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glorp
#1 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
glorp

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I've been off work for several days because of a schedule change and in the free time I've thought a lot about playing. Reading a lot about it and looking at the way online sites are adjusting to the
ban on playing in the USA.

As you know I find the government here fantastically grotesque and hypocritical around this issue, far mor hypocritical then the gaming industry....but I digress

the last few days I have really felt like playing,
and the more I looked at all the articles, pro and con, on several topics, the more I felt like it. So last night I was having a couple beers with a friend who knows my problem, and is not a gambler himself, he sat with me and we played poker for a couple hours for no money..that isn't really poker to me, just a circle jerk, but it did diffuse the longing more or less harmlessly.

I woke up today with no urge. I've noticed, as if this is complicated, that if for whatever reason I spend a lot of time thinking about something, and this is obviously masturbatory, then i build up acharge that is screaming for release. And for days that is what I was doing with poker.

I began researching offshore accounts to transfer money to to bypass local legislation. Thats when i called my friend and went out for a few beers.

But here's what is more on my mind then the above.
When i look at this forum and some other anti gambling articles and posts, the overriding tone is sorrow, or sad and wisened gratefulness, or misery because we can't do what we are dying to do and the urge suppression, the pleasure supression,
is so miserable.

The tone is miserable cause we're still doing it and feel guilty and powerless, or we are managing to abstain but miserable because we're constantly
at war with what we know will bring us pleasure, however destructive, or we havent done it in awhile and now we are humble and modest or god-fearing or god-thanking, and talking about our 'journeys' and our humble acceptance of the knowledge of our addiction and let's hold hands brothers and sisters and weep and wep and weep in our wisdom.

Then you look at the gamblers while they are gambling..these poor delusional, broke, lying, high living, depraved, unethical, immoral characters..who, while they are 'living the life' are unapologetic, having a ball, doing what they want and exactly where they want, loving the hell out of it so much they are doing every crazy thing on earth to keep it going.

Full of spirit. I guess for a lot of them, most of tehm, the final crash will come and they can be humbly thankfully weeping with all of us, but I remember the wild fun of it, the sense of crazed entrepreneurship, the freedom of it, the nutty comraderie, the pleasure of mental states generated around it, the sense of bad or good outcome, I'm really doing what I want to do.

That hasn't been replaced. Playing cards before the period of final crash was something I lived for. I was totally into it. It was like the breath of life to me. It didn't work so i quit.

But the sad spirit of yay I quit, though necessary, is in and of itself not even a shadow of the strange joy of 'the life.'

Quitting is just a maintainence procedure, like a diabetic taking his shots, it intrinsically means nothing, it's the sought behavior that I really want to get up in the morning to do, finding that, that's the problem. I define work as anything that
i feel resistance to. Poker wasthe labor that i entered fully with zero resistance. Totally rare for me.

That being said I'm not playing again today, don't intend to tommorrow either.
stephen_katz
#2 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
stephen_katz

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Glorp - As a fellow addict in recovery, I can see your addiction involved with your thought process in your post a mile away. Probably ten miles away. LOL

I'm not saying you got it wrong here, just that I can see your perspective about a year into recovery, because I was once a year into recovery. I know you don't technically like the word "recovery" but I use it here just to illustrate the point.

Again my friend, I know what you're feeling because I've been there. I just want to comment on one thing for now on your term "comraderie" and how the addiction distorts our thinking in my view. I don't mean my next comments in a derogatory sense towards you, but you know my style by now, so I know you won't take offense.

"Comraderie" - Ha! While I understand the concept, there is no comraderie in gambling. When I was in action, I couldn't have cared less if every other gambler in a casino, racetrack or whatever lost every cent they had that day, as long as I made money, that was the main thing. And I believe every other gambler would have to admit the same thing if placed on a polygraph machine. I don't care if we're driving home from the casino with our best friend and he lost 2 dimes and we're up a dime, we'll appear "sorrowful" that he lost the two grand, but deep down inside we're happy as a lark that we're up a thousand bucks. That sure doesn't sound like comraderie to me.

Would I have preferred my best friend to be up money like me for the day? Well of course, but to a gambler "everyone else" doesn't matter. And frankly, it usually gets to a point with this addiction whereby we don't matter to ourselves as well which is one reason gambling addiction has the highest suicide rate of any other addiction.

Your post is a good one but remember that overall the bad times far outweighed the good times while gambling - and you know that! If I had to do it all over again would I be a gambler? Definitely f*ing NOT!!! And do I intend to go back to gambling to be a gambler again? Admittedly, I used to get the urges but I haven't even had an urge in about nine months. My desire for gambling is done and I fully intend to keep it done!

