When I was 7, my father and mother went to Las Vegas, leaving me, my brother and my sister behind in the care of my grand parents. When they retuned, my father had gifts for us. My brother got a T-shirt from Caesar’s Palace, The Alladin and the Hard Rock Cafe. My sister got Barbie dolls. I got my first deck of cards, pair of dice and blackjack felt. My dad showed me how to play blackjack and it became my favorite game quickly. He gave me a Vegas game for Game Boy and I slowly learned about Blackjack, Roulette, Keno, Slots, Baccarat (still don’t understand it) and then, 7-Card Stud poker.
Here I am, 15 years later and I have become so obsessed with the various poker games, that I can’t stop thinking about it. Odds and strategies run through my head constantly, recalls of great victories and soul-shattering defeats are on constant replay. I never feel out of control when I play in a casino, I feel very at home and comfortable. When I lose, I’m more dissapointed that I lost the game, not the $200 I had scraped together to play in the casino’s low-limit cash game.
Did my father start something?
Did my exposure to casino games at such a young age affect my view of gambling?
I notice a common occurence like this in many poker players’ backrounds. In the books I read, James McManus and Jay Greenspan talk of how their parents and grandparents taught them about poker or similar casino games. But then I also hear of people who pick it up at a much less impressionable age.
There must be a commonality between all of us. A quest for money? A trophy? A passion for the game? Desensitized view and opinion of gambling? I do wonder…