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How did you end up gambling?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Kimsa70, Sep 25, 2015.

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  1. Kimsa70

    Kimsa70 High-Roller

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    I was going to title this "How did you get addicted to gambling" but thought that a bit harsh a term, though I personally do admit to being an addict. Hate those GA meetings!

    Anyways, this may be rather lengthy, but I thought I'd tell my story of what led me to gambling.

    As I've mentioned in other threads, I grew up with a father who owned harness racing horses, and when I was as young as 6, he tought me to handicap the horse programs. At the Northampton fair in Massachusetts that year, he gave me $10 to bet on a race, I picked a horse named Jet's Puppy, and it won and I hot back $93 for that $10 bet!

    Fast forward, growing up, my dad gambled every day, whether it be going to OTB to bet on the horses or driving all the way to Foxborough,MA to watch his horses race.

    I can remember once Foxwoods opened in 1992, he was there every night, some days returning at 3am, and waking up for work at 7.

    In 1992, he took us to Foxwoods, and I remember bringing $250 and losing it real quick in slots and thinking "this sucks!"

    In my early 30s, I got involved with a crowd and started majorly partying on the weekends, never impacting my job, but I was doing stuff I said I would never do.

    Then in 2006, at age 36, my dad got me 1 ticket to Bon Jovi at Mohegan, and I went and I remember playing a quarter slot and missing the opening act, Chris Daughtry, because I was so mezmerized by slotting. The slots still had coins coming out in 2006!

    Well, soon after that concert, my weekend partying came to an abrupt end when a bunch of folks got arrested. So, I was left with all this extra time and nothing to do.

    I remember going to bed at 9pm on a Friday night, waking up at 11pm. and feeling Iike "I really HAD to gamble"!

    So, I took a shower and drove a bit over an hour to Mohegan and played the Triple Cheeseburger 25 cent machine til my $200 was gone. I was so anxious to gamble I got pulled over going 84 in a 65 zone, but the cop let me go.

    I started going to Mohegan every weekend with $250. I remember the guilt I felt the first time I used my bank card to take out more than $250.

    Then, at my local bar, the bartender told me how she and her boyfriend got into the players lounges for free food and drink. All I had to do was play high limit slots!

    After that, I was hooked. If I could turn back time, I wish I never started, but my genetics seem to dictate my destiny!

    What's your story???
     
  2. dutchvelvet

    dutchvelvet VIP Whale

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    Started in College for me. Began using Party Poker as a supplemental source of income during the day. Ran 10 screens usually and did very well just grinding out wins.

    Then to the local indians for live poker and blackjack.
     
  3. Packer

    Packer VIP Whale

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    Wow Kim that is brutally honest of you. Thank you for sharing. Just this past weekend I was having breakfast with four others VMBers at Aria and I asked the same question.. Turns out all of us had stories of how are dads gambled in some way and we all felt that is why we do. We were born this way. Most of us control it. I have told the story before of how in my early 20s I had the fever (That's how I describe it) and spent whatever I could on gambling. Losing 100s of 1000s at GEEZERS in my very early 20s.. Luckily I have been totally under control since my late 20s. Probably has something to do with my dad dying when I was 28. Live and learn I guess. Seems like 90% of us have a similar story. I also think due to the above when I see someone a little out of control it hurts my heart when I watch and I want to do something for them.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    It's always been second nature to me. As a kid, every holiday family gathering, ended with a game of sheepshead. My job was the beer runner, but I was always observing the game. By junior HS, a group of us would meet at one of the kid's houses and play penny ante poker a couple of days of the week. By HS, the game was still poker, but no longer for pennies.

    Once I turned 18, the legal age to drink back then, it was off to the bars for any number of games of chance. Once I turned 21, in 1973, it was Vegas, multiple times a year.

    It started with gambling junkets. I would put up x dollars and they provided airfare. Once arriving at the casino, we were given the same amount in promotional chips. You couldn't cash them, but if you won, they paid you in real chips. In return, they put us up at the Frontier on full RFB. Man, I felt special!

    For those of you in the Milwaukee area old enough to remember, Crazy Jim, the car dealer, ran monthly junkets for a few years. My memory may be wrong, it was 40 years ago, but I think we got the entire junket for $1,000.

    It's been Vegas ever since and I was fortunate enough to marry a woman who loves Vegas and loves gambling. Besides living there for a couple of years, it has been well over 100 trips. Hell, this year alone will be 7 trips.

    My entire life has always included gambling of some sort. Hell, for two years I was taking book on the NFL. What I couldn't handle, I passed on up. That ended when I held a 7 teamer. Who can hit that, right? The SOB won.:cry: 80-1 on a $50 wager. I paid, but there went my short career as a bookie.
     
