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When I was a kid, I lived in a big fancy house with a billiard room. My stepdad had this old-fashioned poker machine .. the real coins in it would suspiciously keep going missing. Let's just say, my sisters and I went to the school canteen with a LOT of ten-cent pieces.
I've gambled a little bit in my time. Once I won $500 with a royal flush on the card machines ... the THRILL of that feeling, when you win big! My boyfriend and I discussed buying either an engagement ring or a new bed. (Thank goodness the bed won. I took it with me when I left.)
I used to work in the gaming area of this club, and would watch people come in and play. Most were there to have some fun, give it a go, and then move on. There were the quick movers .. come in, lay down a few hundred, bet big and then leave. Then the few who would just sit there transfixed, pumping the cash through until they had nothing left. It didn't make sense to me ... seemed like a waste.
Years later I was in group therapy with people who had addictions, including gambling. Lost houses, wives, families, jobs. Only then did I realise it was its own serious thing.
Dave and I have played the poker machines together a few times. He just picks any one, but I walk around using my special mind powers to choose. Which machine is feeling lucky to me? Which one is telling me something?
It's fun. Once I meant to hit the "Collect" button but I pressed "Gamble All" instead. We won, collected, then walked away. We only play what we're comfortable with losing.
This week is Responsible Gambling Awareness Week .. do you know when to fold 'em?
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