I think it takes courage not to gamble. I try to remember this. I play no-limit poker. It takes courage to stop.
I've lost quite a bit in my time. I have tried gambling in the morning. I have tried gambling at night. I have tried gambling on Mondays. I have tried gambling on weekends. I have tried gambling in Indian casinos. I have tried gambling in non-Indian casinos. I have tried gambling against people I know, as well as strangers. I have tried gambling low stakes, and high stakes. I have tried gambling for two days straight, and I've tried it 4 hours at a time with breaks. I've tried various "lucky" habits - like smoking a cigarette before hitting the table, or sitting in a particular seat, or tipping the runner.
Me specifically, I have fallen into this pattern of winning big on day one, and then returning to the casino for a second day and losing twice the amount. Almost like a system, its unbelievable. I called my bank last week to double my cash advance limit. They said okay, they saw some previous charges on my account and said, "Good luck at the casino!" F*ck me, my bank knows more than my girlfriend.
What I can tell you is this. I wrote something on a piece of paper last year and forgot about it. I was playing the 100 table at the time, and it was a message to myself that said, "Make 500 and leave." One year later, I unearth the note, and I am playing the 1500 table. And losing money hand over fist. In other words, a year ago I started to "control" my gambling and as a result it has spiraled out of control. I'm telling you, it takes courage to cut your losses and stop gambling. To quote from another recovery program - this is pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. I have quit drinking and smoking - but I can't quit gambling.
I'm writing this today because I went to the casino and won big last night and I can't stop thinking about going back. Still - last night, I folded a hand prematurely that could have netted me $5,000 and I cannot stop thinking about it. It was a proper fold - but it was also the perfect card that landed on the river. I got up and stormed out, knowing that I had missed my golden opportunity.
I am trying to pay off my debt - thereby draining my cash account - but my brain is constantly trying to set aside some money and time to go back. If and when I pay off my debt, chances are very high I'm just going to pull out another huge cash advance and do it all over again. Anyway, we live in a society where people take these kind of chances all the time. Look at the huge surge in poker this past decade. You sit at a table with 8 other people who are there to f*cking taking all your money. All I can say is if you are going to gamble with your life savings you better be very careful. If you're at a table and nobody is the mark, then you're the mark.
To the original poster, you probably have a lot to live for. Don't kill yourself over money. You can make up for your losses by going to your job. I heard this gambler say once, lots of cities have many stories, but Vegas only has one story. "I was up big and then I lost it all."
I like the money gambling sometimes give me, but I have to say, it makes me a miserable and lonely person even on a good day and I don't know how to control that. Gambling is a tax on the poor and stupid. That is why the governments are legalizing it - because it is profitable. I played $50 on Mega Millions. I should have played $1. The odds are higher (according to CNN) that I will be eaten alive by flesh-eating bacteria. But since I'm a gambler, I play $50 and start dreaming about what I'll do with the winnings.
Anyway, this was a rant. But it feels good writing it out. Barney good to see you still here.