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Misc Why did you start playing?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Gambling Forum' started by amoser, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. amoser

    amoser Member

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    Hello guys ;) For quite a long time I've been interested in gambling and looked for some blogs to read but didn't dare to start playing myself. Then once my cousin won a good deal of money I thought "Why not?" It took time before I won for the first time, but I won! I can't say that I play a lot, but from time to time I do. And I want to learn more about blackjack. Frankly speaking, I'm more interested in writing about gambling. Yes, I'm a bit on the other side, but still in gambling :) And what about you? Why did you start playing?
     
  2. KewlJ

    KewlJ Active Member

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    I was 20 years old working a crappy dead end type retail job in Philadelphia when I bought a copy of The World's Greatest Blackjack Book, by Lance Humble at The Philadelphia Library's used book sale. I didn't even know how to play blackjack so first I had my roommate teach me how to play. Then I read the book numerous times, bought 4 decks of cards and started dealing hands and keeping track of results. I did during my free time for a couple hours every day. Using the small bet spread described, sure enough as my trial size grew, I was showing a little profit on paper and my interest REALLY grew. :)

    For those familiar with WGBB, Lance Humble introduced the Hi-Opt 1 system, a level one system, but it doesn't account for the aces. It accounts for 3-6 vs all the 10 value cards. And being that in the book it stated that the most valuable card was the ace, that seemed out of whack to me. Next I purchased Stanford Wong's Professional Blackjack, which used the very common Hi-Lo count which did include tracking of the Aces. This made more sense to me.

    Not long after that I made my first trip to Atlantic City to play with real money. I was still 20, but had an ID that sad 21. It was actually a real ID as the state had made a mistake when I moved to Pa. My first trip, I didn't have much money. I think I took $200. It was a $5 minimum table, 8 decks at the Claridge In Atlantic City. I was spreading $5-$20 which meant my bankroll wasn't big enough. It was only 10 "big Bets". And my $5-$20 spread was not nearly big enough to actually be playing a winning game on the 8 deck games. That was a spread recommended in WGBB which was written in the 1970's for single deck games. So basically despite doing everything wrong...I won that day. Won a couple hundred dollars. Won my first 3 trips, and probably 7 or 8 of my first 10 trips.

    I had now had visions of making a living counting cards. I was saving as much money as I could and adding my winnings to it and had 4 grand. That was a lot of money to me. Most I ever had in my life. I was still working my crappy fulltime job and making a couple trips to AC each week. I figured I would do this for the next year or so, until I really built a decent bankroll. But shortly after that I was robbed at gunpoint at work....again! It was the third robbery in less then 3 years. My shift had just started and didn't have much money in the cash register. As "crackhead Charlie" held the barrel of his rusty gun to my temple, his hand shaking, I remember thinking he was going to shoot me over $35. :eek: He looked at me in disbelief when he saw what was in the register. He glared at me for what seemed like an eternity and finally grabbed what little bills and even coins that he could and ran out the door dropping coins along the way.

    I finished that shift and quit the next day. With $4300 to my name, I began my career counting cards for a living. I knew I wasn't prepared. I was just beginning to learn the game let alone what was REALLY necessary to succeed and of course had no where near enough money. I was pretty sure my "blackjack career" would last a matter of weeks, maybe a couple months until I lost my bankroll and I would be back working another crappy retail job. :( But I am now in to my 14th year of supporting myself from blackjack play.:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  3. KewlJ

    KewlJ Active Member

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    I didn't do justice with this last line. I should have concluded that being extremely fortunate along the way....I mean shit-ass lucky....winning the lottery kind of lucky, I am now in my 14th year. And even that doesn't do it justice.
     
  4. amoser

    amoser Member

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    Thank you for your story! It was extremely interesting to read! I also believe people should be lucky to win.
     
  5. Rona

    Rona Member

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    Out of boredom and excess money.
     
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  6. MrV

    MrV Well-Known Member

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    I'd quit tobacco and alcohol and was looking for a new addiction.

    You know, something to help pass the time.

    I went to a newly opened tribal casino in the late nineties just to see what it was like; afterwards I told my secretary that the game of craps looked interesting.

    She surprised me by giving me John Patrick's book "Advanced Craps" for Christmas; I read it plus other books on gambling and it seemed like something I could sink my teeth into.

    These days I play craps and high limit slots: nothing like a hand pay to cut through the numbness of day to day existence.

    Same thing for losing: yeah, I suppose that I have "excess money" issues as well. :)
     
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  7. freddy

    freddy Active Member

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    I too enjoy high limit slots. Don't know if our idea of high limit is the same though... $5? I also have a love/hate relationship with roulette. Still haven't figured it out. Unlike those savvy WOVers, I have no photos of big slot wins or stories of $100k weekends. What am I doing wrong?

    I was going to take a photo of a really big slot hit but the guy that won it told me to get lost. The next time I leave my card in a machine for someone else to get me credits, I'll be sure to post a pic. Plus EV.
     
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  8. amoser

    amoser Member

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    Frankly speaking, I thought that people go into gambling because of a lack of money..hmm I was wrong

    Thank you for your answers!
     
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  9. Mickey Crimm

    Mickey Crimm Well-Known Member

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    Actually, it is a known phenomenon that when economies crash gambling revenue can go up as people get desperate for money.
     
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  10. MrV

    MrV Well-Known Member

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    My usual play is on a Double3X4X5X machine that allows a player to bet one or two credits in denominations of $1, $5, $10 or $20.

    I usually bet $2 and hope for a bit of luck, as a fair win allows me to "take a shot" at a higher amount, up to the occasional $40 a pop.

