Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The casino is a fool's paradise.

I was convinced I had mastered a system. Instead I fell prey to the persuasive power of attainment.

I have had good and bad experiences with gambling. Surprisingly enough the good experiences are the one's I considered distressing.

I am not here to tire you about the history of casino's because you could easily look that up on google and wikipedia if you truly are interested in learning about it. I am not.

So let me tell you about how I almost cracked the code....or so I thought.

It all began with me going to the casino, obviously, and I began placing bets on the roulette table. I had figured out through some statistical equations that this was the best odds of winning at the casino compared to the other games.

"Nobody that hangs around the casino long enough wins."

It felt strange going to the casino by myself so in the beginning it was a social pastime which we carried out with my friends. A newly built shiny casino was a 5 minute walking distance, later when I had moved it was a 5 minute driving distance from my residence.

It was an exciting time, as exciting as it can get for a 21 year old. Drinking, gambling, and socializing.

The rush was incredible when you won. Your heart pounds so loud you think the security guys watching the cameras would pick up on your evident euphoria. Nothing in the room mattered except for watching the ball drop on the number you are betting on. Everything seemed to go silent and still as if you are the only person standing in the room.

By the way roulette is the game were the Croupier (fancy term for the guy who is a roulette dealer) drops the ball and spins the wheel. You have a chance of the ball bouncing into a slot on the wheel with 36 numbers and 2 zeros (affecting the odds of 1/36) yes this is a Canadian version. I am not going to get into all the rules of the game, you can easily browse the internet and find it if you want.

After several wins I began to notice a pattern emerging. You may think this is good news, but it wasn't. Winning was terrible because what followed was a series of unavoidable episodes.

This was the turn of what I call enslavement. Greed was dominating my desire to continue on this path. The wins release surges of dopamine in my body, and at that stage addiction is comfortably endured.

"I want more" was the only thing that run through my mind. I was mentally subjected by my own loss of control.

What seemed like an ever growing pursuit, it was no holds barred. At the time my winnings escalated, where in fact for a 21 year old, I was earning thousands of dollars a night. Now when you see your friend doing so well you can't help but join in.

FOMO, fear of missing out was influencing my friend's judgments.

This is the method I used; I would look at the board and see a series of colored numbers then I would bet against the odds. Meaning if the color black came up 3 or 4 times I would bet red. I can laugh at this theory now, but believe me at the time I wasn't the only one swayed.

In fact I wanted to lose because every time I would double my bet and eventually walk away winning large sums.

Like all good things, winning came to an abrupt end. Did it stop there for me? No.

I guess you can call it a gambler's addiction. It was just the beginning for me. I decided that I had to recover my loss, go back, and bet larger sums.

That didn't work for me.

So I went to a different casino, again that didn't work for me either. Is it over? No it is not. I try another one, maybe I have better luck their. Maybe they are all against me.

This is the shallow thinking that was going on in my developing mind.

The saddest thing about all this is not the money that I eventually ended up losing, but the fact that I dragged one of my best friend's along for the ride. That hurt deeper than I could of imagined. To this day we joke about the day I convinced him to bet all his money.

The power of illusion. When something works for one person, others follow wanting it to work for them too.

Winning at anything can become an obsession. The ploy is to do everything in moderation.

"The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not on other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and wisdom." Plato.

After several consecutive loses I felt defeated, it was heart wrenching, yet liberating.

It was a break free moment where you look at your actions from a different perspective and you analyze how severe the problem could have been. It is this mindfulness of my losing that surmounted me to stop.

Emotionally draining it surprises me how serious this problem is amongst individuals who have no poise. The attachment to the fact that if they play one more game they will win it all back. This was my thinking too.

The fact of the matter is the casino always wins no matter what you do Sam 'Ace' Rothstein says it best, "The cardinal rule is to keep them playing, and to keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end we get it all."

There is a ton of myths about casino's, pumping oxygen in the air so people can stay awake longer, the truth is that it is the lights and sounds are what keeps your mind stimulated. It certainly would not be cost effective to pump out oxygen.

I am due a win, this is a gamblers fallacy a bet that you have 50 percent chance of winning should be won in 2 times.

My favorite, casino's rig their games, they watch from the 'eye in the sky' and are able to manipulate whether you win or lose. Well if they did that there would have been lawsuits filed against them, oh wait let me guess no one has proven it.

I can go on and on the myths about casinos but then we would just lose focus from this post.

The moral of the story is that after having this pain inflicted and losing some money, fortunately not enough to put me and my friend in the poor house, I was able to regain self-control and now walk into a casino and actually enjoy the atmosphere, walk away, and not gamble at all.

There is no proven method, otherwise there would be no point of casinos existing. Some people are just really skilled and are able to convert it into a full time job, the masses unfortunately are not.

Remember the odds are always against you.

As always thank you for taking the time to read this post, I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. To be continued....

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