Do you have a gambling addiction?

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Mark | Poker and Life, Poker Articles

This article belongs to the Poker and Life series

All poker players and gamblers in general run the risk of developing a gambling addiction for the same reason that all people who enjoy a drink once in a while run the risk of becoming alcoholics. I guess it’s human nature to crave more of whatever makes you tick.

One of the most important steps towards treating any kind of addiction is realizing that you have an addiction. Now I’m fairly confident that my gambling is under control, but every addict will probably say the same, so to make sure I thought I would answer the 20 questions presented by Gamblers Anonymous and post the result here. Wish me luck:-)

1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?

I usually check my Poker Bankroll Blog and PokerBRB emails when I’m at work, but I have never skipped work to play poker. I have also made a New Years resolution to cut down on my time spent checking non work related email, so things are under control.

2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?

Yes, sometimes when I bust out of tournaments I get really angry, and my girlfriend doesn’t like it one bit. I’m working on some anger management techniques……

3. Did gambling affect your reputation?

I don’t think I have a reputation, so there’s nothing really to affect.

4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?

Yes, once I entered into a 100$ buy-in tournament with a 141$ poker bankroll. I wasn’t even motivated for the tournament….felt really bad afterwards.

5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?

Nope, I’m loaded so I never experience financial difficulties:-) In all seriousness I never play poker beyond my financial capabilities

6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?

Yes, sometimes I feel a lot less motivated to build a bankroll when I’ve been bad beated by some noob fish.

7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?

No, I usually uninstall all my poker clients and take a vow of poker celibacy.

8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?

Stupid question really. When you are on a roll and playing your A-game you continue playing. My answer is yes.

9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?

Nope, never gamble for more than I can afford.

10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?


11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?

I once sold my soul to lady luck, but it didn’t help so I bought it back.

12. Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?

Yes, my poker bankroll is my precious…..

13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?

I can honestly say no.

14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?

Yes, I am always caught by surprise over how long tournaments actually take to finish.

15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?

Yes, sometimes I like to play poker while I write articles, comments on other blogs and other Internet related work.

16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?


17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

Yes, sometimes I can stay awake for some time considering whether I should have played a hand differently.

18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?

I can’t say they do.

19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?

Usually any good fortune (except for my monthly pay check) I experience is gambling related and more precisely related to tournament wins. After winning a tournament (yes it has happened on occasions McTap) I am completely nackered and all I want to do is go to bed. Therefore my answer is no here.

20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

I sometimes consider self mutilation, but nothing more serious than that.


I answered yes to 8 out of 20 questions which according to Gamblers Anonymous indicates that I could have a gambling addiction (if you answer yes to more than 7 questions you are in trouble).  When reviewing my answers I was happy to see that I have answered no to the most important questions. I think any dedicated poker player will answer yes to more than 5 questions which just goes to show we all face the risk of becoming addicted.

How many questions can you answer yes to?

You could be posting your articles on the Poker Bankroll Blog. Read all about it here.

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3 Comments to Do you have a gambling addiction?

January 4, 2009

I don’t play neither poker nor anything else anymore. At some point I was in a situation where I could have answered yes to probably 7-10 of these questions (luckily none of the really bad ones) and I just didn’t like how I felt so I quit. But then again it was never really a passion for me as I was only into it for the money ;)

Mikael’s last blog post..Banfield Pet Insurance Secrets Revealed

March 13, 2009

Hi there,

Compulsive gambling or what we call gambling addiction certainly results in deterioration of personal, social, and financial life. So, we must not even think to take this lightly. Thanks for sharing the article. Cheers!

RecoveryConnection’s last blog post..Food Choices with Children

March 21, 2009

Addiction in gambling is really a bad thing to have in life. So. when it comes to gambling, one must have a clear mind that gambling is only a game and not a routine to be made.

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