Want to know about gambling? Read this: Part 2

In the last post I left off telling the story of how my gambling problem started.

Click to read Part 1

New Years (Jan 2009) rolls around and I tell myself no gambling, plus I moved in with my wife(girlfriend then) at her moms because that was the plan so that we would be closer to the hospital/doctors and work as the due date got closer. While living there obviously, I didn’t get the chance to just leave at midnight or 1 am because she would wake up saying where you going and I would just go back to sleep with her. Those several months I went without gambling which it helped out a lot because I didn’t spend my money and paid all my bills and bought stuff for the baby. My wife gave birth to our son in April and everything went well, she goes on maternity leave for a few months from work and when I got home it would be my turn to take care of the baby’s needs. Being home with my wife and son helped keep my mind off gambling for awhile till the summer rolled around.

Summer rolls around and I had all these nice parts for my Lexus but no money to get the body work done what so ever. I got the idea of just bringing a few hundred dollars with me to Foxwoods to see if I can make money to work on the car and to my luck I won a couple thousand dollars, this time I didn’t want to spend the money but saved the money to gamble more. It worked here and there and ended up winning enough money in the month of June to buy new AME wheels and got the parts and body work done to my Lexus. In July that’s when I had everything put on and paid for. The car looked awesome no doubt; lol but I had the gambling itch. As I made more trips I lost more and more money then it got to a point that I had to tell my wife because when she would needed me to pick up groceries or formula and I had to say I didn’t have money. Promised her that I wouldn’t go without her to Foxwoods and with her returning back to work I would be busy with the baby. It went on for a long time, only making a recreational trip to Foxwoods with friends when it was someone’s birthday but I didn’t gamble or when I was able to gamble it was only a couple hundred bucks.

Everything going well, we purchase our first home in October so a lot of the money was tied into the house and furnishing it. I didn’t have extra money to do anything as it was an old house and we needed to update the bathroom even before living there. Having a ps3 and a few games also kept me occupied late nights when I couldn’t sleep so the  thought of gambling wasn’t there while I was planning strategic battles in war games. I maintained a budget of paying the credit card debt down, working, and just staying home. No big problems during this time but I’ll fast forward it to March of 2010 where all hell breaks loose.

A few days before my 24th birthday in March I decided to go to Foxwoods on a whim with 600 dollars that I had been saving. I got to the casino at about 6 pm cause of traffic and started off with my usual bet of 50 bucks, before you know it, the stars were aligning and I starting winning like crazy on the black jack table I was on. I was increasing my bet from 50 to 100 after several hands, to 200 then to 400 then to 800 falling back to average bet of about 400/500 because I built up a serious bank roll of about $16,000 in about an hour span. I start losing my doubles down which was a total of like 1000 bucks a few times and was just going back and forth. I said fuck it; it’s time to go home with my money but, as I walk towards the cashier’s cage I remember I can’t cash out no more than 9900 because at the 10k limit they have to report it. Leaving me with about 6100 in chips I was heading to the other casino to finish my cash out but walking by the high rollers room I said to myself “man I’ve never played in there before” so I walked in the high rollers room sat down at a 100 min bet and 5000 max bet no mid shoe table. I was the only player so once they shuffled the card; players couldn’t enter the game till the next shuffle.

