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Old 05-12-2010, 09:28 AM   #301
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Wow. Some of my buddies play cards together but never into the five figures (maybe a couple hundred?). That amount of money blows my mind. Who has that kind of cash to toss around?
.

None of these people* have the money. That is the sad part of it. They all work menial jobs making relatively little money, and I guess they get jealous of the middle class and upper class lifestyles they see on TV, and think gambling is the surefire way to get rich. In the mindset of these people, this is a perfectly logical statement: "I talked to my psychic adviser and he told me I was going to have extremely good luck this weekend. So I am going to bet big and stay in the game until I win, no matter how much I lose at first". Crazy.

The only way they can get this much money is by gambling and getting lucky. They get lucky, buy a fancy imported car, then get unlucky and have it repossessed. Luck comes and goes, and some of these people have lost all their cars, their house, and all their possessions.

* by people I don't mean to stereotype the roughly 2 billion Asian people on this planet. Just a subset of the couple hundred here in the local community that I know or know of. Had to stick that in there lest the race cards start flying again!
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:33 AM   #302
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You've probably already checked this out:

Gamblers Anonymous Official Home Page
Yes, I saw this a while ago. This looks like it is targeted to the gambler and Gam-Anon is for support for family affected by the gambler. I think that is right at least.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:37 AM   #303
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So much for the friendly game involving friends, huh?

Man, if I were in your position I would have my family so far removed from anything to do with this craziness that everyone involved would forget that we existed.
The ex-gang guy is not always at these parties from what I recall. His brother is usually in attendance though. I just hope SIL isn't stupid enough to borrow from these people. But as my DW pointed out, it isn't like the ex-gang guy ever has any money either. He's as low life deadbeat as they come.

Just as a general rule, we don't associate with that branch of the social/family tree.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:39 AM   #304
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Fuego, you are an appealing guy but you talk as if you just fell off the turnip truck. What do you mean none of these people have any money? Makes no sense, poker games re-assign ownership of money, don't create money.

Not only is there danger from people she borrows from, there are several other dangers too - one might be that some outsiders hit the game, carrying some big bad shotguns. This is a lot of money, a pretty good payday for lots of crooks.

Ha
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:26 PM   #305
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Fuego, you are an appealing guy but you talk as if you just fell off the turnip truck. What do you mean none of these people have any money? Makes no sense, poker games re-assign ownership of money, don't create money.

Not only is there danger from people she borrows from, there are several other dangers too - one might be that some outsiders hit the game, carrying some big bad shotguns. This is a lot of money, a pretty good payday for lots of crooks.
At times, some have money. But it is highly stochastic, and there are significant carrying costs that eat away at the combined wealth. Expensive cars, subsequent repossessions, expensive luxury items, jewelry, etc subsequently resold at firesale prices.

Think of someone who gets $10,000 in winnings, then spends $5000 of it on diamonds and bling that may bring $2000 in a fire sale, and then takes the other $5000 and puts it down on a relatively new mid level Benz or BMW, and incurs $35,000 more debt with $600/month payments and 21% interest. A few months later the luck turns, the car gets repoed when the payments aren't made. The jewelry/bling goes to the pawn shop. In the meantime, whoever the counterparties at the original table game were are still out the $10,000 and the "winner" now has nothing left to show for it either. Net destruction of wealth as between the winner and their counterparties.

The "armed heist" issue is definitely a possibility. It has happened in this city before (not in this particular community of people). This is one reason we try to avoid exposure to these people and their games. Lots of cash floating around. I have heard that one particular player occasionally brings low to mid five figures when they act as the dealer. Without a wells fargo truck for safekeeping.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:40 PM   #306
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I think it's really helpful to focus on the gambling problem and not assign it to any group either in general or to a specific subset. I wonder what the diversity of the typical GA meeting is. I indirectly know a few gambling addicts and they do not share many of Fuego's SIL's characteristics (they are men, with trading floor jobs, single, young)--but they have caused the same heartbreak and mistrust for their families.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:56 PM   #307
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I think it's really helpful to focus on the gambling problem and not assign it to any group either in general or to a specific subset. I wonder what the diversity of the typical GA meeting is. I indirectly know a few gambling addicts and they do not share many of Fuego's SIL's characteristics (they are men, with trading floor jobs, single, young)--but they have caused the same heartbreak and mistrust for their families.
The only reason I mentioned the type of people she plays with is that there is a lot of peer pressure involved. And it is hard to run in her current social circles and NOT be exposed to a lot of gambling. Kinda like a drunk always hanging out at a bar with his old drunk friends. He's going to have a temptation to drink "just one" every time the crew orders a round. I have told SIL it will be easier to not gamble and not face the temptation if she doesn't go to these parties or at the least leaves when the cards come out in the evenings.

As to the demographics of the Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I would assume there would be very few southeast asians at my local meeting, mainly because they represent only a percent or two of the total metropolitan area population. I may propose to SIL's husband that we go to a GamAnon meeting this Thursday just to give it a shot and see if he or I will get anything out of it. He has already reached out to a number of husbands/wives of other problem gamblers in the community who had the same issues and difficulties. So he knows what happens - most lose everything and hit rock bottom, then either scrape the bottom or eventually see the light and stage a recovery.