    Christmas
  5. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    started in high school playing poker and running bets and football cards for a local bookie.
    .
    I cut my teeth at Northampton,Great Barrington,Hinsdale..

    .later on I also owned some horses that ran at Foxboro and the Rock....probably know your dad.

    When AC opened we used to take a Peter Pan bus out of Sprinfield to AC, gamble for 8 hours and then back to Springfield... now that's hard core
     
  6. Kimsa70

    Kimsa70 High-Roller

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    Thanks, Packer. Yes, I think there's definitely a family connection with most gamblers.
     
  7. Kimsa70

    Kimsa70 High-Roller

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    My dad's name is Ron, and Peter Blood was his jockey.
     
  8. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    just a minor correction... driver not jockey.

    Peter drives for Gary P who was a ware resident and former CEO of PLainridge...
     
  9. Kimsa70

    Kimsa70 High-Roller

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    Oops, yes driver, not jockey. My dad and Peter Blood jointly owned horses. My dad's horse, Bo Scots Blue, almost won the Hambletonian some time in the 1980s, but the hobbles broke near the finish line. Never heard so many swear words come put of my dad's mouth!
     
  10. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    I was 9... my step-granfather taught me how to play 5-card draw, and taught me about betting the hand as well as bluffing. We literally played for pennies...which he provided...I guess that would qualify as my very first "free-play" comp ever!

    When I was about 14 or so, I went to a Catholic Church sponsored "carnival"... they had this one game where there were a bunch of cupcake holders (pans) that were all connected to each other... they were painted with about 10 different colors...total of 100 spaces. You bet $1 (actual cash!) on a color & a small basketball was rolled down a small ramp onto the tray-of-100. The ball eventually settled into one the cupcake-spaces. If that color was your color, you won $5 (HA was 50%!)

    When I was 18 & living on my own for the first time, my room-mate & I started holding regular poker games 2 or 3 times a month... nickel-dime-quarter stuff... all 5-card draw or 7-stud.
    Soon enough, that progressed to $1-$2-$3 poker, and included poker-variant games like "Red Dog", "Shuck-Em" & "Mexican-Sweat".
    When my kid-brother got back from his Navy service, he taught us a game called "Dynamite" that he learned on the USS Iwo Jima....essentially, it was 3-card poker, only with no straights or flushes...it was an "in or out" game, and if you stayed in & lost, you matched the pot. Each hand continued unitl somebody won the pot with no losers. (If you stayed in and nobody stayed in with you, you had to play against the top-3 cards in the deck.)

    My first casino gambling was at the Flamingo Hilton in 1979 & I've been regularly coming to Vegas ever since!
    :beer:
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  11. daveg000

    daveg000 High-Roller

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    Learned gin rummy and cribbage very young, played for matchsticks with mom, 9 yo, started playing Rummy Royal for pennies with friends, by 13 playing $.25/$.50 poker with friends, first time in Vegas, July of 1974, Age 22.
     
  12. DoubleUp

    DoubleUp Low-Roller

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    When I was < 10 years old, my grandparents used to host a poker night the dining room table every weekend. It was a big family gathering, all the usual penny-ante dealers choice games. Everyone had a riot. This lead me to become interested in games of all sorts, and I learned and played a lot of them! I mean everything from Dungeons and Dragons to Roulette. Gambling games in particular are 'exciting' in their own way, both while playing and to just think about the math. I do more thinking about it then playing, and my wallet is certainly grateful!
     
  13. joesmom

    joesmom Low-Roller

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    Poker nights and horse racing here - like many others.
    My family played penny ante poker on Saturday nights. I learned and was allowed to play by the time I was 7. My dad also loved horse racing and took me with him all the time - in fact he used to let me skip school to go with him at times. He gave me two dollars to start at the races and every time he won I got his change. I would pick a horse each race and play it to show. By the time I was 10 I could read the race sheets as well as any bookie lol. He never made it to vegas - he always planned on it. He died when I was 12. I did manage to get my mom there once before her alzheimers got too bad. We had the best time and talked about how he would have loved it.
     
  14. DRPinVA

    DRPinVA Low-Roller

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    In 1994, on our 4th wedding anniversary as we were making our 3+ hour drive to the beach, my wife asked me a purely hypothetical question, "if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?".... This question coming totally out of the blue and being totally 'hypothetical', I thought a minute and said..."Las Vegas"...I had never gambled in my life - had never even been exposed to real gambling, and had air-traveled maybe once in my life... Hypothetical turned to reality on our 5th wedding anniversary when my wife presented us with airline tickets and reservations to the fabulous Excalibur Hotel and Casino :rolleyes2: Back then, the internet wasn't really much of an option for research, so I tried reading up in books and asking around about gambling, I had no clue. I did get some very basic information about how to play black jack, but had no idea of any of the subtleties of table etiquette. I remember the first night, walking around and around and around the table areas, not quite getting up enough nerve to sit down and play, until finally about 2AM in the morning, when there were very few people in the casino overall, and none at a particular table. I finally sat down, tried to hand my money to the dealer who had a very heavy Asian accent, and after him repeating probably 4 times for me to 'JUST PUT THE MONEY ON THE TABLE", I finally broke my gambling virginity at age 36. Forty or fifty Vegas trips later, and I no longer try to hand the money directly to the dealers.....:wink
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
    Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  15. reedy

