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Losing isn’t inevitable!

Mar 11, 2003 12:02 AM

I can remember the days where I spent every available hour playing what I felt was computer-perfect strategy, but my time away from the gambling destinations was welcomed with a significant sigh of relief.

I didn’t do so well, but ask any of my co-workers back then and they’ll say I was a knowledgeable, likely successful gambler. I say likely because nobody really knows how ANYONE else does, but the astute loser is capable of planting hypnotic-like thoughts into the minds of those who have only dreams of becoming successful.

In time, people come to realize that no matter how or where you play, unless you have a dedicated short-term strategy bolstered by an unwavering discipline and an adequate bankroll, you will lose. Plain and simple.

You can roll into town for a few days or out of bed from just down the street but if you choose to follow nothing but optimal play for as long as you can stay awake, you will lose.

So if losing is inevitable, then playing is probably an addiction. You’ll hear all sorts of rejections to this point ”” based mainly on self denial and humiliation at the mere thought of it ”” but it is there, and there is no ducking away from it inside the individual’s mind.

Unfortunately, the compulsive gambler’s mind is always pre-occupied with the thought of trying to outperform the machines ”” not only for the gratification, but for the money. Fantasy Royal Flushes are envisioned. Accumulated points are added up into hefty accounts. Attention is given to the player from the VIP staff. Could life get any better? Yup. All they need do is turn things around this trip and win.

Another potentially debilitating approach is that of the gambler who has been gabbing non-stop for many months about their upcoming move to Las Vegas from wherever. Behind, they leave a trail of mostly unsuccessful gambling trips and a life virtually closed to any other type of vacation.

Ahead all they can see is the video poker machines, and how easy it will soon be to play as often and as much as they want. What they fail to notice is all the smiling faces waiting at the local casinos. While they wanted everyone to believe they were moving because of the weather, their health, income taxes, or the cheap food, inside they know what they are really doing and why.

Certainly, not every video poker mind operates in such a manner. Some players ”” and I’ve met quite a few of them ”” have little interest in playing the game for more than 30 minutes at a time. Other players really hate to lose, so they Âí­really hate to play. I teach people to play within their own parameters ”” financially and socially ”” and to set goals and learn to walk away.

There is nothing more satisfying than knowing I’ve just won — whether it’s a few dollard, a few hundred or several thousand dollars — from a casino and was able and willing to get up and drive home. And that’s the basis of my video poker philosophy: to win a few credits, then move on.

For the others, I know they feel the pain of being ahead and not being able to quit — over and over again. How do I know? Because that used to occupy my mind long ago. Now I don’t mind one bit thinking about it. And I enjoy taking money out of the machine, even if it’s not a royal or other big jackpot. Those little ones can add up to big numbers!