I really don’t even know where to start, although maybe a high school trip to Lincoln Greyhound in Rhode Island and got four aces in my first round of video poker seems like a good place to start. A good place to finish would probably be where an hour later my debit card was rendered useless because there were $0.00 left in the account.
I could literally write a book about gambling, not because I have done it a bunch, I’ve just been around it a lot. For brevity’s sake, I’ll provide you with some high and lowlights of my gambling career.
1. Winter, 1999. The DVD of the movie Rounders was released. I rented it with my best friend, watched it on a Sunday night. Then we brought it to school the next day and watched it in the library during our lunch and free periods. I think it’s safe to say that I had strong, positive feelings towards the game of Texas Hold Em, and insanely quotable movies.
2. Spring Break, 2003. On a cruise with 22 of my fraternity brothers (I swear, these guys would have been my friends anyway, I DID NOT PAY FOR MY FRIENDS IN COLLEGE), I lost every night at the blackjack table. I was like Clark Griswold in Vegas Vacation. Only, on the last night, my roommate and I pooled together our remaining cash – one crisp ten dollar bill – and managed to turn it into $300.
3. Cross Country Road Trip, 2004. Just as a warning, stopping in Reno, Nevada when you are driving cross counry on a very tight budget isn’t the best idea. Luckily, my buddy and I lost enough (and it was a Tuesday night in June) they comped us a room!
4. Random Poker Nights – 2005-2009. First off, I should note I don’t actually consider this “gambling” in the true sense of the word. Throwing $20 or $30 into a pot with a bunch of your friends for a few hours of poker is entertainment. Win or lose you are most likely going to have a good time. And if you play enough, you win once or twice and come out even. However, I actually do quite well at these games. I used to think it was because I was a superior poker player. Then I realized it was because the games are usually 30 minutes from me. What does this mean you might be asking? Simple, I have a 30 minute drive home, the others have a 5 minute walk. This means they drank a lot more, and get noticeably shittier at poker as the night goes on.
5. Fall 2008, Las Vegas. Poker rooms, slots, hundreds of gaming tables…I was there for 4 nights and I think I spent 15 minutes on them. For a sports lover, this is where gambling can really take its hold on you. The Sportsbook. Hmmm, let’s see…sit in there for 6 hours on a Sunday drinking free bloody mary’s gambling on mutliple football games, three team teasers, and having them all on big screen in front of your face…that sounds good, I’ll have that. For what it’s worth, I spent lots of money on booze while I was in Vegas, but left with the same amount of money I came with.
I still don’t know whether I like gambling or not, because truth be told I think if I had lots of cash, I could see myself getting a bit out of control. And besides if I did have a lot of cash, I’d probably just enter higher priced fantasy football leagues, because that’s not gambling, right?