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.