Addiction is dangerous in any form but gambling addiction has the potential of bringing someone to his knees in a very short period of time. When someone starts walking down the road leading to addiction, he is oblivious of the perils but by the time he realizes what is happening to him, it is already too late. Even though addiction can be treated and those who really want to find a way out will eventually break free, the financial consequences will be extremely difficult to offset.
As in any disease, it is always easier and better to prevent than to cure and in order to avoid gambling addiction it is mandatory to understand the causes that trigger it. There is a multitude of factors that can concur and not all players turn into addicts, and not all those who do, blame the same causes. The lust for money and social recognition are two of the leading causes and sometimes their roots can be traced way back in time. For many people the game of poker and other forms of gambling are only a random way in which they seek to pursue their goals, and quitting is not necessarily going to eliminate the causes.
Gamblers are by definition restless and they have the tendency of comparing themselves with other players, while setting impossible goals for themselves. When they are happy and ride a winning streak they doubt nothing and tend to squander the money easily, frequently burning through their bankrolls at an alarming rate. When they find themselves in the middle of a losing streak, they get depressed and increase their wagers in a desperate attempt of chasing losses. Either way, money is lost and even when they hone their technical skills and become better at the games they play, the losses only amplify.
Many people commit the mistake of thinking that gambling addiction affects mostly lazy people who don’t have the strength and determination to make it in the real world. As proof they use the fact that those who become victims of addiction tend to skip work and invent bogus excuses to be exempt from their social responsibilities, to play more. This is only partially true, because addicts can be incredibly perseverant and not all of them are simply going to borrow money and bet it all on a roulette number.
When it comes to Texas hold them and other games that require skill, gambling addiction manifests itself in a different way. Many players are not only increasing the stakes they are playing at but also the number of hours they spend in front of the computer, because they are convinced that by playing more they will offset losses. Not all of those who are addicted to gambling are losing money at least not on the short term, and even those who are winning have the same determination and want to play more and more.
After learning and understanding all the causes that frequently lead to addiction, it should be much easier to avoid falling off the wagon. Even so it is wise to take extra precautions and set a safety net in place, to make sure that regardless of how your career as a poker player evolves, you’ll never cross the dangerous threshold. For starters, every player should set up a bankroll that is destined to fund poker related expenses exclusively and never mix real life budgets with a bankroll. This should make it easy to keep expenses under control and pull the ripcord whenever you feel that you are no longer in charge.
Gambling addiction is not a problem to be trifled with, and those who realize that they have crossed the line separating hobby and pleasure from addiction and obsession should seek professional help. Most online poker companies have special departments that help those in need and provide them with advice about how to beat gambling addiction. There is no reason to be ashamed of your situation and assume that things will get better in time without you doing anything. Addiction doesn’t need a lot of time to insinuate, but it takes both time and effort to purge it out of your system.