Thursday, May 04, 2006

I've Lost One Million Dollars Playing Poker

Since there’s CONTROVERSY (its the buzz word of choice lately) about gambling due to every athlete, Hollywood celeb, and socialite on the planet coming out to say they’ve lost $XX,XXX,XXX while playing penny slots, I have a confession to make:

I’ve lost at least one million dollars while gambling.

It’s a true statement much like Daly’s or maybe even Barkley. But there are these little very basic concepts we use in accounting to figure out a true figure while computing allowance that vendors are supposed to pay us.

Gross and Net.

Everyone using at least one wrinkle in their brain can figure out that my loss statement can be true simply by adding up all of my losing wagers.

Slot pull on a Monopoly “Once Around” nickel machine: $.75
Multiply that by all the losing spins: 200
And VOILA I’ve lost $150.00 while gambling!

But, didn’t you win on some of your spins?

Of course I did.

No slot machine is cold enough to let you spin 150 times and not win at least 5 credits (its possible, but not likely, slot expert Grubby would be a better reference on long term hot/cold slot streaks).

An angle that poker players can see from:

I lost several hands of poker last night *collective “awwwww” from the crowd* I know, I have HORRIBLE LUCK (not really, I’m actually seeing luck in a different light now after doing some more pokery reading, but that’s a post for another time). Those losing wagers added up to approximately 500 Euros or 631.575 American dollars.

As a true statement I could report that I lost $631.58 making wagers (rounding up because I didn’t feel like sawing a penny in half).

What you don’t see is that I won 540 Euros on my super-terrific World Class Player bluffs and value bets. Ok, I managed to catch a few cards and with my loose (6% of the flops seen at 6-max, is porn star Houston after her 500 guy gang bang loose!) image got someone to pay off my flopped flush with just a pair.

The point is, any poker player or recreational gambler could come out and state “I’ve lost over a million dollars gambling” and their statement would probably be true. In Barkley’s case I do believe his statement to be on the Net side of the equation, I’m sure those wagers on the golf course with Michael Jordan using that god-awful swing of his (see Nike commercial with Tiger Woods’ driver cover needling Barkley) have added up over the years. His interview with Trey Wingo on Sportcenter’s “Hot Seat” where he gave this statement:

"But I've got to understand you can't beat the casino. You might win a lot of
money from them, but in the long run they are going to win more money from you,
and I've got to get to a point where I don't gamble for as much. That's what
I've got to do, because I'm not going to quit gambling because it's my life and
it's my money."

He’s tried to beat the casino and acknowledges the fact that he knows in the long run he won’t win (kudos to Barkley for knowing this simple fact). That shows a novice gambler like me that he understands the wagers he’s making are –EV and its entertainment for him. I didn’t see a statement like that from Daly who just claimed to play some high-stakes slots.

Since there’s no way to compile Daly’s wins/loses there’s no evidence as to exactly what his NET losses are because anyone who gambles and makes wagers on a regular basis could come out with a statement such as his and claim millions of dollars over what their true loses were. My personal estimate would be around the $15-$20 million dollar mark that Barkley stated.

While we’re on that track, why make the public statement at all?

What possible good comes from admitting to such extravagant losses?

* (cue John Daly walking to high limit room at MGM Grand next month)

MGM Host: Welcome back John! We have your seat all ready at the $500 Double Diamond machines, I REALLY think it’s your day to win!!

John Daly: I’d like a $1 million dollar line of credit, I found a penny heads up today after a porn slapper on the Strip dropped his advertisement for $75 female companionship and saw Abe Lincoln staring back at me on the ground.

MGM Host: It is certainly is your day to win!

John Daly: (looks at a Baccarat game going): What’s this Baccarat thing all about?

MGM Host: Oh, don’t worry about all those fancy cards and blinking light tote board, you’d be much more at home with that juicy slot in the corner. Don’t you remember hitting that $100,000 jackpot last time!

John Daly: Yeah, that was pretty cool with all the lights and everyone cheering me on like I just won the PGA Championship. Plus, it only took me eleven racks of $500 coins to hit it!

MGM Host: That’s the Johnny Boy I remember! Now take that lucky penny and get yourself comfortable while Sasha grabs a carton of cowboy killers and diet cokes for you.

* the follow scenario was stupidly fictional and in no way reflects how MGM conducts business with problem gamblers, nor how John Daly pisses away his endorsement and golfing money

Thanks for dropping by, now if you haven’t checked out the new edition of Truckin, I suggest making a doctor’s appointment to get that saw blade dislodged from your head ASAP.

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