Friday, November 2, 2007

Pick Your Poison

A few years back, DH and I went to Wendover for our anniversary and he taught me how to play poker. We've played a few times since then, never winning much of anything nor losing much of anything. I have this pleasant anxiety in my stomach the whole time but it actually makes it more fun. The last time we went, we only took about $200 which we would have spent on a night out anyway (how do you like that for rationale). The best part was we had a great time just hanging out.

But I've heard a lot about this online gambling stuff and happened to click into a gambling site Bet365 and it intrigued me. I wonder what people get out of it. Is it better than Vegas? Can you win a ton of cash? Or does it just feed the gambling devil on your shoulder as you get sucked further and further into your own private black hole?

While I'm not necessarily condoning gambling because I think that in the wrong hands, it can wreck lives, I think that there are worse things than a night out playing poker with your husband. So, I reflected on my own limited personal experiences with gambling and what I enjoyed about it...

  1. atmosphere...dark, loud, funky - just so different from real-life that it's fun

  2. the meet some really fun people

  3. that crazy anxiousness as you decide whether or not to take a risk with five whole dollars

  4. the companionship I feel with DH as we play (we sort of play together - like a team)

  5. the disorienting feeling of never caring (or knowing) what time of day/night it is - pretty cool!

But with on-line gambling...what do you get? If it were me, I'd get that sort of sleezy feeling that I might get if I were sitting in my closet with a bottle of vodka. "Who knows I'm here!", "Will he be mad if he finds out I"m doing this?", "How can I justify this?"

I mean, is this really and truly a hobby? Or is this a venue for the addicted, like internet p*o*r*n* (don't want any freakish search engines nabbing me). Do healthy people just in for the "gamesmanship" of it all really play on these sites? I'm confused. I just see this 50 year-old sort of filthy couch potato (potato chips on his belly) sitting in front of his computer at 2am, a glazed expression on his face as he blearily looks out of his blood-shot eyes - making one more bet that will surely bring back his wife's life savings. I don't know...educate me! Does anyone out there use these sites? Just curious.

2 backward glances:

Rachel said...

Sorry Amy, I'm not a fan of Gambling.
I detest casinos, the smoke, the smell, and the drink waitresses cleavage. Even online to me is a waste of time and money.

Carly said...

Amy, I have to say I totally agree with all you said from the reasons you enjoy it to the rationale. Mike & I usually play blackjack when we are in Vegas and I love that you can play for hours and just enjoy the anticipation and I love the people watching at a casino, never boring! I also understand why it could be soooooo bad for some people, addicting and life destroying. I don't know about the online sites, I don't think it would be as fun and too easy to waste money and become addicted. Anyway, if you & DH ever want company in Wendover we're in!