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      Where did it all start?
      Well, my mums partner liked a gamble and showed me how to play fruit machines. We won the jackpot the first time i played.
      Before that’d never gambled on anything.
      Subsequently i got addicted quite heavily to the fruit machines in the local pub – i don’t think i realised quite how addicted i was. I became a bit of a laughing stock because even when i’d won i’d keep playing, frequent trips to the bank round the corner became a habit.
      Thing was it was a social crutch – i hated socialising and was horrible at it, so i used it as an escape.
      From there I started gambling on football and playing poker – ironically although i probably lost money on football, I’ve made more on poker than i’ve ever lost on it, winning some big tournaments. At this stage i was living at home and had a job, it was sustainable to a degree.
      One night i played on the online casino on a slots game. I won a decent bit of money and quit with a healthy bank balance.
      The next night I stayed up until very late. I increased stakes progressively from my initial deposit and lo and behold!! I won the jackpot prize of $5000 – i couldn’t believe it!! I planned to keep at least $4000 and play some reckless roulette, high stakes. An hour later I have blown it all. Major alarm bells right there…
      After that i didn’t really get into any heavy gambling though, the odd footie bet, nothing crazy.
      The second year of university hit and in my personal life I was not well. I’d had the toughest summer of my life. One thing led to another and I was gambling on BJ. I was getting extra bank accounts with free overdraft facilities to feed my habit.
      I’m still paying for it now.
      Then last January I played slots and lost £700 having been in a profit situation. Never again i said.
      Steadily i got back into poker – but i wasn’t winning like i used to. My self control was gone.
      And back at the start of September I discovered my overdraft facility had been increased from £100 to £2000.
      Currently I have none of that – I gambled £1900 away in an afternoon. At one point i managed to win back £1600 – but that wasn’t enough. Nothing ever is when you’re addicted.
      This is the first time I’ve related all my gambling – there’s a certain detachment, like, was that me? Was that me who did that?
      Sadly yes. And as of a couple hours ago I blew £300. Bills etc *pooooof*. I’m stuggling with how to break this to my g/f if i can.

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