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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"May 5, 1990--would like to go to Jai Alai tonight--did-netted $38.85 " that was the start of my Jai Alai escapades especially after one night when I netted $1,094! The last time I was to Jai Alai was for my birthday February 29, 2004 with Chuck, Gino, Robert and James. I don't think in 8 years of blogging that I ever mentioned gambling--at least as a problem!


By the time I went into Transactional Analysis therapy I knew that of all the problems I had one was the lack of moderation in my life. I certainly smoked too much--3 packs a day--I was drinking too much--I was either 100% on my diet or binging--I don't know if you can have sex too much but I was definitely having a lot more than would be called normal or moderate. It wasn't until Dr. Cassius put a name on it that I realized, yes, I was an addictive personality and gambling was another addiction to/for me.

Yes I played the lottery once in awhile but I wouldn't call myself a gambler. The last time I remember really gambling was when I got out of the Marines and hitchhiking from California to Miami Beach and the first ride I got was to Las Vegas. Within a half hour I lost everything I had on me which really wasn't that much but it hurt to the point that I said I would never gamble again and I didn't until that May 5, 1990. The first time I had been to Jai Alai was in Miami many years ago when I went with my father and 3 of his salesmen. I remember how embarrassed I was when, as we were leaving, he told each of the guys that whoever won had to give me 10% of what they won. Trust me, I was not loved that night!

I played 5 different sets of trifecta numbers boxed plus 2 different win/place/show tickets. I was playing about $500 up front as I would buy all the tickets for the 13 or 14 games (depends which night I went) when I arrived-even when I was out of work!

Now please understand that I was not addicted to gambling--HA! It is the way the mind rationalizes things. Like when I was an alcoholic I didn't think I was one because: 1) I didn't drink in the morning 2) I didn't drink alone 3) Most days I didn't have a drink--and I can give you a dozen more reasons but if you read about my problems with alcohol and, finally, getting sober forever (well at least the past 31, almost 32, years.)

It was the same with Jai Alai--I didn't go every day--maybe once a week--I didn't go crazy (like betting $500 a night when I was out of work!!!) Oh I checked the papers every day to see if I would have won or lost the night before IF I had gone. Going through my diary I see "Took $800 to Jai Alai, lost $335", "I went to Jai Alai--netted $38.85", "Went to Jai Alai and netted $48.25", "Went to KJai Alai and won $12.25" "Went to Jai Alai and won $1,094.30 netting $475.80" and so it went. Of course the bottom line is that at the end I lost money over the next 10 years whether I went once a week or once every two months or whatever--I wasn't a gambling addict!

After I stopped going to Jai Alai the casinos started opening in the Fort Lauderdale area and I can honestly say that I have gone maybe 20 times in 8 years, mostly to the Isles for their buffet and with Robert when he came down from New York to the Hard Rock casino and he gambled enough to get free tickets to shows. My gambling limit is $20--on the penny or nickle slots! I hate losing!!

Was I addicted to Jai Alai? To gambling? Is my lotto/powerball/fantasy5 /mega money/Play4 playing EVERY week since it started an addiction? Am I afraid if I don't buy tickets my numbers will come out? Can I afford to play the numbers every day and every week? Do I give up something else to buy the tickets? Yes, yes, yes, yes, no (well maybe) and yes.

I think I will skip over the sex addiction and leave it for the hard cover edition!
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