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online poker
I cannot stop playing online poker, i am not a losing player and over hundrends of thousands of hands and thousands of hours playing it is taking over my life.

my mood is completely determined by how well i am playing, i feel very angry when i am not winning and i just want to win more when i do win.

Although i havent lost money it is taking over my life and i cannot bring myself to stop, all i want to do is play.

I have read countless books and internet articles as well as hired professional coaches to help my game.

I do not want to play anymore but there is no way i have the willpower to stop, i want to be the best and win large sums of money it is that thought that keeps me going.

Even though i am writing this i know i am going to be back playing again in a matter of hours.

I dont know what to do or where to turn, i am only 18 years old.
Hey Carl,
You may notice I respond to most of the posts on here offering advice and there is a reason for this, its my own therapy to read other stories and offer my thoughts from the perspective of a compulsive gambler who has stopped. Your a very special case and in that case you play Poker probably texas hold em and I used to think I was a damn decent player at this. The point of being a compulsive gambler is it is a drug, a desease, it takes control of our lives and at only 18 what advice do I give to you.

Well i can only share with you where I could have been if i lived a "normal life" as apposed to the "gambling nut case" that controlled my teens and twenties. I dont however feel that will make you stop as you think your really good at this game but there is only one ending to your story, this after three plus years gambling free i realise.

Gambling or being a compulsive gambler goes like this, we feel we dont really have a problem we are not losing much especially in our early teens, its just something we enjoy doing but you are creating a monster that will come back and haunt you. You state you do this all your time, it is controlling your life however not putting you in debt, but it ultimately will as you are creating the lifestyle that is the desease.

Let me give you an idea, at 21 you win a large amount in a tournament, wow what a buzz, you become generous, treat those you belive to be friends, you meet a girl, settle down and suddenly your dreams are bigger, the stakes are bigger, the losses are bigger, the mood swings are bigger, your whole thought proccess becomes unrational, you take a loan to be back to the big shot you became after your win. You loose the girl, loose the friends and go back to sitting in front of that laptop with no idea of what life is about once more.

Now is your choice you can take my advice, stop gambling, go to some meetings and listen to others, wiser people who know what you are creating and change your life, start playing football, working, dating girls (thats good fun!!) and living a normal but ultimately better life. Or you can continue to spend all your time "thinking your good at something" and when the story goes bad and you get to 30 like I did without anything to show for my life you wake up and smell the coffee and realise what you must do.

Carl, everyone has a story to tell. I have sat and listened to people who "thought they could become a pro!", I have heard how they had six figure jobs in the city but were always skint. At 18 you have a chance to not live my life, to think of better things to do with your time, to have goals and a good life but one thing i can assure you is I have never seen a happy compulsive gambler.

The stories I have heard would make your eyes water, ex pro footballers, someone winning six figures on the horses, for me at 27 I was worth a lot of money but we all had one thing in common we couldnt get off the train and lost it all. Because its the desease. Now I am off the "rollercoaster" that is gambling I realise how wonderful my family is and most important to me is they realise how wonderful I am.

I have freinds, real friends, I buy myself nice clothes, I buy my family things, I have a gf I trust who trusts me, I bought a car with no loan and an office in which i pay staff. Why could I do these things?? Because I stopped dreaming and got off the rollercoaster.

At 18years old consider these things and make your decision accordingly all I can tell you when you get to 30 you will appreciate me saying that you have a chance to live a decent life away from gambling. All I can promiss you is you are building a life that will set you up for disaster and when That happens appreciate that someone who knows told you so....

Otherwise I truly hope when your 30 and you have suffered numerous low points in your life you find us again and begin a better life...

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