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Monday, November 07, 2005

The Gambler

I am a gambler.

On my little sisters (twins) 21st birthday, my family and I took them to play Bingo for the first time at an Indian reservation in the Phoenix area. We had a great time, it was the first for me and my sisters, and we decided we liked it. Lorrie, Corrie, PJ and I would go back many times over the following years, sometimes just two of us, sometimes three, or sometimes all of us went. In fact, for my batchlerette party....I wanted to go play Bingo, so that's what we did. I became completely hooked about 6 months after the birthday bingo party when I won two nights in a row. The first night was $800, 2nd night was $600 (split game) and back then, as a single parent, that was a LOT of money to me, so again, I was hooked.

Then my mom decides to give me a CD rom game called "Casino". On this game, they had a 7 card stud table. I started playing it and low and behold, couldn't lose. So I then started playing on Yahoo! with other live players, and surprise surprise, was a winning player there as well. So, to me, the next logical step was with real money on an online poker site. This was about 4 years ago, and the poker site I chose at the time was WOW, what an eye opener. I was such a fish, such a loser, it's comical looking back at it now.

That was when I decided to start playing tournaments, as the money seemed to last longer. I could play for hours instead of just for 10 mins. Also, back then I knew nothing about freerolls except for the daily noon freeroll that PokerRoom offered. There was always about 800 players, and I would play until about 4-5pm, never making the money, but always improving my standing. Towards the end, I was always in the top 10 percentile, but again, never monied in it, as only 1st won ($50).

Due to my proximity to Laughlin, and due to the fact that when we first moved to Kingman I only worked part time as I only had 1-2 clients, I started taking the daily bus that was offered to Kingman residents by River Palms and Flamingo casinos. It was free, and they also gave you a buffett coupon, bingo coupons, and a free roll of nickels! I started going often. This was back in the day when money wasn't very plentiful, so I would go with about $40-$60. It was just for the day, I was always home by 5pm.

As I made more money with my business, I had more discretionary income and thus, gambled more. I would take $100 with me, so on and so on. Some times I would come home broke, other times, I would come home even, and still other times, I would come home flushed.

I enjoy gambling. I like slot machines, I enjoy certain table games, I love poker.

I have been a gambler since the first night my family and I played poker, but yet, noone in my family saw this, choose to ignore it, or didn't think it was a big deal. This includes my husband. So now, because I'm going to more and more B&M tournaments, because I'm going to Vegas and Laughlin more frequently, it finally seems to have dawned on them that hey, Tanya is a gambler! This causes problems. My husband does not gamble, he does not like it, he HATES it. He doesn't understand why people do it, he doesn't understand why I do it. He thinks it's disgusting and although those are the exact words he's used, he's never gone deeper then that.

I can only speculate, as I know what the stereotype is of gamblers, and how gamblers are thought of, etc. I think he's disgusted with me and I think that he thinks I have mental issues, or personality problems, or "something must be wrong with her emotionally or mentally if she can just throw money away so freely". He's mentioned many, many times that we should just light a match and burn the money, as that's what I'm doing to it.

Yet, when I bring home winnings, nothing is said, unless it's a "Good Job" or "Congratulations" or something like that.

This weekend I won a total of about $4800, but I only came home with $3600. So instead of being happy that I made a profit, and that I still came home with about $3500 MORE then what I went with (seriously, I went to Vegas on a very limited bankroll, as I went for the Binion's TOC which was a freeroll) he's upset because I didn't come home with the full $4800, because that's what he would have come home with.

He said to me once before that I wasn't a gambler when he met me, and that I've changed into something that he doesn't like, after being married to him. I contend that I've always been a gambler, he just didn't "see" it because he was just my boyfriend, or he did see it, but choose to ignore it.

I recently posted a poll on RGP to see how other players/gamblers handle non-playing/non-gambling spouses and I'm anxious to see what others think or how others handle the similar problem that I am having.

I am a gambler, and I honestly and truly feel that as long as I am not out of control, as long as the bills are getting paid, and as long as I'm not lying about the money spent or money won to my husband, then it shouldn't be a problem. I enjoy gambling, I love it!! I love the excitement, the atmosphere, the people I meet, the social aspect, the occasional big wins, just DOING it. However, ever since we had our talk back in February, I have been more aware and more conscience of what I'm spending, I'm making sure to never make the same mistake twice and it hasn't been difficult. It's not like I have to constantly moniter myself or I would lose control, I don't. I take care of priorities first and THEN, and only then, do I spend money on gambling/poker. I have ALWAYS been that way, even back when I admitted to Bill that I'd been spending more money on poker then he though, I still always made sure that the priorities were taken care of, so as a gambler, I see nothing wrong with that. What am I missing???

