I'm a problem gambler.
Since the age of 16 I've played online poker. (Back in those days you didnt need ID online).
I remember winning some money. Watching loads of youtube videos of the pro players playing with hundreds of thousands and thinking wow, that could be me one day.
When I was young I blew my whole bank account. I use to work Saturday jobs during school so I always had at least a few thousand in the bank, but one day I lost so much I went into my over draft. A bank letter came to the house saying i was in my overdraft... My mum opened my mail and read it and demanded to see my bank statements. She saw that I had been gambling and started crying and went absolutely mental at me.
Well, 15 years on it's never really went away besides that my mum thinks i stopped all those years back. I gambled once a week or so while I was studying at university then stopped when I came back for a couple years.
I moved away from home for a number of years and did pretty well life wise. Ok job, paying my own bills, living by myself. After a few years I started playing poker in the casinos against other players and did amazingly well. I started earning more than my job and was thinking o*g maybe I can go pro and I don't have to work for anyone anymore and do the dreaded 9-5. I also suffer from depression so would usually gamble and play poker as a release.
Although I was initially up, things took a downturn and I ended up loosing everything in my bank account. I called my mum and told her that I wasn't saving much and wanted to move back home but in reality I was gambling again and couldnt pay my rent or bills anymore.
Surprisingly when I moved home it got way worse. I have no bills, no rent, no commitment, so I had suddenly way more money to play with. I have to try and fulfill the dream of becoming a pro poker player I told myself.
Well, the problem is I have an addictive personality and problem gambler. There would be times I would stay in the casino for more than 20 hours and call into work sick just so i could continue playing.
I got to the point where I maxed out my overdraft on two bank accounts and my credit card to the max limit. I got the point of beings several thousands of pounds in debt because of poker and only had £20 left of my credit card limit to last me a week before i got paid to be able to pay for food etc.
I felt like stealing from my parents during that time just so i could pay for food, i couldnt tell them i gambled because their religious and we are forbidden from doing so in our religion. But i just didnt spend any money. Took food to work, didnt take public transport... Eventually got paid so i was able to spend like a normal human being... I felt like calling in sick because i didnt have money to pay for public transport so couldnt get to work but somehow i survived.
After that life changing experience I spoke to GamCare on the chatroom. The advisor told me to self-ban myself from casinos and online gaming on Gamstop so I did.
I banned myself from Casinos about 7 months ago. Over the last 7 motnhs I manage to sneak into a casino and play poker on one occasion without showing my ID. I made a winning… Got a real scare when the cash teller was counting my poker money chips that she might ask for ID, see I was banned and she could take my money away from me if she found out. So I never did that again whilst i was banned (still am) in the scare they would find out.
Apart from recently I did pretty well to not gamble. I was several thousands in debt but now with only fifteen hundred on my credit card to pay off which will happen next payday.
I was speaking to a friend recently who was telling me he earned £115k in the last year. I thought o*g that’s amazing. I really need to learn to make money as well… Maybe I should try pro poker again… If he doesnt need to work for anyone neither do I.
I was signed up to Gamstop and I contacted them and found out that my restriction has expired so I signed up to get it removed.
Once removed I started playing poker online for the last 10 days or so… Up and down a few hundred everyday… But eventually a total loss of six hundred as of today and that is my most recent relapse.
I feel abit disappointed. It's alot of money but typically when I lose its in the thousands so this was a small lose for me. So it wasnt as bad as it couldve been.
I don’t think pro poker is for me as I don’t have the discipline and although it sounds like a nice lifestyle it is really stressful even if you win because of the ups and downs. In many ways working for someone else is less stressful because atleast you’re guaranteed to have X amount at the end of the month.
I’ve deleted my poker account before writing this post and have no major desire to gamble again as the last 10 days of playing poker has been so stressful because of the ups and downs.
I suffer from depression and gambling addiction. I contacted my private medical insurance I get through work and they said I could make a claim for therapy. I was told that about 6 months ago… Maybe ill do them because I certainly have certain triggers.
One of my main gambling triggers is depression, specifically not having a huge amount of friends or having a girlfriend/romantic partner. When people didn’t want to hang out on the weekend I would go to the casino and play poker. Winning a few hundred would always make you feel better or if you lost the adrenaline would substitute the depression. And i thought if i win money i can buy all the girls drinks at the bar and they would love me and think i have lots of money.
On the bright side im a week away from being debt free after being several thousand pounds in debt for this first time in my life. I can easily save a thousand pounds a month living with my parents so there really is no need to try pro poker besides being greedy. If I don’t gamble for the next six months ill be in a position to live by myself again and pay for my own rent and have a few thousand in the bank for savings…
That’s my story. Never really got into slots, or anything like that. But poker can be just as bad.
I will probably follow up on that therapy session with my private medical insurance…
Thanks all. Gamble free forever starts today. I hate poker. Even if I could go pro im not sure that I would because of the amount of stress.
Thank you for posting your story and being so open and honest about your problem gambling. I am sure that your story will be familiar to many who read these posts so please do not feel that you are alone.
You have obviously had ups and downs over many years of gambling, but it is so positive that you are now looking to seek help and thinking of taking up the offer of therapy.
I noticed that you have spoken with one of our Advisors in the past and I would encourage you to do so again. There are other options and ideas that we can share with you to help you become gamble free. We are able to refer to you for treatment with one of our partners who provide a service across Great Britain should that be helpful to you.
We are here 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on the netline or by calling our Helpline on 0808 8020 133. We would like to talk with you to offer our help and support.
Oh I feel your pain
But on the plus as you say it was hundreds not thousands and you know how easy it could've slipped to thousands. I like a gamble but I just can't stop so I'm gamble free from the 24th of April when I done roulette for an hour and lost nearly £8000 I've got a family so I wrecked there life aswell as my own God knows how I'm going to pay this debt back as I don't work due to post traumatic stress disorder with severe anxiety and depression aswell as bi polar. I don't blame any off my illnesses on them as I choose what I'm doing I know where it can end and this has been the worst to date but then again I'm gamble free one day at a time as that's all we can do, if we slip we start again but I'm totally committed to being gamble free for the rest of my life as I've lined enough off there pockets and I know they won't line mine so that little one day at a time
I finished paying off my credit card / all my debt today. Fifteen hundred paid off and fifteen hundred left in the bank as savings.
First time I've been debt free in probably about two years or so... Now I'll be able to save about a thousand a month so things are looking better... Climbed out of a debt of about £8,000 because of gambling/poker addiction.