I started off playing one spot betting 200 and losing fairly quick, I decided to play 2 spots betting 100 then to my left 200. The cards fell and it didn’t look so good and after a couple hands I got frustrated and started to increase my betting to 200/400 and before I knew it I ran emptied out the 6100 I had to go cash. With only half the shoe left I reached in my pocket for 1000 bucks and started betting 100/300 hands go back and forth, I lose fairly quick reaching back into my pocket and taking out about 4000 dollars. Now we have pit bosses and dealers and some folks watching because I just pretty much threw away lot money and I kept reaching in my pocket for more cash. It works the same as cashing out if you cash in for more than 10k chips they have to report it as well. You guys have seen the movies before, bring dirty money to casinos, cash in for a lot of chips, gamble a few and go to the cage and get clean cash. So anyways, I fall back to just playing one spot because playing multiply spots was just burning money, I decided to bet 500 a hand and if I won that hand I went to 1000. It was going back and forth but I managed to win a few and was throwing down 2000/3000 dollar hands. Winning the smaller bet but losing the big ones when it mattered the most. Just think betting a 1000 and doubling down or splitting the cards, I had to put up the same amount and when you lost it was double the bet. I lost it all after a string of cold cards and the shuffle came and like always reached back in my pocket and took all of it out except my original 600 and said if I lose this money I’m going home a dumbass. I started out winning a few sets in a row in the beginning which it helped me build up my bankroll to let’s say about 12 thousand and I started to bet big again but this time it reached 3000 dollars. I remember it so well like it was yesterday, received 6 and 5 making it 11 while the dealer was showing a 7, obvious thing to do is double down which was hard but I threw another 3000 down for a total of 6000 on the hand and I was hoping for that face card or a 10 making it 21. You guessed it right I got a damn 2 making it 13, in my head it went fuck fuck fuck and I know he has a 10 under his 7 making it 17 (that’s what you’re suppose to think in the game of blackjack) and in which case I lost. He flipped his under card and it was a 9 making it a 16 so he had to hit a card and let me tell you my heart started to race like there was no tomorrow clinching my fist so hard it was hurting me, all eyes on the dealer and deck and bam, face card, he busted I jumped off the chair and was clinching my fist still, like the quarterbacks do when they throw touchdowns and saying yes, thank you, thank you. Dealer paid me and I colored up my chips for 20k and for the first time I had 5k chips 4 little chips worth 20k, I was in awe. I started to walk away from the table and it hit me I never tipped the dealer, I run back and say hey you take cash tips and he said yes, I reached in my pocket and threw 3 100 bills at him and said thanks man.

I continue my walk to the next casino so that I can cash out 9k worth of chips and started to the walk towards the next casino so that I can repeat the cash out but I decided to sit down at a nearby black jack table. And again the stars aligned and I was hitting every hand, I was betting, the table max was 1000 but I was playing max bet every hand on a full table and everyone was in awe because after about 12 minutes I racked up 10k and said I was done (I had to go pick up my son from my mom’s). Continued to the next casino cashed out another 9k leaving me with 13k in chips and I walked back to the earlier casino cage to cash out 8k but the only problem the manager recognized me and flagged me for cashing out more than 10k. I still had a 5 k chip and decided to just head home and come back another time. While driving home my wife calls me and asks me where I am, I said I was heading to get our son and automatically flips out cause she knew where I was and hung up the phone. On the way to get my son I had the craziest smirk ever and when I finally got my mom’s I walked in where my son was sleeping and picked him up and was just holding him like I haven’t seen him in ages, mom ask what’s wrong with me and I said I went to Foxwoods and she flipped out as well but I said hey ma, I won 30k tonight and took out the 26k in cash and the 5 k chip. Gave my mom the 5k chip and asked if she can go cash it out as soon as possible, which she said sure, then gave her the 14k so that she can write out a check for me for my Lexus (that was what’s left on my loan at the time) knowing that I might spend my money stupidly. Gave her some money also because she’s always there to help me out, threw a couple hundred towards my little brother and sister just because I could. Told a friend he didn’t have to repay me on a loan I gave him because I could. Went home and went to bed while the wife was really mad at me for going to the casino, I never told her I won the money until the next day but she didn’t believe me until later that night when I got home.

Even though I won money, she was very upset still that I went to the casino because she knew what that does to me. So now after a week or 2 I buy an engagement ring in Boston, spending a decent amount of money, fixing things around the house and I’m back down to a few thousand. I started sneaking out to go to Foxwoods late and got people to cover me at work so I would go without her knowing. Now I was bringing a couple thousand with me to play with and I was actually winning tons of money again ranging from 8/9k to 18/19k a night. Going 3 to 4 times a week again on the low; living a double life. I wasn’t winning all that consecutively but I would lose 5k in a night and win 9k a couple days later and it would go back and forth. The problem I had was, winning in such a high volume it made it difficult to stop when I won 5k or 8k so it would end in losing it all chasing that 15k or higher payout. And yes I lost it all and back into the credit cards.  I had to tell the wife because I had a hard time making payments on a few things at times and I was borrowing money again from my sister and a friend here and there. Paying everyone back slowly and catching up on bills, staying away until we would get invited to go to Foxwoods for parties or birthdays and I would start gambling with my bills money, only problem was that every time I did it I ended up winning 8k to 10k. Making it so bad because you know how it is bottles popping, champagne sipping kind of shit when there’s tons of money involved and peoples birthdays and crap.