YFIR,

Steve
glorp
#3 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
glorp

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Alligator blood. I read somewhere that's the old-school term for killer instinct. I think it was 'Amarillo Slim' rapsodizing on the trait, how valuable and necessry it was to a real gambler, the pleasure in eating your own mother alive if it would help you win a hand.

Supposedly Johnny Moss once took the wedding or engagement ring off his woman's hand, to cash it and keep playing some game...or maybe he just heaved the thing right in with the chips....

I don't need a polygraph to tell you that for the most part I would probably have been classified pathologically indifferent at best, or sociopathically delighted in others loss....after all, i was playing a game that honors gutting your opponenets, cleaning them out, lying to them, rubbing it in their faces if you think it will tilt them....all of this stuff is honored and the more effective you are at it, all in the name of 'sport' the more rewarded you are with money and prestige, in certain special circles of course. I can clearly remember a specific night where someone at the table was riding me and I decided then and there that a sort of 'gracious timidity' was about to vanish forever from my personality, at least on the battlefield, and it did, something clicked in me like a switch that night....I got way more ruthless when I needed to be....

I don't mean to hide behind the game. Quirks in my own nature were perfectly suited to be part of the crew.

These days those circles are pretty wide. I think by comrades I mean mutually aware intelligence in the sado-masochistic ring of the table. Sick I guess..where, and this could shift on a momentary basis, several people recognize a weak or vulnerable opponent and take turns beating the **** out of him. Usually silent cooperation obvious to everyone but the victim...but I've seen
people dispense with all civility and openly torment the victim, while fleecing him. I wasn't the type to lead the song when it happened, but I sure admit enjoying it sometimes.

Really ugly, but sometimes, because of the mental state, astonishingly funny.

But also, and this comes and goes like money in gamblers pockets, there were times of real kindness, and genuine compassion, and somebody offering some money when they saw what just happened, or taking someone aside and saying things that restored them emotionally after a bad beat or some stupid cruelty they'd been shown. Now that was rare, so I remember very well the times when so unexpectedly, when something gut wrenching happened, and somebody made some amazingly kind gesture. I was on the receiving end a few times, and you don't forget years later. But normally everything was very cold beneath the superficial banter.

It's true, i had people i saw day in and out, drove to games with, and for the most part no one could of cared less what happened outside there own skins. I think we all sort of accepted that but never talked about it, like you say. So there was a kind of 'comraderie' but you just had to jolt your definition of it a little. It wasn't basketball teamate stuff, or old friends that love each other, it was snowflake stuff, you saw it crystal clear for a second and then it melted off.

now we have internet comrades.....

I think I'm a hard case because as you see, and I'm glad I still fit into something recognizable, gambling was heavily fused with my thought processes. I studied it like a medical student going in, and loved it the minute i first sat at a table with chips, and had my mind and spirit wrapped into it for years. I went through so many phases with it. By the time I discovered poker I had already loused up several important things in my life. And I wanted to succeeed at this one. It just seemed so right for an oddball like me. It bothers me just writing about it because I can't think of anything else I wanted that much...more then the money...the mastery I felt waiting around the corner, mastery specifically in this game, money was just it's evidence.


(Message edited by glorp on July 29, 2007)
stephen_katz
#4 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
stephen_katz

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"Mastery" - You got that right! For me the "mastery" was the stock market and horses.

Unraked poker was actually the only gambling game I was ever up long term. Played almost always low stakes games over the years and am probably up low five figures or something like that. I tried to "step-up" a few times but "knew" those guys were better than me, and would probably always be better so I avoided those games.

The last hand of high stakes poker I ever played was five card draw. I had 3 queens after the opening deal, as you know a monster hand before the draw. Some guy bets around $800 and everyone folds, including me - he laughed as he displayed his five cards of absolute rags. I was already down, so I excused myself from the table and never again played in a high stakes poker game.

So while I never tried to "master" poker in the sense of perhaps winning the WSOP some day or just making enough money to buy a nice house and car in the suburbs, I certainly understand the concept of mastery - I wanted to become the world's greatest horse handicapper and/or stock market forecaster. All turned out to be a hopeless dream which is also what trying to win money in the long-run playing raked poker is - a hopeless dream.

I have actually a number of times asked a number of poker players bragging about their online winning, and also some poker forum owners, to provide documented, audited proof of just one player winning money in the long-run at online poker - not a single response to my request. That alone tells me all I need to know about the prospects of winning money playing raked poker either online or in a casino - a hopeless dream.

"Real" poker pros, some of whom I have met playing in private clubs playing unraked poker, nobody famous, already well knew that raked casino poker couldn't be beat even by the best players in the world. The rake grinds out everybody in the long-run. Even with the smaller online rake - it's the exact same thing, just losing slower. I have seen no empirical evidence anywhere to prove otherwise. But try to convince an addict of that fact when they see a small rake, and the addict figures all he has to be is a percentage better than the rest of the players compared to the percentage of the rake, to make money. There is simply too much luck involved with poker for even the best players to overcome the accumulative effects of even a tiny rake - which is exactly why there hasn't been any documented, audited proof showing any long term winners.

But even knowing that, and I think a guy like Biff knows that, an addict for a variety of reasons thinks that next game, that next bet could get lucky, or perhaps he could enter the WSOP and get a variance like Jamie Gold or Chris Moneymaker - all of which is possible which is one reason this addiction is such a tough addiction.

But even winning a poker tournament, changes an addict's perspective on the game and they start betting more money - I've never seen an exception. and betting more money against gambling house rakes and cuts is a recipe for destruction of any size bankroll.

Of course the poker website affiliate commission hucksters, and there are many thousands of them out there scouring the internet like mosquitos looking for victims, who through themselves or phony name ID's they use in poker forums pretending they are winning players, that constantly want to keep their "customers" playing the sucker's game of raked poker. And unfortunately for gamblers they've been quite successful at it.

Well, I'll stop here for now but the realities and consequences of gambling to me are crystal clear - We are better off, far better off, perhaps infinitely better off, being an ex-gambler rather than a gambler.

Despite the "good points" about gambling in your opening post, what it really boils down to is self-abuse and self-destruction in our lives - and I know you know that because you have truthfully pointed that out as well in a number of good posts throughout this forum. However, this addiction has a "funny" way of telling us to forget all that bad stuff, and just give gambling one more try. It's a tough addiction.

YFIR,

Steve
glorp
#5 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
glorp

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O damn I miss it. And this is an example of typing as therapy. I'm a little high and if it weren't for the hassles of transferring money and setting up accounts I might have already succumbed.

I'm glad I'll be back at work in a few days that'll slow me back down. I'm a little high right now, chain smoking, remembering my psycho bubble I gor in
in those wierd zoned out sessions. I miss it. man, I miss it. sixteen months away and i miss it tonight for sure.

I never talked about the disasters in the option commoditiies markets that preceded poker. A stock block I sold decades ago for a big chunk of money is now worth almost seven million dollars and that's twisting me too. have a second impending bankruptcy coming up too, but thats not even because of the poker.

hell, i'm ok, ill fall asleep and get through another day, pulled available cash out of acconts I could use to transfer my little money out of to stop myself. But what is going on with me.

Stephen, is this the one year blues? I'm going to be ok here. I'll be damned if I throw away the little gains i've struggled to build. I get so damn lonely and bored and miss the terrible antidote of that bleary bubble...o boy was I addicted, and always will be.

ok, maybe I'll have to post a few more times. give me the good word. I empower the posts reminding me to hold the line. This is still my main tool, good feedback.

It's gotten so much better. I think these several days off have awoken my desires again. It's really something.

No doubt, thinking about it, getting it back in the head, is a danger...makes me think that anybody considering fake money play for "therapeutic reason" is making a big mistake, insofar that we all are pretty alike when it comes to this deal. It's bigger then we are, and we have to be strong and brave and keep the faith that we are on the right track, doing whatever we have to do to resist this serious threat to our well being.

I'm gonna be ok. We all will be if we just shift our mental gears as best we can when it's on us as a dewsperately sought relief from pain and stres and boredom. I wish us all strenght and clear thinking.

g
stephen_katz
#6 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
stephen_katz

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"Stephen, is this the one year blues?"

Glorp - I think you're one tough bird, and that's a compliment. With your determination and resolve, your "one year blues" is probably about the same as somebody else's one week blues or ninety day blues. You see a lot of gamblers attempting recovery, only lasting a week, ninety days or whatever before relapsing. I think with Biff it was around six months before a bust occurred - better than many. And of course you have not busted.

It's a tough addiction no doubt about that. As well as the lure of the money, it's the boredom, loneliness and depression which leads to gambling, and wanting to mask over and escape from personal problems.

I think most of the regular members here understand the addiction, and in my view the more we understand the addiction, then the better are the chances for a successful recovery - a key to success is doing whatever it takes and whatever works to do something about a gambling problem.

