"You know you play too much poker when you are having such a bad day at Hold 'em that you decide to take a break... and play Omaha…"
I can't say I have encountered much in the realm of personal addictions in my life. Sure, I stayed awake for hours upon hours trying to finish some stupid video game or had a few wild nights. But nothing destructive to myself or my family (unless you count the fact that I weigh way more than I should and not really doing anything about it). I do know of several people around me who have battled some sort of addiction (and I will not go into detail) and know how it has affected the people close to them.
Reading through a lot of the blogs recently, I started thinking about whether or not I was addicted to poker. I enjoy it. I play it. I read about it. I sometimes watch it on TV. But am I actually addicted to playing it?
I went and checked out Gambler's Anonymous and found their 20 Questions page. If you answered 'yes' to seven or more you might be a compulsive gambler. While I did have a few yes answers, I didn't make it to seven. Not even close. I think part of the reason is that I might not consider poker to be gambling. I don't see it as a means to make money. I don't get a huge rush from winning (or losing). I see it more as a competition of skill involving some luck (which might be the gambling side on some level). I don't actually gamble outside of poker. If I even make it to a casino, I am not at all interested in table games unless there's a social aspect associated with playing them.
But going back to those stories of addiction I've been reading lately. Since I really don't know much about addiction I might be way off base here, but wouldn't someone with an addictive personality want to stay away from other stimuli that could lead down the path to a different form of addiction? Does a recovering drug addict drink? Does a recovering alcoholic gamble? Does a recovering gambler want to have sex all the time?
Does a recovering addict need to stay away from other vices? I have no idea. What do you think?