Jake O

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Written by: Jake O

I started gambling when I turned 18, my work colleague was into poker and I was fascinated with the game, the skills, the tv shows and most importantly the money being won.

I left school really young at 14 and worked my way up the sales ladder to a really good job earning around $7000 per month after tax, prior to turning 18 I had saved up close to 30,000. I started going to the casino to play poker, each time buying in for $500, I had some really good weeks where i profited over $3K but slowly slowly I started to lose.

I always thought I wasn't gambling because I wasn't against the machines or the casino but rather against other players.

After 3-4 months of playing almost every night I had gone through all my savings and had about $6000 in pay day loan debt.

After another 3 months I had quit the casino and had paid all my debts of and managed to save $5K.

But then things got worse, I started playing pub and RSL poker, where you buy in for $20 and have a good night. I was really enjoying that for a few months until i discovered those bright flashing machines in the VIP section we call Pokies.

I put $10 in a machine and could not believe my eyes when I won (I still remember the exact amount) $17,710.62 the grand jackpot I was over the moon.

I didn't touch the machines again for a month or so when I was out with my mates playing pub poker and i had a few hundred in and gambled it away in my favourite machine, 100 after 100 i kept feeding the machine until I had no cash left, luckily I have a ATM withdrawal limit so i didn't lose more than $2000.

I was disgusted at myself for losing all that money, I was doing so well. I decided to quit for good, less than 4 hours later I was back at it again lost another $2000.

Fast forward to now I'm 19, its just past my lunch break and I just lost $1150 in the pub across the road and now only have $9 in my account to last me another 2 weeks.

I could walk away from poker but the machines are so hard, I have started talking to a counsellor and hopefully that helps.

I have committed myself to look down at my bank balance in a years time and see $50K minimum, pay off all my debts and actually have a life instead of being a loser sitting on a machine brainwashed.

For over a year I have been living pay check to paycheck. I remember when I first started gambling I was furious that I lost a $100 now if I only lose a $1000 I'm happy.

I say this now but if I was a betting man (which I am) I would bet on $1.02 odds that I will be back at the machines on my next pay day.

I am just so thankful that I have got this addiction when I am young and don't have a family or kids and hopefully I can beat it now.

But the struggle is real.

Gambler's Help 

There are many ways to seek professional and anonymous help for your own, or your loved one's problems with gambling.

If you need immediate help, please call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 or Gambler's Help Youthline on 1800 262 376 (from within Australia only). This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free and confidential.