Because this is a poker blog, I can't really see any of my readers disagreeing with the majority of my feelings above, so I ask you...the do you handle a non-poker-playing or non-gambling spouse? I am anxious to see what others feel about this.

PLEASE keep in mind that it's not a "money" issue, it's a hate gambling vs. love gambling issue.



Blogger Welshman said...

Actually he wouldn't have come home with $4800 because he hates gambling.

A lot here depends on whether or not you can find a compromise position without going to either extreme that you have outlined on RGP. I feel for you T and hope that you can find this middle ground as he seems like a good guy besides the issue with gamblig.

7:21 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

He's an awesome guy, the best I've ever known. However, the problem lies in the compromising. I'm going to be getting what I want, and he's not. So he's not going to be happy, but if I quit poker, then I'm not happy. So how...??? you know what I'm saying??? Bleh...I want to talk to him and really hash it out, but he's on deadlines and doesn't even have time right now, so I'm left feeling miserable and can't even talk about it right now. I think I'll just go to bed, lol.

9:14 PM  
Blogger sarahbellum said...

There are SO many things to speculate on with this issue, and without talking it out with you... speculating is all I can do.

So I will ask, does he have a passion of his own? Besides work? It could be that he sees you so happy doing what you love, and that he's a little jealous because he doesn't have that in his life, and this is his way of dealing with it.

We ALL need outside interests, we all need our own "stuff", we all need our own ways to get excitement in our lives. He NEEDS to get this if he doesn't already have it. (oh yeah I do speak from experience baby!)

The other thing I will say is about the money. I don't know where the extra $1200 went and I of course really do not care and it's none of my damn business.

That said...

I am a gambler. I play poker for a living. So does my partner. Now, if he came home from winning a tournament (yay!) with $1200 less than I expected... I would for sure be questioning him as to where it went. If he came up with a reasonable explanation, sweet. If he came up with a bad explanation... well ok honey, better played next time I guess (I know I would have grumbles but I also trust his judgment pretty much unconditionally). If he came up with no explanation, that just doesn't work.

OK enough random rambling, just one more thing:
He's an awesome guy, the best I've ever known.
That's important. That's worth fighting for.


11:31 PM  
Blogger ukpoker said...


When I first married, back in 1990, my partner knew I gambled. At the time it was more on horse racing than anything else but I DID gamble for the same reasons as you do. I loved it.

What was first accepted as ok became a BIG problem for my partner to accept and in 1994 we divorced for, as she would say, my addiction to gambling.

Like you the bills got paid and stuff but we just couldn't reconcile the differences in our personalities. I loved to gamble and she hated it.

At the end of the day we are what we are and its unfortunate that your partner can't understand that gambling is a very BIG part of your life, as it is mine!

There is no compromise to be had!

In my experience I lost my wife but in retrospect there was no other way as you can't deny the person you are inside and in the end neither can he!

2:25 AM  
Blogger Jasper109 said...


This kind of reminds me of when I was married and my wife didn't like the fact that I drank alcohol.
She absolutely "HATED" it even if I had a couple of drinks watching a ball game or at a party.
I never missed work, was never out of control, and most people I knew didn't think it was an issue with me at all.
It mostly stemmed from the fact that her father was an alcholic, and she just couldn't handle me drinking.
I've talked to my sister about it, and she told me that she always found me to be a funny or just mellow when drinking, but when her husband drank she just didn't like the way his personality changed after just one drink.
Maybe I'm way out to lunch here, but it might partially have to do with your husbands upbringing, or maybe more so the fact that he feels that poker in some ways is more important to you than he is. I've read some of your trip reports, and I must admit if I were your husband I might be a bit jealous (not sure if that is the right word)of the fact that you are at some casino having this "amazing" time.
I once had a girlfriend that loved to go out dancing with friends. I wasn't much into that, but for the most part I was OK with it. Still, there were times that I didn't like the idea of her being out at night without me even though I trusted her 100%.
I guess it makes things easier when spouses are passionate about similar things, but I think there are also many couples who have very different interests and are still able to spend a lot of quality time with each other. (not that I'm any expert on relationships)lol
I wish you all of the best.


2:32 AM  
Blogger Fat Dan said...

I hope that you get everything ironed out. I know that this has been the number one stress in your life for a while.

Good luck.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Mom said...


