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Old 02-06-2019, 02:30 AM
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gerund gerund is offline
Old counter jumper
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Queensland Australia
Posts: 416

Gambling addicts are no longer trying to "break even". It is the gambling (even when they lose) that they need. I'll say it again, they get hooked when they initially win while gambling, but after they are addicted, winning no longer has that rush they crave. They will do anything to fill that need with no thought to the consequences.

Telling them that they are facing ruin, will be destitute, homeless ETC has no effect. The only way to stop them is to allow them to reach the bottom, perhaps go to jail, lose their jobs, family and friends and finally have no money to gamble.

Only after that will they reflect on their lives and try to stop.

I can best illustrate this by a story. A gambler I knew told me about one magical night in the casino. He said that by midnight he was up to $25,000 (from a start of $500) but the bus (home) didn't come until 8:00 AM and he continued gambling and lost it all back by 7:00 AM.

I said to him "Oh you idiot!" and he looked surprised.
I continued, "With $25,000 you could have had the fanciest room in any local hotel, or you could have paid a taxi $500 to take you home."
He looked even more surprised.

We were both gambling at the time at the same game. We both started winning. We both increased our bet. We stopped winning after a few rounds and I reduced my bet. He continued betting at the higher bet and within 10 minutes was out of money. I still had a small profit and was continuing to play.

He asked me for a loan. I said, "When the money is all gone it's time to go home. This is what happened to you before when you were up $25,000."
He answered, "I only need $1,000 - just to finish off this session. I'll pay you back next week when I get paid."
I said, "I don't have $1,000"
He answered, "$500 then."
I said, "No"
He said, "Please - just for tonight."
I said, "No"

This is what addicted gamblers are like. Money no longer has any value, other than as something to gamble with. This is why casinos use chips instead of real money on their tables. Chips are just pieces of plastic and have no intrinsic value until they are cashed in. So addicted gamblers disassociate from the money value and just gamble.

Victoria Coren (twice winner of the European Poker Tour Main Event) tells a story in her book "For Richer, For Poorer" about a long time poker player who was driving a taxi. They had a conversation about how he was doing. Victoria asked him about his family and he couldn't remember the names of some of his grandchildren.

The conversation continued on to poker. He remembered every poker hand he had played against Victoria, and even some hands he was only watching. She commented in the book that he was a typical gambler - nothing outside the casino mattered. It was not worth his memory. Poker hands were remembered and discussed even years later.
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