Before you know I had people always wanting to go and gamble with me and hang out cause even though I talked about it no one really they saw how it went. I had a friend of mine just watch me gamble and he was saying omg I can feel the fucking gambling high without even gambling. The serious money your throwing down and winning, it just made it seem so easy to people, etc , etc. As I went more and lost more money, I couldn’t sneak out or afford to live that double life, your so called friends disappear because they can’t handle the lows. I’m sure everyone knows what I’m talking about.  I knuckled down went to work and straight home, tried to keep myself busy and mind focused, plus we set a date for our wedding and it had to be paid for. All during this time it was really rough as my wife always called to check on me, my sister, and my mom all making sure that I was okay and that I just didn’t drive to Foxwoods on a whim. At the place where we were getting married we had to make payments leading up to our wedding so that we didn’t just book a wedding and cancel and they lose out on a potential wedding from someone else. I believe it was couple months before our wedding the bachelor party came up but got cancelled last minute but a bunch of us went to Foxwoods and stayed overnight, which wasn’t a great idea. I had fun but let me tell you that it was horrible and I saying I had restraints cause it’s been a real long time since I gambled, nope relapsed like there was no tomorrow. I believe I ended up pissing away 5k in a few hours and the next day I borrowed a thousand from a friend and ended up losing it as well. I go home and legit feel like a piece of shit cause I lost the money I was suppose to pay the place where we were suppose to get married. I broke down and asked to borrow money from my older brother and he lent me the money to make the final payment. I told him I would pay him back slowly but a few days before the wedding he told me it was all set and it was a wedding gift. I didn’t know what to say or do I felt so wow and grateful. Thanking him over and over and even now as I’m writing this I got a little teary eyed because he helped me and it was the turning point in my life making me realize what the fuck am I doing.

After our wedding, at night we went to Foxwoods to hang out with friends and the wedding party before our honey moon but I stayed within my 300/400 dollar allowance that was given to me and was okay with it. After our honey moon I kept busy actually working on my car, working on things that I could do with the house, and just working. I didn’t have sudden urges to just go to Foxwoods anymore, hanging out with my friend Adam more; he’s actually the one who started this blog with me. I’ve gone to Foxwoods but only with my wife and never going overboard. There have been times where I’ve won some decent money but that’s only because the wife starts to pocket the chips and if I lose what’s on the table that’s it. I can tell you that I’m still paying for my past problems with gambling (the CC advances) I’ve gone to Foxwoods twice this year once for my boss’s birthday and lost 200 bucks.  The second was 5/6 months after that night, it was actually a week ago, I went out on a whim to Foxwoods and brought with me 400 bucks and lost.

As I approach the casino in my car, I had the same chills in my body like I did before, walking in it looked the same, smelled the same, room temperature felt the same, same type of people I would see, same sticky chips, same colored felt on the tables, same uniforms on the waitress and security guards, but one thing was missing as I was sitting there and I didn’t know what. Even though I lost money, I never felt the urge to go to the ATM machine; I didn’t have that fighting desire to win back my money or that gambling high when I was betting. Was it because I wasn’t betting large enough? Or have a lot of money to play? I have no idea, I really don’t but, I can tell you when I got into my car to leave I was saying to myself WTF, what a crazy journey. Am I cured I don’t really know, but I do know that I don’t have urges to even go or even wanting to go at all.

I know my story was all over the place but I wanted to try to explain how things went and what led to what. It’s really hard to tell because I left out a lot of the small stuff that I didn’t think it was important, but I can tell you that during the duration of my gambling I always told people the good and the bad, and some would really understand and say “Thanks I really don’t want to go there or even try to gamble”. Others would tease and say that I have a gambling problem but I never once said I didn’t to them and told them to fuck off but they realized it and never said it again. I won a lot of money at times but I also bought a lot of stuff so that I couldn’t lose what I didn’t have, the credit cards played a role when I didn’t have money but I do pay them, and have paid everyone back that I borrowed money from. It’s hard to follow in the story but just think I would win let’s say 10 thousand and spend it all and gamble with my money I would get from work. Also I didn’t mention it but I did pay off the Honda with a nights winning. Every year I wrote down if I was up and down but I included a small timeline. In 2009 and 2010 I won crazy money but as I spent it and started to use my own money the winnings went down like crazy, obviously. It was just one long and harsh road even for the people who cared about me, thank you! Grateful to have them in my life. Thanks for reading and protect yourself or try to from this gambling madness.

Winnings and Loses

2007 – 14k

2008 – (-22k)

2009 – 28k

2010 – 13k

2011 – (-3500/4000)

2012 – (-600)

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