    reedy Low-Roller

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    Ran a book in high school for about 3 years. Mainly soccer. Would also host poker tournies on weekends for about 30-40 people.

    My uncle would take me to the dog track before he passed. Pretty much taught me everything i know about gambling.

    good times.....
     
  16. reedy

    reedy Low-Roller

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    Ha! Those were the days multi tabling 2/4 on party.
     
  17. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

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    I am a fairly recent convert, but as a kid I would play 7-card stud on the Intellevision! I think I liked 7cs the most because you got a lot of cards. Anyway, decades later, when online poker became big, my brother added me on to F.U.ll Tilt poker, and then later I started playing limit at Foxwoods. I didn't start winning until I started playing stud. A few years ago I started playing 1/2, but I've been kind of sucking at it of late so I'm playing stud again in addition to nlhe. I still hate blackjack, but I do enjoy pai gow poker. Slots are very addicting to me so I try and stay away from them aside from freeplay, rando Vegas donations, and an occasional hundie in the high limit room. There is a new Garfield slot at Foxwoods and I probably will never play it because I will lose all my money in it LOL.
     
  18. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Interesting question. I do see the family connection. My mother played craps and always tried to teach me. Grandma started me early playing gin rummy for a penny a point. Grandpa taught me poker and later cribbage. Dad, well dad says he was a math major in college so he doesn't gamble. :haha: I've seen him on the craps tables with mom, but usually not for very long. I can also remember sitting on grandma's lap and pulling the lever while she played slots.

    Played a little kitchen table poker in high school. Started going to Reno at age 19 (shhh.. don't tell anyone) and mostly stuck to blackjack and roulette or slots, although I bore easily on slots.

    I'm not too sure when I discovered video poker, but that's my game. I can play as fast/slow as I want and feel like I maximize my gambling dollar on that game.
     
  19. gmille58

    gmille58 Low-Roller

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    Started playing nickel dime quarter poker games with friends in Jr High through HS. Started playing poker in the local bars after HS, most common game was $1-$5 dealers choice, and ended up dealing poker to put myself through college. I hated when the only session a class was offered was 8AM, as the poker game didn't have to stop when the bar closed. Many times I called my boss in the morning to let him know I had to go to class at 8.

    Now I play mostly table games, blackjack with occasional roulette and pai gow. My wife plays slots and some table games. We go to Vegas 1-2 times per year. Go to the local indian casinos a couple of times per month.

    My parents aren't big gamblers, but once on family vacation we did stop in las vegas on the way home from Disneyland. They took us to Circus Circus and I remember watching them play from the arcade upstairs. Think it was the old three coin nickel slots.

    I have taken my son to a couple of live UFC events at the MGM. I am not a big sports betting guy, but will make a few wagers when we go. I have him study the odds sheet to find the value bets for me, as he is a huge UFC fan. At 14 he had a much better understanding of the odds than the people we were in line with to get our tickets last trip.
     
  20. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I will answer the question of how I got into casino gambling.

    For years, I avoided stepping foot in a casino. I thought casino gambling was a dumb, surefire way to give away your money (an idea that was reinforced by an old friend that went to work in the late nineties for a group of professional sports gamblers who reinforced the mantra that you should stay away form slots and table games). But then I went to Vegas. Twice, actually, and still didn't gamble a cent. But it got me curious. I started watching people gamble in the casinos. Then, in early 2005, I went with a couple friends to Tunica MS. They went down there all the time to play table games and poker. I had always avoided going with them, thinking I would not gamble and just be bored. But this trip, I brought fifty bucks, and told myself that I would gamble that money. If I lost it, no big deal. But fifty was all I would spend. Played blackjack at the Sams Town in Tunica and played terribly. Made a ton of incorrect plays, but got lucky and treaded water all day at a five dollar table. Our play earned us free buffets that evening (terrible food, but free was the right price). By the end of the evening, I went all in with my remaining stack and came home up $20.

    After that experience, I was hooked. Next trip to Vegas, I decided to start gambling regularly (sadly, I can't remember where I stayed the first time I gambled in vegas, but I think it was Monte Carlo). My casino gambling habits and tastes have changed through the years, but it all started with that trip a decade ago.
     
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