V-poker’s mystical allure

Jul 1, 2002 10:52 PM

You might not want to think about this right now, but when you have a few moments at home go back over what it was that got you so enthralled with playing video poker in the first place. It’s likely something that started very innocently as you walked through a casino and saw all the computer screens just begging to be looked at a little closer. You might have sat down at one of them and discovered all it took was a quarter to initiate the deal of a hand.

Then it all came back to you ”” this was like that game of poker you played years ago with your friends and with real decks of cards. Only this was more exciting, because no one else was there to influence what you do and how you do it. Like that uninhibited and marked-property feeling we all get when we’re behind the wheels of our automobiles, sitting at the video poker machines gives us that staked-claim feeling of authority and self-controlled fate. It is a good feeling, and is the reason more and more seats appear daily all across this country.

But what is it about video poker that now makes you stay so long and keeps on bringing you back? Remember when you first won something? Maybe you immediately quit and maybe you didn’t, but after several days away from the machines you just knew you could do it again. And if you popped a Royal, it really wasn’t all that difficult to do. Or so it seemed. So you headed back to the casino for more. When you win you think you can win some more. When you lose you try to catch up. It’s not long before you’re playing regularly and in a pattern. What started out as fun and recreation has become some sort of habit. The fun never really leaves but what ever happened to what you used to tell everyone ”” and maybe still do ”” was your "recreation and relaxation?"

Although most video poker players have a certain amount of similar thinking when it comes to game basics and a few other related traits, we are all very different individual creatures when it comes to how and why we apply reason to our love of the game. Those who want the public to think they are doing great with their play in order to increase game-related product sales, paint the rosiest of pictures. Others who simply want the world to believe they play day-in and day-out and always win ”” although they don’t ”” hit the chat rooms with tooting horns. Most readers, because they are intelligent, recognize this stuff as pure baloney. But reading about how very simple it is to win gets the blood pumping and the anxiety levels soaring. And it will stay that way until reality takes over at the machines, when they are brought back to reality.

One of the oddest parts about this type behavior is that regardless of the severity of the results, after one day back into the everyday life of the player, the mind begins to plan the next trip. As soon as the mail arrives and the offers fill the box, the cycle of planning and anticipation begins all over again. That’s when it’s time to remember the real reason we play, and the real results we can expect.

I’m a successful player today due not as much to my Play Strategy as in my ability to admit to myself that I had a problem with controlling my play. Eliminate the problem and your mind goes back to work for you. I clearly saw the game ”” that was a type of escape from the everyday rigors of living ”” had somehow become an obsession. As I play strictly for profit now, nothing makes me happier than to leave the casino for the week after reaching my pre-set goal. Used to be I’d stay all day and all night long, playing until I became tired or there was something else to take care of ”” or I ran out of money. Sound familiar? It’s a prophesy that doesn’t have to be fulfilled.