Sidestep Problem Gambling With Gift Cards

As a professional online poker player, I am perfectly comfortable with balancing out the good days with the bad. I know for a fact that I can not win big money every single time I log onto the Internet, but some days are seriously more difficult than others. It was only recently at the advice of a friend that I started gambling with gift cards to help eliminate some of the addiction of online gambling when the day turns ugly; below is a personal story to show you exactly what I mean-

Raking in Big Pots

I was at Everest Poker a few weeks ago and everything was going very well; for the first few hours it seemed like I was simply destined to win. If the guy to my right caught trip kings on the flop, I’d be sitting there with a flush, and this happened over and over again. It was going so well, in fact, that I did not bluff a single hand in over two hours time, which made my winning streak appear that much more implausible.

In Comes the Sucker

Everything was almost perfect until Roy7491 showed up; at that point my luck seemed like it was flushed down the toilet. On my very first big hand against this guy, he raised me on the turn and I was sitting with a very well hidden full house; it just seemed like another one of those hands where nothing could go wrong. I made Roy7491 push all-in and was dominating his straight…until it became a straight flush on the river.

Feeling the Blues

The next couple of hands went almost exactly the same way; he’d raise, I’d push him all-in, and when we showed our cards I had the better hand. Five times in a row this guy caught a winner on the turn or on the river and I swear that if I didn’t love my computer monitor so much I might have used it as a Frisbee right about then. Not once did Roy7491 move all-in with the best hand yet he was up almost $6,000 in forty-five minutes.

The Sad Consequences

I had originally bought in at Everest Poker that night with a $1,000 gift card, and within three hours I had moved all the way up to $14,500 and back down to just under $1,400. Even though I was a much better player than Roy7491, his ridiculous luck took almost half of my chip stack immediately and I was too caught up to take a step back and breathe. The next thing you know I’m making stupid bets against other players while trying to change the momentum of my downward spiral; this is exactly what happens with problem gamblers every single day.

Walking Away and Looking Back

Looking back at the situation now, I can easily see that I should have switched to a more conservative betting approach with Roy7491 after he won the first couple of hands…or maybe I should have simply walked away completely. It is so easy to be on the outside looking in and say, “Wow, that guy is an idiot,” but it is a completely different scenario when you are the one sitting in the hot seat and you know that you are the best player at the table.

My first reaction when I lost everything was to make another quick deposit and win my money back, but because I have trained myself to only gamble with gift cards I managed to resist that temptation. Instead, I logged out and buried my sorrows with a bottle of beer, then awoke the next morning with the confidence to approach the tables with confidence again. Gift card gambling can actually save you a whole lot of extra frustration and heartache if you discipline yourself, and I am certainly glad that I did on that particular occasion.

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