This seems to be a bigger problem than you have let on to all of us. As your mother I have always said I wanted my children to be happy and doing what one enjoys is important. I'm sure you can relate to me and my ASU football. How many times did I whine to go to a game when it would have been more reasonable to stay home? And what about my cruises? The same can be said about that. Now there is a saying "the apple does not fall far from the tree". Hence you are your mothers daughter. We are botn princess's and we will fight for what we want and ecpect to get it. Hopefully the men in our lives are our kings and will give these pleasures to us. The one previous comment about the jealousy part may be a factor. Not that Bill doesn't trust you, but the fact that you are out having fun and he is home working and watching Cherissa. Maybe if his photography got going and he was out shooting he'd be in a different frame of mind. But what's going to happen if he is away on the weekends shooting and you're home with Cherissa working? How are you going to feel with him away having fun? Notice I have not mentioned money because you said it wasn't an issue and I'm going to believe you on that. But in the past you have had to borrow money just to make ends meet. I'm hoping that was because work was slow for both of you and there was no money for anything. That is what you have said and that is what I will believe. I like Bill alot. He is a great son in law and a great father to Cherissa, the apple of my eye, but you are my daughter and your happiness is most important to me. You have not mentioned Cherissa in this situation...How does this affect her? What are her view points on all of this? She is approaching a very crucial time in her life where she needs her mother, are you there for her? These are only questions, not judgements. I have always been told and have told you, "follow your dreams". Don't wait till you're my age, till your children are grown, till you can afford to do it, because sweetie that day may never come. Fun keeps you young. Fun keeps you happy. Responsibility is a necessity but after that being happy is your focus. Generally that is with your loved ones and fulfilling your enjoyments. Hopefully those two things match, if they don't one must make decisions. I think the main question is "why does Bill hate gamling so much?" Is it your time away? Is it the jealousy of you having fun and he's not? Is it the money? There has to be something and if you can find out the answer to that question then maybe you can work on compromise and understanding. If there is no particular reason, then sweetie you have a heavy decision to make. Life is full of choices and we are responsible for those choices. However, we also have to live with the choices we make. Bill on the other hand also has to make a choice. Is he willing to loose you over something that makes you happy? There are only 3 scenarios here. 1. You give up what you love to please Bill and are miserable every day of your life causing friction between the two of you and you will not think he is so awesome in the end. Or 2.) Bill accepts your gambling he is miserable and that causes friction between the two of you and you end up hating each other. Or 3.) The two of you make some type of compromise that you can both live with and you both accept it willingly. Example: You can gamble 7 days a month...your choice. Bill can shoot 7 days a month...his choice (different days) and you spend 14 days a month doing family or home things. That way you are doing what you want, he is doing what he wants, and the family unit has a chance to grow and develop. But this means that the 14 days are spent as a family. Because you see I have seen another side to this story. I remember not to long ago Bill never attended family functions because "he was working" "he had a deadline". His work is his pleasure and that was put in front of you and the family. His work may have made money where your gambling may loose money, but if money is not the issue then it is very similar. In fact I think that is where gambling became such an issue with you. You were bored because Bill was always working and the computer became your best friend and rather than chat rooms you found poker and the story begins. So sweetie, I don't know what to tell you. I wish I could be more help. But I leave you with do some soul searching, follow your heart but remember you must live with the choice you make.
I love you Tanya, and I am always here for you.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Falstaff said...

Wow. Let's start with this - you have a great mom. Can I borrow her for a little while? Mine has Alzheimer's and I feel like I know her less and less all the time, but yours reads and comments on your blog! That's amazing!

I'm a theatre guy, and a recent poker player. My wife is also a theatre person, and understands the type of life that theatre folk lead, which is not very different from the life that gamblers lead. For us, what it has come down to is maximizing the value of the time that we spend together, and allowing each other to be free to do other things when we are exploring our other interests. I will admit to having to build up some positive husband equity prior to booking for the WPBT event in December, but we're working towards compromise.

I try to be honest with Suzy about everything, but I don't tell her how much I was up if I don't bring home that much. She doesn't understand that you don't leave a good table just because you have a couple of bad hands, and I can't explain it to her. She appreciates the additional income poker brings us, and doesn't question unless I have losing sessions that affect our everyday life, which fortunately hasn't happened yet.

That's how we handle it, and I hope this ramble was at all helpful.

9:44 AM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

I must say I am happy with my decision to post this blog, and to also have started that thread on RGP. I have received a lot of valuable advice, suggestions, and comments.

However, I need to stress quite highly that I am NOT at a point where I am willing to lose my husband OVER poker. However, I don't want to lose my husband over following my dreams and my goals.

Bill has come a long way in supporting me in poker, he is tolerant of my trips, my playing time online, etc. I think we're reaching a point though where he's not going to be able to accept it anymore, and that's the difficulties I feel I am facing. I can't continue asking him to bend, bend, bend if I'm not bending at all either, but yet I feel I have to keep asking him that in order for me to follow my dreams/goals.

So the main purpose and point of the thread on RGP and this entry was to find out what others have done/did in a similar situation.

