21:11 PM permalink
I would say I am hooked just as bad as you...
except I found the answer...
Video Poker..
I play STRICTLY video poker..and right now I only really play triple play SuperTimesPay for nickles. I can put in my "quota" for maintaining "Diamond" status (to get the perks I want) and still have a small edge OVER the house (might have a losing trip, MAYBE a losing month, but never a losing year)
Gambling calls to me...like this ~> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nap37mNSmQ
sunrise089
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January 27th, 2012 at 1:40:39 PM permalink
Quote: minnesotajoe

Keep in mind that - I refuse to join GA or go to a GA meeting or self exclude myself from casinos. I would purchase literature, read online articles, watching movies/videos on gambling. Perhaps shared stories. Anything out there.



I know it's rude to comment to the original post without reading all of the replies, but my answer is simple, and you should disregard it if five people have already said similar things above me, so apologies in advance.

Anyways, IF YOU'RE SERIOUS, then what you said above is a very bad idea. It's like an alcoholic who decides to quit drinking, but says from day 1 "I'm not going to stop going to bars and I'm going to keep working in a liquor store."

You may not have a problem, in which case treat it like anything we humans commit to that isn't of life changing importance, loosing 10lbs vs getting to enjoy dessert for example.

But if you DO have a problem understand your attitude above is almost certainly doomed to failure. There is an almost infinite number of examples of people who have broken free of or at least held off addictions using a surefire method: admit you have a problem, get in a program that causes real change. Those people often say they weren't really inspired to change until hitting bottom, and that process of hitting bottom is what gets you past "I'm willing to do X but not Y to help myself."
teddys
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January 27th, 2012 at 3:09:32 PM permalink
Quote: TIMSPEED


Video Poker..
I play STRICTLY video poker..and right now I only really play triple play SuperTimesPay for nickles. I can put in my "quota" for maintaining "Diamond" status (to get the perks I want) and still have a small edge OVER the house (might have a losing trip, MAYBE a losing month, but never a losing year)

Lovely game. I played it today. Hit a Straight Flush 5x, DEALT quads 8x, and a Full House 10x. It was a good session. (Mind you, usually I get nothing).
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
NicksGamingStuff
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January 27th, 2012 at 3:10:31 PM permalink
Quote: TIMSPEED

I would say I am hooked just as bad as you...
except I found the answer...
Video Poker..
I play STRICTLY video poker..and right now I only really play triple play SuperTimesPay for nickles. I can put in my "quota" for maintaining "Diamond" status (to get the perks I want) and still have a small edge OVER the house (might have a losing trip, MAYBE a losing month, but never a losing year)



I played the over 100% payback machines at Palace station last week and got creamed, I never got better than a full house. It is annoying to get killed on a + EV game.
marksolberg
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January 27th, 2012 at 5:43:23 PM permalink
Quote: OneAngryDwarf


It’s been nearly one month since I’ve done any gambling…not much to brag about, I know, but just wanted to encourage you and tell you that it is possible to take a breather and break the cycle. Good luck!



I think if you've gone a month that's awesome. See if you can make it to six weeks and see how you feel. I use to play a lot of online poker, 30+ hours a week easy. If I wasn't playing I was thinking about playing later. I took a break for a while and that kind of broke the strong desire to do it. I look back now and wonder what the big attraction was. Good luck.

Mark
Asswhoopermcdaddy
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January 27th, 2012 at 7:41:15 PM permalink
Quote: minnesotajoe

I refuse to join GA or go to a GA meeting or self exclude myself from casinos. I would purchase literature, read online articles, watching movies/videos on gambling. Perhaps shared stories. Anything out there.



Buddy, this website is gamblers anonymous.

Sportsbook - I don't think this is rigged. You just picked a crappy game.

Horseracing - Yeah this is definitely rigged. I spoke to someone who use to work at the tracks helping the jockeys. He said the jockeys have money on the spreads and sometimes will throw a race. I still place a few bets, but only on my own strategies which have won more than they have lost over the life the strategy.

