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    shelterme
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    Hello Everyone.

    I want to share my story. I feel too embarrassed to discuss it with friends, family or girlfriend, but I want to get it out of my chest, so here goes.

    Before I begin, please excuse me for any mistakes in this post – English is not my mother tongue. Also, if this is the wrong forum to post this message, I kindly ask the moderators to move it to the correct forum – but please don’t delete it, I’ve put a lot of effort in writing my story.

    I am 34 years old. I excelled at high school, finished the university without any delays getting my diploma, and now have a permanent job. My salary is OK I guess… I also have a girlfriend who I love very much, and consider spending the rest of my life with her.
    I kind of enjoyed gambling even as a youngster – but nothing extreme. Just placed some football bets during the weekend – very rarely as a student at highschool, but somehow more often when I was attending university. I was convinced that if I studied the teams’ news, player injuries etc. etc. I could make some money. Needless to say, I had only won once or twice – I kept losing money – small sums, but it’s still a loss – . Back then I didn’t consider it to be a problem. I had my girlfriends and was enjoying a students’ life.
    After getting my degree, at the age of 26, I was discussing about football bets with an old classmate of mine. He then suggested that, instead of gambling using the State’s bookie I could get a debit card from a bank and place my bets over the internet, because the odds offered by internet bookies were far more better. He also told me that he had stopped betting on sports because he had taken up online poker.
    So, in 2004, I got a debit card and, out of curiosity, I tried playing poker. Back then, I was living with my parents and got a rather good salary from my job – so I didn’t have any serious expenses I should worry about. I guess that’s why I didn’t hesitate to deposit 50 GBP every now and then, trying to beat other poker players online. Sometimes I won but more often than not, I lost and re-deposited.
    However, I got hooked instantly. I ordered poker books, bought poker dvd’s – I devoted almost my entire free time to poker. Reading, watching and, of course, playing.
    I also started writing a blog about poker strategies. My articles were read by a website’s moderator related to poker news, articles, fora etc. . This man thought my writing was rather good, so he asked me to write for his website and getting paid for it. Of course I accepted – poker was my hobby back then and I enjoyed writing about it a lot – let alone earning money for it! I am pleased to say that I’ve been a member of that website from 2004 since today, adding a bit more to my monthly income.
    Since 2005 I’ve been playing poker almost every day with few exceptions (vacations with girlfriend or family etc). I can’t say I had much success – apart from 2-3 big wins at live tournaments, which kind of made up for a part of my losses.
    My biggest mistake however was that I discovered blackjack. First for fun, me and my friends visited local casinos every now and then, spending 50-100GBP every time. I occasionally won some – but these wins were few and far between.
    However, as you all know, there are online casinos too – and I must say at first I hated them. I mean, I considered myself “a serious poker player” who plays by the odds and “doesn’t gamble when the odds are not in his favor” !
    Two or three winning blackjack sessions, however, were enough to alter my way of thinking. Before I even had the chance to realize it, I found myself gambling at online casinos playing strictly blackjack, trying to make up for the losses from poker. And, just like in other similar cases, my few blackjack winning sessions were a perfect excuse for trying, over and over, again and again, all the time to win back from blackjack the money I had lost playing poker.
    My problem got worse very soon. After every losing BJ session I went straight to bed, somehow relieved that this stressing procedure had ended. The next morning I promised myself never to gamble again. The very same afternoon, this promised was changed : “I promise myself never to play BJ again!”.
    Before I knew it, I had deposited more money, played poker patiently for 3-4 hrs, suffered a small loss – compared to what I had won up to that time and went INSTANTLY to the BJ table (Because I didn’t have the discipline to let it go and keep my winnings, if and when I had any) where I blew my entire winnings plus, of course, the deposits. There were times when, after playing constantly for a week and winning, I somehow managed to blew all winnings at online blackjack in less than an hour. Of course, apart from the financial consequences, this had its effect on my emotions. I god sad, angry, didn’t feel like meeting with friends or my girlfriend. I couldn’t stand myself, I felt so disappointed. However, after a couple of days these feelings disappeared and the urge to play poker returned – as I did to the BJ online table, once I experienced my first loss at a poker table.
    No need to mention any other incidents, I guess you see the point. I’m not sure if I can make any money playing strictly poker, and to be honest right now I don’t want to know. Why? Im so disgusted at myself, because I threw down the drain the efforts of days or week, destructing myself financially and emotionally. That’s not the main reason I got disgusted of myself however. The main reason is that I stongly feel that I have disappointed my own self. I was an excellent student both at highschool and at university, very good at my work, always good at what I tried to do – hobbies, job, whatever – and “a really nice person and colleague”, if I can believe the people around me.
    So, I just cannot bear with myself for facing such a serious problem, for which Im solely to blame and which I cannot seem to leave behind and move on.
    I feel so sad for the money I have lost during all these years. Maybe its not millions or hundreds of thousands – but still, when I think I could have kept it aside or used it somewhere else I get depressed. Whats more, I feel sad for the endless hours I have spent in front of my computer, playing poker or BJ. I always think that I could have done ANYTHING else during these hours – learn how to play an instrument, learn a computer program language (I love computers) , literally ANYTHING and consider to have spent my time in a profitable way!
    The only “ray of sunshine” in this dark period of my life is that I have kept my part-time job at this website, which provides me with an additional income – alas, this income sometimes was spent for gambling.
    I really need some encouragement and advice about how to move on. I want to stay away from gambling, saving money and spending my time in a more profitable way : exercising , learning how to program computer applications, even cooking – I don’t know, anything. Right now, I feel that I could do ANYTHING else other than gambling and profit from it , emotionally, I mean.
    I make these thoughts every day, but still somehow when Im at home I cant resist. I make small deposits using prepaid cards or whatever and find myself “drowning” emotionally again…
    I apologize for such a long post. Thank you sincerely for bearing with me and reading all this stuf… God Bless.
    — 26/11/2012 7:11:27 pµ: post edited by Shelterme.– 26/11/2012 7:11:54 pµ: post edited by Shelterme.– 26/11/2012 7:12:25 pµ: post edited by Shelterme.

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