The majority consensus is a major, major talk with Bill, which we've had before....back in January, before I became pregnant. Everything was hashed out then because I had agreed to give up poker once I got it out of my system by making a "go" at it for 6 months. However, once I became pregnant, the compromise that we made was null and void as there was no way he felt comfortable, and to a certain degree I didn't either, of traveling, going to events that I had planned for the first 6 months of the year, etc. etc.

Now I'm at the point where I want to have that same conversation with him, compromising, but I don't think I can promise or offer to give up my dream/goal which is, poker, like I was last year.

It's been a long night for me, a long day is in the works as well, and I can only try to get Bill to see my point, while I try to understand and emphathize with his points. So...where's the middle ground? Sure seems hard, although thank God neither one of us is afraid of hard work. (lol)

I thank everyone for their comments and will update later.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Mom said...

Falstaff...thanks for the compliment and you can borrow me anytime...but if Falstaff is your favorite beer well then that means we're close to the same age so I can't be your mom...LOL However,did you notice Tanya didn't even mention anything I said in her response to you...guess she doesn't think I'm that great.... Love you Tanya :)

10:19 AM  
Blogger Jasper109 said...


Here is what Tanya said about you in RGP.

"LOL...thanks. I do have a great mom, she's awesome and just like my daughter is
her mother's daughter, I am my mother's daughter as well.

You should see us together in Laughlin or Vegas, we're a riot."

I also wouldn't mind borrowing you for a little while, but again I think you are a bit too young to be my mom. lol

Tanya is very lucky to have someone like you for a parent.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Mom said...

Jasper....when and where did Tanya say that? I didn't read it. And you can borrow me too..just how young do you think I am? Just an FYI I am a great mom and a lot of fun (evil grin)

12:33 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

YES, thank you Jasper for quoting my RGP post. I sometimes forget that Mom is not an RGP'r (or even know what that means, LOL)

Mom, I love you with all my heart and I was so touched that you actually responded to the blog, let alone the next morning after I posted it. That shows me that you DO keep up with my blog. ; )

Love ya!!

12:34 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

Oh's going to be "hook me up with your Mom, Tanya" any minute now.


I never mentioned she was single, did I???

12:35 PM  
Blogger FellKnight said...

Like Mother, Like Daughter. :)


12:59 PM  
Blogger Mom said...

Gee Tanya lets announce it....Yes I am single and what a catch I am!

Now this would be a first...a blog as a match maker chat room...go figure!

I love you too Tanya,

1:56 PM  
Blogger Welshman said...

OK I'll be first at something for once.
Hook me up with your mom T.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Jasper109 said...

Hey, get in line buddy. LOL

4:28 PM  
Blogger Krazy's World said...

Hey T-

My computer has been in limbo and I am just now catching up to my most fav blogs.

This is not a "professional" opinion, just a few words from a friend.

I have been married..almost 29 years (June). The road has been very rocky but very rewarding.

My 2 cents...marriage is all about compromises. You and Bill have to find a common ground that will make you both happy and not resentful.

I LOVE to gamble!!

Play every night online, but I am home and available when needed.

I go to casinos 3-4 times a year so not to be away from my family to long.

Hubby has not had problems with my gambling (so far). He loves to go to Fry's and is an e-bay whore. We decided to set a monthly budget.
We each get so much to spend.

I get the best part of the deal because my poker winnings are mine to keep and I save them to pay for my trips to Vegas. If I am losing then I can't go on a trip.

Your heart to heart talk is LONG overdue!! Time to sit down and find out "why" exactly he hates your gambling.



5:37 PM  
Blogger EC said...

I guess I have to play the devils advocate with this issue. You may have read my blog and noticed I have VERY similar issues. I am a huge gambler, and my husband is not (to say the very least). What I have to say is this....

I don't think there is a compromise. If he hates it, then he hates it and there really isn't one damn thing you can do about it unfortunately. He may never understand what you are doing, he may never like it. The only thing he can do is love you despite your gambling.

After many months, and much counseling that is what my husband has chosen to do. Yes, I have a limit on what I can spend (a limit that I have put on myself as to avoid fights) but everytime he comes home and sees me online I still get the same eye rolling and a bit of anger, but he keeps quiet about it, and because of that I don't get on him about the little shit that annoys me about him.

I am also going to ride the "I love your mom bandwagon" and say that she knows you better than anyone and she brought up a couple of good points. I know you're not willing to lose your husband, but if he is as unhappy as you say there may be nothing you can really do about it except give up your dream (which I DO not recomment). It sounds like even if you win the Main Event he wouldn't be that happy, because when it comes down to it, its not the money, just the gambling itself.

I chose to tone it down a bit, and only gamble 3 days a week, and give him the other 4, maybe that will work for you two. Either way, I wish you the best!

8:59 PM  

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