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Thanks for starting this thread, it’s really interesting and I want to take part here. As someone who really should not be a gambler (yes, that’s probably all of us I know), I have long been fascinated by people who make their living from poker and gambling of all kinds, especially when you see poker stars treated like rock stars and apparently having a great life. They also write compelling books and interesting interviews about their lives. But that’s an interesting parallel for me, because as someone who has a talent for music and writing, I have long been suspicious of fame and fortune. I have met plenty of successful yet unhappy actors and musicians, who never seem to have enough in life. Perhaps it’s not just money or gambling that we’re all talking about here, but something else more important. Perhaps we sometimes use games and gambling as a way of avoiding looking at who we really are and finding out what we should be doing with our time. The whole messed up psychology of gambling addiction, when money just isn’t real anymore and we just play with numbers, is something we all can recognise now. I recently had another attack of gambling, but my numbers are nowhere near yours. However, it’s no less important. The psychology is the same. Every day we can choose to spend hours playing a ‘game’ in isolation, or connect with people we love (or find people we could know and love), in productive and life-enhancing ways. Ultimately I want to help people in this life, so when I win at poker who am I helping? Maybe myself for a while, maybe my banker, but certainly not the guy who lost or anyone associated with him. It’s always win-lose, whereas to live a good life we should be looking for win-win situations (eg. building a good career, inventing something useful for humanity, caring for or teaching others etc.) I know I have rambled on, but I want to wish you well and hope you have a flash of insight which really brings positive results in your life and enhances the lives of everyone around you for the better.

Best Wishes,