Our partner

Gambler's Ruin-a proven mathematical theory

Gambling Addiction message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Gambler's Ruin-a proven mathematical theory

Postby Notlookingback » Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:48 am

Like many of us, I consider myself a very intelligent person. After all, I am a fairly well known lawyer who has handled some very complex cases. I would say that mathematics, and particularly statistics were by far my best subjects in College. I set out on the road to get an edge on the gambling houses and was consistently demolished. Of course, I had some big wins. The compulsion and desire to win more or lose less always devoured me. I have come realize I am compulsive/degenerate gambler. 98% of the worst days in my life were directly related to gambling. The first time I entered GA was the result of "terrifying experiences". The second time I entered GA was the result of a slower "deterioration" of every aspect of my life. I remember when I came back into GA. I asked this man I knew from years before how he stayed clean all those years, yet I struggled mightily with giving up gambling. His response was, "I never felt like I was giving up anything but rather receiving so much by not gambling." That always struck me. Nevertheless, I still struggled and relapsed again and again. Now, my wife has our savings and checking accounts where I am completely unable to access them. This has helped stem the tide of the painful, demoralizing and mind numbing losses. What about the psychological side? I am still working on that. A member used to say that in order to go back to gambling, you have to lie to yourself. Maybe it will be that you can just play a little, that a small loss will be like entertainment, that you can control it this time, or that you have a system and can win. I recently stumbled on a mathematical theory why every compulsive or problem gambler will eventually lose everything they have. It is called Gambler's Ruin and this is how Wikipedia describes it:

The term gambler's ruin is a statistical concept, most commonly expressed as the fact that a gambler playing a negative expected value game will eventually go broke, regardless of their betting system.

The original meaning of the term is that a persistent gambler who raises his bet to a fixed fraction of bankroll when he wins, but does not reduce it when he loses, will eventually and inevitably go broke, even if he has a positive expected value on each bet.

Another common meaning is that a persistent gambler with finite wealth, playing a fair game (that is, each bet has expected value zero to both sides) will eventually and inevitably go broke against an opponent with infinite wealth. Such a situation can be modeled by a random walk on the real number line. In that context it is provable that the agent will return to his point of origin or go broke and is ruined an infinite number of times if the random walk continues forever. This is a corollary of a general theorem by Christiaan Huygens which is also known as gambler's ruin. That theorem shows how to compute the probability of each player winning a series of bets that continues until one's entire initial stake is lost, given the initial stakes of the two players and the constant probability of winning. This is the oldest mathematical idea that goes by the name gambler's ruin, but not the first idea to which the name was applied. The term's common usage today is another corollary to Huygens's result.

The concept may be stated as an ironic paradox: Persistently taking beneficial chances is never beneficial at the end.
Notlookingback
Consumer 3
Consumer 3
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:32 pm
Local time: Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:24 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Gambler's Ruin-a proven mathematical theory

Postby uskat » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:36 pm

Thanks for taking the time to post.

In my life, the theories, strategies, money management, stop gaps -- all the intellectual, or practical steps didn't help me in the end.

I had crossed a line. My brains chemicals provided this amazing "high" , my primal self was activated, and I was ON. It really was all I wanted.

Once I got into a bit of recovery I appreciated understanding some of the chemical processes and also understanding that once I had formed these brain pathways to pure pleasure from gambling there was no "unwinding the clock". No strategy would allow me to be a "normal" gambler again - but boy did I TRY!!!

For me, acknowledging and accepting that I changed my BRAIN during my gambling days allows me to respect the dreadful outcome if I feed my brain again. The highway will be reactivated and I don't know if i'll make it back.

Somehow it became less shame driven when it wasn't about willpower, or my character.

It IS HARD to create new joy once I put it down. My brain needed time to come back. Do I get as high as I did on great g days? I don't think so. But I am building things that matter, relationships, future security, health, and basics of being a compassionate human being while on this earth.

APPRECIATE your post!!!
User avatar
uskat
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 335
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:48 pm
Local time: Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:24 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Gambler's Ruin-a proven mathematical theory

Postby Notlookingback » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:34 am

So true. It's like a full moon to a wherewolf. Once I let all that dopamine in, I could not control the spigot anymore. It is actually scary how much financial and emotional damage I can cause in just one relapse.
Notlookingback
Consumer 3
Consumer 3
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:32 pm
Local time: Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:24 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Gambler's Ruin-a proven mathematical theory

Postby 1wiserman » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:15 pm

Very interesting discussion. All brick and mortar casinos were closed here for 90 days and I kinda got well financially, but hit the craps table upon re-opening with a "new" plan. You guys know what eventually happened. My take is that one only wins a part of what one loses. It is basically chasing your tail. I was under the illusion I was smart enough to handle the adrenalin rush and big wins and not go down with the ship. Wrong. We always beat ourselves. My final grain of wisdom from all this for years is never, never take a VISA card to a casino. Not whining just re-grouping.
1wiserman
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:38 am
Local time: Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:24 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Gambler's Ruin-a proven mathematical theory

Postby 1wiserman » Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:04 pm

Yes, a non-gambler does not understand the rush one gets parlaying a $40 horn into $1000 in 3 minutes.
It is very addictive and makes the player sure he is indeed smart. However, regardless how "smart" one is one eventually stays too long at the fair many, many times either trying to get even or win more and we all know what happens. Bad beats are ten times worse than a big win. I, too, am a smart guy that has a proclivity for numbers and action. I know that the only way to win is not to play, but have only taken some breaks, one for a full year, in 60 years. However, I had no real trouble until the brick and mortar casinos arrived in my area, four strong. I self excluded from three, but left one open and naturally that was the fly in the ointment. Again, not preaching, but simply saying that I now in a moment of clarity recognize the problem. The problem is that I am a smart and good gambler, but still a losing one like all gamblers. I like what you said about the person saying he now sees how much he is "winning" by not playing. That is a very good thought to hang onto. An admirable goal would be to die clean!
1wiserman
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:38 am
Local time: Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:24 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Gambling Addiction Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests