May 19, 2011
On some level I knew that continuing to play was bad, but when in the frenzy the logical straight thinking person doesn't have a say in the matter. I spun long enough to lose $3k putting me at $15k even and forced myself to take a break, so I could think about things for a moment. It was no use to try and think logically about it. I was going to play, and that was it.
It took me about 15 minutes to lose $14k, and for some unknown reason I felt fine about it this time. I did not feel sick or bad, I just felt numb to it at this point. I only had $1k left on Party Poker and in a weird way I was relieved because I knew I was almost done. I decided to make my last two spins by wagering $500 per number, on one number per spin. I clicked the $500 chip and laid my bet on number 17, which I lost. For my last and final bet I clicked the $500 chip and laid my bet on number 7, which also lost. I was not mad, or unhappy, I knew this was inevitable. I decided I would ban myself for 30 days in hope that I would be done with my gambling binge by then. I poked around Party's software trying to find the self-exclusion option. I sifted through about 3 different sections of their software with out finding it, when I noticed I was eligible for a no strings attached instant $50 bonus. I accepted the bonus and figured I may as well spin it. I sat down with my "free" $50 and decided to place $25 bets on two numbers. I chose the numbers quickly, numbers 2 and 25. I hit the spin button and sure enough number 25 was the winner, which paid $900. I did not flinch, by this time I had wagered so many large bets that a $900 win didn't even feel like a win (which is crazy).
I figured I should go for all or nothing with my new found $900. The first bet I placed was $100 on four numbers, with plans of betting the remaining $500 on one number the next spin. Spin one was a loser, and I remember having this strong "good feeling" about number 1. I remember thinking " I wish they would let me bet more because number 1 is gonna hit". With no hesitation I plopped my last $500 down on number 1, and hit the spin button. The wheel came to rest, and as if I were Nostradamus himself the winning number was number 1, and just like that I won the $18k back. I was almost frustrated to win because once again I had a lot to lose. The sick feeling I had grown a custom to was back, and it was worse than ever.
I sat for a few minutes pleading with myself to just book the win and move on. To this day that is one of the strangest experiences I have ever had. Talking to yourself in that way doesn't seem possible?, but it is like I am 2 people. Person 1 is a calculative, logical person who always tries to better himself through solid decision making. Person number 2 is a balls out psycho when it comes to risk, and he just wants more and more, regardless of the inevitable -EV ending. The psycho in me usually wins these battles, and he just won yet again, I was spinning in less than 3 minutes of my self forced break.
Thousands of dollars were changing hands every minute. By the time I had lost $8k back I began to realize how ridiculous everything had become. I started to accept the fact that I may have developed a problem, and the spins came to a halt. I began running through a checklist of things I would have someone else do if they were uncontrollably gambling. The best first step seemed to be killing the enabler, which right now was Party Poker. I closed the table as fast as I could and desperately tried to find the self exclusion option. Eventually I found it, and before I excluded myself I cashed the remaining $10k to moneybookers. I decided to exclude myself for 3 days in case I had to login to send documents, or in case I had to login again for other reasons related to the cash off. I was finally banned from all sites, and all things gambling, and it felt good.
The ordeal ended with me winning somewhere near $35k playing roulette. I can report that I have not faltered since that final spin on Party Poker, and I hope I never play again. To all who read this I would say DON'T GAMBLE. No sports, roulette, blackjack, dice, or any other game of chance. It is just not worth it. It can lead to serious problems very easily, and without you even realizing it. There is just no god that can come from wagering on games of chance. You will lose. I don't want to get preachy, but I really believe it's an easy trap to fall into, especially if you are a poker player who plays on sites where these many games of chance are offered. That is all I have to say, good luck to everyone.