Gambling is an important factor in the game of poker. It is risking something of value (usually money) in the hope of gaining a reward. While skilled poker players tend to do better overall, luck is an inherent part of the game. Good players realize they cannot control luck – good or bad; but they have learned to influence it to their benefit. This, by contrast, is not possible with slots or many other casino games, the kinds of which you’d play at sites like www.svenskaonlinecasino.info. While those games can be just as enjoyable as poker to many people, they’re essentially completely luck-based, whereas poker undoubtedly features numerous elements of skill. Because of the gambling aspect, however, some poker players are perpetual losers. And a significant number of those will unfortunately go off the deep end to become habitual gamblers, getting themselves into all sorts of difficult situations and problems. This happens often enough so that, over the years, several non-profit groups have been organized to help people fight off compulsive gambling. Even so, remember that it is your responsibility as a player. Like any adult, you are accountable for your actions – only you. A compulsive (pathological) gambler is a person who cannot resist his impulses that can lead to ruining his life and sometimes to a life of crime. As a result, he is likely to suffer many personal and financial problems. Compulsive gambling is regarded as a mental disorder leading to continuing impulsive gambling despite the negative physical, psychological, and social consequences. He is preoccupied with gambling, spending more and more time and money on it, and chasing his growing losses. He has a gambling problem! Responsible Gambling Guidelines Published by the National Council on Problem Gambling, a set of guidelines is available to help susceptible poker players and compulsive gamblers to overcome their problem. These guidelines include the following, to which I will add my comments: If you are a loser, try to think of the money you lose as part of your entertainment. Set a dollar limit and stick to it. It may take some self-discipline and self-control, but it is worth the effort. Win or lose, set a time limit for playing your game, and stick to it. Do not borrow money to play. If you cannot afford it, do not play. Do not let gambling interfere with your home life, or become a substitute for family, friends, or your career. Do not chase losses. Chances are you will lose even more trying to recoup your losses. (For that matter, while playing poker, be sure that your cards offer plenty of outs after the flop – six or more, so you do not chase during the hands you play.) Never use gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain. Do not play if pain is disturbing you during the game. It is important to focus on the game and your opponents. Know the warning signs of problem gambling and listen to their message. Is it time to quit for the day? It is your responsibility! About George EpsteinAfter a long and productive career as a leader in the aerospace industry, upon his retirement in the 1990s, George Epstein chose poker as his “second career.” George has been widely recognized for his many significant accomplishments and contributions to our society. These include pioneering and innovations in various materials, testing and manufacturing technologies for our defense and space programs; teaching specialized engineering courses at UCLA, other colleges, and at seven NASA centers; introducing advanced composites into Air Force space systems; and creating the Air Force Manufacturing Problem Prevention Program (has helped avoid costly failures and anomalies for space systems), He has authored many engineering reports and books; and is listed in American Men of Science; Leaders in American Science; Who’s Who in the West; Dictionary of International Biography; and Personalities in the West and Midwest. Since “joining” the poker world, George “The Engineer” Epstein has written three poker books – most recently, Hold’em or Fold’em?– An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision and The Art of Bluffing. George has organized poker groups at two senior centers, at West L.A. College, and at the VA/West Los Angeles, including teaching poker classes.He is a columnist for several poker and gaming publications. George has been elected to the Seniors Poker Hall of Fame, and was named Man-of-the-Year by the Westside Optimists, primarily for his efforts in encouraging retirees to learn and enjoy the game of poker. He firmly believes that playing poker will help to keep seniors/retirees mentally and physically healthy.
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