More thoughts on Problem Gambling

by PokerAnon ~ June 7th, 2010. Filed under: Gambling.


Recently I had the thought to check up on a player that my reader Pat pointed out to me back when I made this series of blog posts.

Here’s their recent graph at Sharkscope:

Still a pretty steady graph. And still consistently losing. I’m curious as to what they played at around 1,700 hands for that big loss, but because this is Full Tilt I’d guess that 1) they used their FTP points and won a token, then 2) didn’t cash when they used the token as I think Sharkscope can’t differentiate between buying in with a token as opposed to buying in with cash. The reason that I suspect this is that I won a $75 token once and cashed, so I have an upward blip in my own graph (thinly veiled brag. Mind you, I never won another token after that).

If I check the recent results this person played yesterday and some today so they’re still at it. 5,971 tournaments, total losses of $6,045 (probably including at least one FTP token in the loss total as mentioned above).

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What triggered my revisited interest in this player was this old post by the Poker Shrink. I only recently discovered his articles and started working through them. Most are not overly interesting, but in this particular one I think that he does a nice job of adapting some evaluation questions about gambling addiction to poker. Those of you who have been around for a while and have an interest in such things know that most university research questionnaires about problem gambling don’t make sense for poker players so it’s nice to see something adapted and that makes sense for poker. And in his review of the 20 question he states:

Seven “yes” answers is considered a problem, quite frankly one “yes” to #20 is enough.

The question #20 that he refers to is about suicide, #12 is about reluctance to use your poker bankroll for living expenses.

On the other hand, some of these fairly standard questions are double-edged swords. Take #12, for example: if you keep your poker bankroll separate from your living expenses then keeping them separate, except in a family emergency, actually makes good financial sense.

#14 asks if you’ve ever stayed longer at a table than you hand planned.

Number #14: Yes sometimes you do stay at a lucrative table longer than you had planned, as long as you are not missing your kid’s birthday party (or birth)…. Well you get the picture; if you said “No” to all of these then you probably don’t actually play poker. But if you or someone you know does hit the seven or eight “yes” answer threshold; it may be time to reconsider the game.

So no brilliant observations on my part. Just a nicely modified questionnaire that I read which led me to wonder how the continued loser is doing these days.

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