Poker – Gambling addiction is a serious issue

Gambing Addict
Image by Schlomo Rabinowitz via Flickr

The following is a brief discussion on problem gambling. I bring it up because I know that it exists and want others to know as well. There are many avenues of help for the troubled gambler. Check your state to see what resources are available to help some one you know who has a gambling problem.

I play poker and while that might be considered gambling by some, I consider it a game of skill. Were it just a game of chance, I would not be able to win pots and hands playing with the worst hand. I have almost 60 books about poker strategy. I can compare the game to chess in that you attempt to make the best move and also try to figure out what move your opponent is making and why. The way I play it is not a game of chance.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling “Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term “Problem Gambling” includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as “Pathological”, or “Compulsive” Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.”

I have played online games where observers will come to the virtual table and beg the other players at the table for funds. They will ask for money in order to play in a tourney that they know they can win or they will ask for money to play in a cash game. They know they can win enough playing to clear the bonus due them from playing. They will offer a 60 percent stake in their winnings if only you will help them out. That seems to me to be a problem gambler.

If you need your bankroll in order to pay the rent, buy food, clothing and other necessities then you may have a gambling problem and should seek help.

If your bankroll is separate from your day to day financial needs and your poker playing is not disrupting your personal life, you are on the right tract. There is nothing wrong with thinking and planning and discussing poker on a daily basis, especially if you are making a career out it.

If you or someone you know needs help, there are resources that can help. Besides the National Council on Problem Gambling there is also Gamblers Anonymous and their resources.

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4 thoughts on “Poker – Gambling addiction is a serious issue

    • True. It would be difficult to think of a gambling addict being able to admit to the problem without hitting rock bottom. An intervention between family or friends are more likely. While I thought the post was a good idea, the target audience would probably not read it or believe it. Thanks for you comments.

  1. True. It would be difficult to think of a gambling addict being able to admit to the problem without hitting rock bottom. An intervention between family or friends are more likely. While I thought the post was a good idea, the target audience would probably not read it or believe it. Thanks for you comments.

  2. Pingback: Addiction Gambling and Impulse Control. | EveryTherapist

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