This post could take up all the allotted monthly digital space for the forum (LOL) so I'll just make one quick point in regards to your comment of "I miss it. man, I miss it."

I think a mistake some if not many make who relapse in recovery, is having a desire to replace gambling with something of an equal thrill, and when not finding that, then sometimes going back to gambling. If wanting something about equally thrilling to a poker opponent going all-in when you've got the nut flush, then ride a roller coaster, go skydiving, or take up bungee jumping or something like that. Because too many times you'll be on the other side of that poker hand with your opponent having the nut flush.

Most people aren't going to takeup those physical activities mentioned, so we need to adjust our thinking to accept that those thrills of gambling are gone, and need to stay gone. We can replace the time with all sorts of interesting activities - I could name thousands of fun & entertaining things to do out there and it's up to the individual to do what they enjoy doing. Not looking to equal the thrill of gambling, but instead at the end of the day having an inner satisfaction that we accomplished something or were involved in some enjoyable endeavor, without causing harm and destruction to ourselves.

YFIR,

Steve
glorp
#7 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
glorp

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I just posted this at the gambling therepy forum to another addict whose post I could relate too. I rarely post there, but it seems to summarize some things in simple english for me, so I'll park it here. I feel strong again today.

******

It's been awhile since you posted so I don't know if you check this thread anymore. I have only posted here a few times but I can relate to your post. I also was completely cleaned out, in my case by online poker. Not only did I lose my savings, but an inheritance as well. A great deal of money. Further, I was unemployed and all I did was lay waste to saved money. When the last money was gone the feeling was I imagine pretty close to yours. Not a pretty picture for a guy in his fifties.

Here's the good news. I haven't gambled in over a year. My thinking is clearer, and I can see that now. I got a little job, then a month ago a slightly better one. I am still shovelling away the wreckage I created, emotional and financial, which can feel like one man appraoching the 911 pile the day after it happened with a toy shovel.

I have come to terms with my addictive personality finally! I was playing cards for 14 years, losing steadily but "manageably" not realizing how I was strengthening my addiction, so by the time I discovered online play, all the brakes were off and I went completely out of control.

I am living modestly, and I'm single, a dubious blessing, but this means I am spared some responsibilities you have. But I could compete with anyone here in terms of the misery and confusion I caused myself when I finally woke up. What a reckoning that was.

My life is way far from perfect or complete. I always looked at myself as a guy, that for all his hustling, was honest with himself. What a liar I was. And I only see it from the perspective of total abstinence. The gains post-gambling are more measureable in terms of self growth, which didn't seem too important while I was following my nose in circles. But It does have value at any age to take stock and think carefully about things.

I had to quit. I did it the old fashioned way, cold turkey. I have found posting and reading in forums very helpful, perhaps because I have enough maturity to seriously weigh what I read. I get the impression you are an experienced person who might also benefit that way.

There is no easy way out sometimes. That's where personal strength comes in. Tell the truth as much as you can where it won't make things even worse, 'discretion the better part of valor,' and keep soldiering.

Quitting is actually quite simple, it's facing the aftermath that's the killer. I can tell you with certainty though, without any bromides or cliches, that you must quit totally and forever with no exceptions, and guarantee that if you do, and resolve with the power of an intelligent adult who has decided to take responsibility, that in the weeks and months that follow this smart decision, there is no question whatsoever, your life will improve, and maybe in ways you absolutely did not expect.

I was hanging over the edge of the cliff, so hopeless I was in shock looking down, and I couldn't even see the bottom, and now I got both legs back up over the edge and I'm pointed forward, and boy, I'm not gonna be the one to push myself off again.

(Message edited by glorp on August 01, 2007)
pattih
#8 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
pattih

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Glorp, thank-you I just read your Post & many things you said stuck out at me like if I continue my Gambling I am ( strengthening my addiction ) also the part of being a (Intelligent adult & taking responsibility) some times I need to see things in black & white or written by someone else,I know that my Gambling has taken over my life and I need to just STOP like you say, I am going to take some things off of these Posts & Post them on my refrigerator so I can look at them each time I want to go gamble & destroy my life alittle more.Thanks again if this Post sounds weird I am pretty tired right now it is the middle of the morning in good old USA Minnesota. Sandy, Scorpio,& everyone else keep your heads high we are good people with a bad addiction but sticking together to fight this can make us each alittle stronger.
God Bless You All
nomorepoker
#9 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
nomorepoker

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Glorp and Steven Katz, I need to keep reading your posts. What inspiration.