    On average I suppose I bet $5 about every fifth bet, $10 about every 20th, and $20 and $40 less often: but I always wind up taking a couple of shots at the $20 or $40 level.

    I'm not fool enough, or rich enough, to sit there for hours betting the higher amounts.

    I walk away and take a break if things are "cold," as I want to break the chain and avoid frenzied play / going on tilt.

    I'm hoping to someday get a five or even a six figure jackpot (it could happen, theoretically), but it hasn't happened yet; last Sunday I hit for $1500, which was sweet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  11. Rona

    Rona Member

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    I agree with you and Mickey.
    It is true that in many cases financial problems can lead to gambling as a desperate solution.
    I have spoken with the guy in the documentary and he told me that he started gambling to help his girlfriend financially. He has won the first couple of times he played slots and thought it could be a solution.

    Btw, he is a very nice guy.


    The thing is that current gamblers are mostly financially able. But this is just because many of the less wealthy are already destroyed and quit casinos.
    It is the same with drug addicts. The number may seem relatively low because many of them are already dead.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  12. Bombus

    Bombus Active Member

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    I played basketball as a teenager and when our club had social fundraising events they would set up a roulette table.

    I got to spin the wheel for a while each night. I was hooked and started playing in casino's as soon as I was of legal age.
     
  13. UpTheAnte

    UpTheAnte New Member

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    I began playing poker at a young age when I watched my parents play every weekend with their friends and my aunts and uncles. My older siblings began joining in on the games and I felt jealous and left out so I started practicing by myself i.e. stuffed animals were the opponents and I'd just practice the strategy and terminology of the game using my dad's poker chips while reading the books he had laying around the house.

    I asked my parents to play a "family friendly" game of poker with me and my brothers and sisters and I got the "Oh how cute you want to play poker" and they agreed. That weekend they were stunned at my skills and inserted me into the next games and the rest is history. That was the last time my family told me to "be a good and play goldfish while the big folks play grown up games." :D:D
     
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  14. MrV

    MrV Well-Known Member

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    When I was about ten or so I had one of those cheap roulette wheel / toy things.

    It worked, but was pretty cheesy.

    I had some neighborhood kids come play it, they'd bet their pennies and nickels: quite popular.

    Fun times.
     
  15. amoser

    amoser Member

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    It was very interesting to read your story. Thank you
    And many thanks to everyone for your answers!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  16. amoser

    amoser Member

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    I agree with you. I asked some gamblers about why they started playing, and the majority named excess of money as the main reason. Those who have money may afford playing despite of the losses they incur.
     
  17. MrV

    MrV Well-Known Member

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    Of course, that is how all recreational gamblers, i.e. non-AP's should approach it.

    Gambling for me is a stimulating form of entertainment.

    I could spend the money I lose gambling on other things such as travel, a new car, fancy clothes, a new bass boat, but those things don't really do it for me.

    I believe that in order to remain on the straight and narrow a gambler must maintain discipline, not bullshit himself / herself about wins and losses, and never lie to others about his / her gambling.
     
  18. Mission146

    Mission146 Member

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    Gambling is in my blood, baby!

    Interestingly enough, I had an on-again, off-again (mostly off) relationship with casino gambling until I was in my late-20's. I first became more interested when it occurred to me that there were casino games (aside from Poker and Blackjack) in which a player might be able to play at an advantage.

    However, I say it is in my blood because it has always been something that I have enjoyed, even when not in a casino environment.

    For one thing, I've been playing poker since I was (literally) a small child. Five card draw was the only game that I knew for several years, but that wasn't going to stop me from trying to take your pocket change from you. Sucker that I am, I usually gave it back to my friends.

    Actually, I think it started with my Dad and, 'Concentration,' which eventually turned into, '500 Rummy.' We would often play a little game called, 'Concentration,' which consisted of picking cards and matching pairs and I could try to improve on my allowance money or lose some of it. He wouldn't let me lose all of it and I was only allowed to win up to a maximum amount. Someone should have told him money management doesn't work. That game eventually turned into, '500 Rummy,' where how much you won or lost was generally based on how many points by which you won or lost the game. Sometimes Rummy was for a flat amount per game.

    I had the Caesars Palace video game for Sega Genesis and probably tried half of the betting systems known to man, all prior to the age of thirteen. It was a fun game, though.

    We'd go to the skating rink and play some draw poker or play some draw poker at school. I was better at keeping the money from that because I wasn't necessarily playing with good friends all the time, we were also a little bit older, so the other kids kind of understood the realities of losing. It's easier to take someone's money in a fair game when there are not any literal tears being shed by the loser!!! I remember one occasion at the skating rink during which our poker game got broken up, but we were told we could use candy to play: You guessed it, we attributed monetary values to the pieces of candy and settled up in the bathroom.

    I would go on to play Texas Hold 'Em with my Mom and StepDad a bunch, though I could never compel my Mom to bet me money and my recollection is I could only get my Stepdad to go real money occasionally for small amounts. I also continued to play that, Draw and other various poker games with my friends.

    I've never really had the disposition for No Limit Texas Hold 'Em, other than tournaments, (I DO NOT take, 'Bad Beats,' well) so I learned pretty quickly to generally stay away from that. I've made the mistake of playing it a few times in the last decade, probably even overall, but even then, I never leave the table in a good mood. I played Limit Hold 'Em at Harrah's NKC a good bit when I lived out that way. I moved back to the area that I am from after getting done with University out there and that basically takes us back to the first paragraph.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
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  19. amoser

    amoser Member

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    Thank you for sharing your story, Mission 146. I enjoyed reading it
     
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  20. Mission146

    Mission146 Member

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    Amoser,

    Thanks for the compliment!
     

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