Craps - my dearest love, it is nothing but bitter sweet poison.

BJ - no hope here. Did you read my story about my bachelor's party gambling synopsis. How the heck do I win when I don't follow basic strategy and lose when I do. Probability and karma who knows....

Baccarat - annoys me. Go play a slot machine instead.

Poker - too many bad beats and bankroll is an issue.

I remember a couple of bad losses and I swore off gambling for months. Then I came back for some recreation. That's how you have to look at it. Recreational fun. If it's a profession, you'll hate it. All professional gamblers and crews hate gambling. It's a job and suppose to emotionless to be good at it.

There are ways to stop gambling. How about you give me all your excess money? That'll help you stop. You could lose it all in the casino. Or you could give it to me and I'll enjoy it. No wait that would be greedy. You can give it the WoV forum. Or hell, just lock up your money in bonds. You can let me gamble with your money too and I'll return you principal + interest, but only if I am up. =) <sorry devil on my shoulder talking again>

You need to find something else ti occupy your time and urges. Sports, women, fitness, home repair.....?

I hate to say it. Sometimes the best cure is just losing it all. You'll blame yourself for the stupidity. It takes a great tragedy to get through to some of us. Choose the less dramatic route.
MrV
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January 27th, 2012 at 8:30:23 PM permalink
Quote: TIMSPEED


I play STRICTLY video poker..



Recently, I've been playing STRICTLY high limit slots.

Gotta rethink that one ...
"What, me worry?"
JohnnyQ
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January 27th, 2012 at 8:42:31 PM permalink
Quote: Asswhoopermcdaddy

You need to find something else ti occupy your time and urges. Sports, women, fitness, home repair.....?



I think I 'm gonna go with this one. Anything you really like to do besides gambling. Could even be a good, too good to put it down book ?
There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
minnesotajoe
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January 31st, 2012 at 2:48:11 AM permalink
I've been going with women.. but only problem is that I take out girls that work at casinos (which I am trying to avoid.. I want a teacher so bad).. and these girls want to gamble at times... and other girls that I take out know that I work at casino.. and they want to try it out. So it's like... :/
MakingBook
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January 31st, 2012 at 5:36:32 AM permalink
There's nothing wrong with gambling. It's the losing that gets you.

Don't bet unless you have an edge, and everything will be fine.
"I am a man devoured by the passion for gambling." --Dostoevsky, 1871
charliepatrick
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January 31st, 2012 at 5:43:01 AM permalink
You are correct the "losing" is the main part. However you not only can lose money but you also lose the "time" you could have spent elsewhere. Sometimes it probably doesn't matter but perhaps long term - whether it's with your family, on your job, or doing things you should have been doing - the side effects can be very sad.

I suspect there are many who can afford the money-side but it ruins their marriages or loses them their jobs.

There's nothing wrong with gambling per se - although some people might argue this - it's when it takes resources that you should be using elsewhere, money, time, health.
MakingBook
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January 31st, 2012 at 6:21:26 AM permalink
Re: charliepatrick- I've never considered the "time" aspect of gambling. I must admit you are 100% correct. You have made me re-examine my entire gambling career.

While gambling has provided enjoyment throughout my life, I wonder where, or what I would be if I never place a single bet?
"I am a man devoured by the passion for gambling." --Dostoevsky, 1871
MrV
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January 31st, 2012 at 9:35:00 AM permalink
Look at it from a cost/benefit point of view: is your gambling worth the cost?

Not just money, not just time, but also the loss of self control which many seem to suffer as gambling becomes their primary activity.

People in general like to exert control over their environment; when they lose the ability to control their own behavior, then confusion, desperation, and lying to oneself are the result.

Be honest: if you can't control your gambling, if you cannot discipline yourself, then your gamblling will likely gain control over you.

You'll have lost more than your money: you'll have lost your self respect.
"What, me worry?"
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