An on-line poker fiend myself, I am facing the long road. I now have to track losses in terms months of work to cover. Not hours or days. Incredible what a human can accomplish when challenged (LOL).

I am loner, no one knows my pain. Not my wife or son.

Please keep posting.

nomorepoker
glorp
#10 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
glorp

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I guess that's right..I don't know your pain. I was and am quite familiar with my own though. I haven't placed a bet...it will be two years in April. I think when I was playing I was largely anesthetized, booze and benzos and chain smoking...that went nicely with my online bubble, especially as I approached the final crash.
I was busy with maintaining my special bubble. I am a very addictive personality, to use the hackneyed parlance of our times. Now I can sit for hours staring at internet porn or puttering uselessly on the web. I still smoke and drink though not as much.

But for all that the decision to gamble has stayed
solid. I have posted so many ideas on how and why here. I just don't feel like it at this moment.

I'd just say that regardless of the misery of realizing the wreckage...just don't let that or any other thing act as an excuse to dig back in.
Staying quit is an independent issue, at least I treat it that way. There is nothing that can happen or that flies through my head that I need to let drive me to bet. It can drive me to some other craziness maybe, but I made up my mind about betting. That is a very strong force, when you really make up your mind.

It's stood the test of being broke and desperate and feeling utterly disconnected from myself and the human race, feeling scared, extremely anxious, martyred, paranoid, enraged, extremely lonely and abandoned...all that.

I think there are two ways I'd gamble again. One would be if a loaded revolver was place to my head with the hammer back and someone frcing me to...or if some demon flew out of another dimension with a tens of thousands cash and would only give it to me free if I sat at a table.

I think about playing..I mean I always check this online stuff because I do, and because it's an obsessive habit...but I have a reliable circuit breaker between thought and action.

It sounds like your staying away from playing these days and dealing with it. It's totally up to you. Later...g
nomorepoker
#11 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
nomorepoker

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Glorp,

I'm following a pattern that you identified in one of your posts... Intervals between playing increase in time and the urge to quit gets stronger, until the last straw is placed upon the back.

I have played online poker the past 4-5 years. I "quit" about a year and a half ago (as far as my wife knows) and didn't play online for about 9 months. I went to the card room once after six months. Then, I started playing again, heavy, but kept it a secret. I handle the finances and my wife never found out. I lied the few times she became suspicious.

I stopped tracking my losses quite a while ago because I didn't want to face the truth. The total sum is huge and will require a significant length of time to pay off. I am an expert in use of credit, though. Absolutely brilliant.

Anyway, each new deposit was a fresh start. I, maybe contrary to some, actually cashed out semi-regularly, but would always lose more than I won. It became so maddening that I would always get ahead, but lose it back plus my bankroll before I could cash. Even though every time I swore the next time would be different. It felt so good to be up $1500-2000, but then..... I think the vodka had something to do with my lack of discipline.

Sorry, I'm rambling.

Your posts are great. I need to follow your example. Thank you.

nomorepoker
davodevo
#12 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
davodevo

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Hey nomorepoker
I just read your post and feel I would like to comment on a couple of points.
This post was initiated months ago and I have missed it whilst reading through many others.

Nothing IS as satisfying to me as those single $20 notes that returned many thousands with one spin of those digital wheels but the high wins became expected and I gambled more often to try and achieve the ultimate 'JACKPOT' the 'luck' couldn't last and didn't

I am now many days from my last $2 coin deposited into a pokie machine and was lucky enough to be able to 'cold turkey' from that moment I decided to quit but like many others I tried to fill the void of the instant fix with a myriad of inane ventures. Free play online. I don't know how many times I managed at the last minute to not play for REAL Money. I managed to get the free play up to 750,000 which fueled my gambler mind to say why can't I turn my own money into this......

What stopped me is what I read in your post and from others relayed experiences that the next bout of gambling WILL be more intense. Nickles and dimes just don't do it for me anymore. My final gambling months were way out of control. I would win and be up when it was time to go but would always find a reason to try just one more until all was gone and spending well beyond my means and I kept losing. Winning is a possibility but to a compulsive / pathological gambler like me not very probable.

I can't and won't go back to that state of mind.

I now go fishing, play 8 ball and browse the web to excess but without the stress and self abusive nature of gambling.

In my opinion the act of gambling can be arrested for LONG periods even forever but it's up to the individual.......I do it for myself no one else and the positive effect filters on to others

(Message edited by davodevo on February 12, 2008)
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