I debated whether I should write this post or not, but ultimately decided I should.
About what I could’ve left with.
I went to Sugar House Casino last night and took out $2,000 to gamble with.
I played for 30-45 minutes and worked my $2,000 up to about $6,000.
Then I went to the high limit room. I was betting ~$2,000 – $6,000 a hand. 10 minutes later my stack was $18,000.
10 minutes after that my stack was $0.
When I was at the first table, I was sitting with a middle aged guy who was betting $25 – $50 a hand. He was telling me it was his son’s graduation this weekend and he was so proud. I threw him a few $100 chips to bet on hands and ultimately he ended up like $1500. He was so pumped.
Gambling is a mindset. When you start betting $500 on a hand, there’s no “thrill” to $50 bets. At the moment, I’ve pushed the “thrill” limit too far.
It’s very easy in hindsight to say I wish I took a minute, took a deep breath, thought about where I was at, and walked away. Even put $10,000 aside and just gamble the other $8,000, it sounds so easy now. But you don’t win $16,000 if that’s your mindset from the start.
The funny thing is the flow of the game is exactly the same whether it’s a $25 hand or a $2,500 hand, I’m just betting 100x more than I normally would.
Additionally, the thought of going back to the casino and winning back the $2,000 I lost seems so realistic. It’s just a few hands. It can happen so quickly. Obviously the opposite can (and more often does) happen too.
Gambling is a dangerous thing. I’m not addicted to gambling. It doesn’t consume me throughout the days, weeks, or months. But when I gamble, I have a problem, and you can bet all of the “I lost everything gambling” stories start like this. If I wasn’t walking away up $16,000, would I have walked away at 20? 30? 50? I genuinely don’t know.
$2,000 is a lot of money, but it doesn’t change my life. I’m still alive. Sure it stings for the short term and I have to look myself in the eye and tell myself that I screwed up, but this will just be a great story to tell down the road (assuming I’m not broke by then).