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      Im a 21 year old with a serious gambling problem. I’m somewhat on the straight and narrow now trying to solve my problem but I still get the urges to gamble most days. I’ve been gambling since I was about 21 and it has been problematic for me for about 3 years now. It has caused problems for me financially, relationship-wise (family, gf, friends), life-wise and just mentally. Noone actually knows the complete story of the extent of my gambling and the methods I’ve used to acquire money to gamble. My parents know I have a gambling problem as does my now ex gf and a few other friends but they do not know the extent of my problem, so I would like to share it now with some people.
      So my first memory of me losing money to gambling was when I was about 17 I think. Ironically enough, growing up I used to be really good with money. My parents own a restaurant and I would help them out all the time so I would always save up money in the bank. When I was 17 i started playing some online poker. I thought I was smart enough to beat other people and thought it would be a good way to have some fun a make a little bit of pocket money. Anyway it started out really small, I put $50 won a little bit then quit and wanted to withdraw my winnings but there was a policy where you can only withdraw 48 hours after your deposit. I ended up playing again probably the next day and remember losing my winnings plus the $50 I put on and this is how it all started. I can’t exactly remember what happened but all I remember is calling up my gf crying at about 2am in the morning or something telling her how I had lost $2000.
      After this incident I actually didnt have any more gambling incidents for awhile and things were going ok in life I guess. I had a gf, I had finished school and was starting University. I turned 18 and I think it was about 3 months or so before I took my first step into a casino (the legal age for drinking and gambling in Australia is 18). I went in with a couple of friends played some blackjack and lost about $50 and that was it. The problem didn’t start here but this was just my first experience in a casino. I do remember when it was that I started to gamble and it wasn’t socially with friends and this incident was most likely the one that began my downfall. Me and a friend of mine decided to play in a poker tournament at the casino for $100 buy-in each I think it was. We both thought we were pretty hot shot poker players and we were joking about how me and him were going to win it or if one of us cashed we would split the winnings. We decided to go in dressed up all smart and look proffessional but we had no idea what we were getting into. Anyway we both busted out of the tournament pretty early so we were both out $100. I then decided to go put $50 on some table games and ended up losing that pretty quickly. I forgot to mention this but I’m pretty sure I lied to my gf and said I was working this night so I could go to the casino and gamble. The next day is when I began my life as a problem gambler…..
      After I had lost $150 the night before I decided that I wanted to go and win it back at the casino. So I went BY MYSELF the following day, around midday, to go play some table games and try and win it back. I was still a bit of a casino rookie, didn’t know what games to play and "how/the correct way/proper strategy" was in tackling these games. I think I played some blackjack, a bit of texas bonus and 3 card poker. I don’t remember the figures but I’m pretty sure I walked out with my money I lost the night before and plus some on top. So walking out of the casino I felt pretty good about myself and thought hey this is a pretty easy way to make some money. After this win I recall going back to the casino during the daytime BY MYSELF regularly for a couple of weeks. I had a car so I would go to my uni class then go to the casino in between breaks or I might even skip the class just so I could go gamble. After playing a few times I picked up on how to play certain games and I even looked up blackjack strategy and realised that the way I was playing blackjack the other day was horrible and I now understood why some of the ppl at the table were giving me horrible looks for some of the decisions I made. So within a week I felt like I had gone from a casino rookie to a casino pro. During these few weeks that I would go I started playing some no limit hold em poker, the type against other players not against the house. I won’t go indepth into it but basically I thought I was good and was just beating everyone because I was better than them but looking back now that was definitely not the case. So in summary I continued going regularly during the day I think for approximately a month, I can’t remember, but it was a good month cause I was continuously winning, I think I had won about $2000 which was a lot to me at the time. Sometimes I would deposit some of the money in the bank but I would keep some of it in an envelop in my car so I could go gamble after uni classes. If anyone of my friends opened my glovebox they would think I was a drug dealer or something because I would just carry like $500 in an envelope in my car lol. The whole reason I think I got sucked into gambling was because I was one of those people that experienced the big win streak when they first start gambling. So after my month or so or winning reality finally began to kick in.
      Sorry for the long post it’s a long story and I have a lot to get off my chest. I have to go to work now so I will continue the story when I come home later. I hope some of you will read this and give me some feedback/support tell me what you think. Thanks

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