On a side note, I wonder if the downturn in the economy is correlated with an uptick in compulsive gambling. For those who see no other option other than gambling to continue living the life to which they were accustomed to living. How else can you keep up with the Nguyens??
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:09 AM   #308
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...I guess they get jealous of the middle class and upper class lifestyles they see on TV..[/I]
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...How else can you keep up with the Nguyens??
What Nguyens do they see on TV? If they want to keep up with that Betty Nguyen, the TV newswoman, , tough luck!
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:16 AM   #309
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What Nguyens do they see on TV? If they want to keep up with that Betty Nguyen, the TV newswoman, , tough luck!
None; it is more jealousy of whoever most recently bought a flashy new luxury car in the community. Or a new diamond ring or gold bling. Or who can buy the most expensive cognac and the largest quantity.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:25 AM   #310
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Or who can buy the most expensive cognac and the largest quantity.
These people drink cognac in large quantity? Now, I am envious. No wonder they have to gamble to get that money.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:32 AM   #311
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These people drink cognac in large quantity? Now, I am envious. No wonder they have to gamble to get that money.
They take shots of it. Great way to enjoy fine cognac, right?

Well, by fine, I mean it has to be one of the following brands: Hennessy, Courvoisier, Martell, Remy Martin. Anything less than that is clearly undrinkable mash. Brandy is not cognac to them because it doesn't have a label on it that says "Hennessy, Courvoisier, Martell, or Remy Martin". I could bottle horse urine, slap a recycled Brand Name cognac label on the bottle, and these guys would power it down (with a slight grimace) and say how good it was.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:37 AM   #312
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I could bottle horse urine, slap a recycled Brand Name cognac label on the bottle, and these guys would power it down (with a slight grimace) and say how good it was.
Heh heh heh... Looks like you just found a way to make back some money from these gamblers. Just hang around the game table to be their purveyor of these "finest" cognac bottles.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:46 AM   #313
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Heh heh heh... Looks like you just found a way to make back some money from these gamblers. Just hang around the game table to be their purveyor of these "finest" cognac bottles.
But all that overhead - Kevlar vests, armed security, etc. I don't think this will pencil out.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:10 AM   #314
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But all that overhead - Kevlar vests, armed security, etc. I don't think this will pencil out.
Meh, you have to learn how to operate in the environment. You specializing in serving fine 'yac to the connoisseurs, and somebody else provides the security. Don't worry about finding the service vendor, he'll locate you.
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Nice little business you got here. Be a big shame if something bad happen, maybe you need to buy some insurance.
Slugging shots of cognac - what a classy crew.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:15 AM   #315
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But all that overhead - Kevlar vests, armed security, etc. I don't think this will pencil out.
Ah Hah! The truth is now coming out! You said these people were only into a "little family card game". Now, there is suddenly talk of armored vests, submachine guns, etc...

So, as brutish as these people are, there might just be a chance, just a little, that they might be able to detect that what you are serving them is, ahem, substandard and a bit less than "authentique"?
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:25 AM   #316
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Slugging shots of cognac - what a classy crew.
I don't think they get the point of fine brandy. It should be good enough to savor.

I have tried to introduce them to my millionaire next door ways. $5 plastic bottles of bottom shelf vodka. $6 bottles of rum. $7 bottles of whiskey. $9 bottles of tequila. $10 bottles of non-Cognac origin brandy. No interest when there are $40-50 bottles of the good stuff being passed around. Unless they are at my house, then the liquor cabinet knows no strangers.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:09 PM   #317
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Man, this thread sure tapped an underlying interest. It has to be one of the longest flame free threads we have had. Resign yourself to tending this thread forever Fuego. We will all be interested in how things develop over the months and even years
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:21 PM   #318
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Man, this thread sure tapped an underlying interest. It has to be one of the longest flame free threads we have had. Resign yourself to tending this thread forever Fuego. We will all be interested in how things develop over the months and even years
What's that term, schadenfreude?

Regarding flames, there was the couple of posts telling me I was racist for stereotyping all 2 billion Asian people in the world of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds as blinged out compulsive gamblers of low moral and ethical values.

As I tell DW frequently these days, "I am glad to have you and that you don't waste all of our wealth away like your sister".
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:27 PM   #319
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What's that term, schadenfreude?
schadenfreude
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:42 AM   #320
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I talked to SIL's husband for a while this morning. He is even more stressed out now. He hasn't spoken to his wife all week. He didn't even know his wife had picked up her gold from her mom earlier in the week. He is really coming around to that point where he is questioning whether the marital relationship is something that can be salvaged and whether it is worth salvaging it, knowing that the gambling may never stop. He is questioning whether he should keep paying for the house, if thuey are just going to lose it in the end. "Strategic default" (though not by that name) was mentioned. I believe he is starting to see the eventual outcome. No matter how much money he makes, or how hard he tries to fix their financial problems, it can never be fixed as long as there is a huge leaking whole in their financial ship (his wife's huge gambling losses). He mentioned that during 15 years of marriage, they have almost nothing financially to show for it. I may throw out a thought experiment for him - "Where do you see yourself financially and in life in 10 or 20 years"? Maybe let him think about what steps he needs to take today and in the short term to get him where he wants to be.

He's also stressed because he feels like he is letting his sons down. The eldest will be of driving age in 1-2 years, and college bound in 3. He knows that a car, insurance, and college costs will not fit in their budget as-is, and definitely won't if the debts grow even larger. I have told him that the damage from the gambling debts are not of his doing and that he shouldn't feel too bad since he is not the bad actor in this situation.

We both talked about the fact that she really needs to get professional help, whether it is showing up to Gambler's anonymous meetings, seeing a local professional counselor, or going to a residential recovery program. But we also discussed that she won't even consider going to any of these at this point. I may see if my DW can talk to her at some point this weekend and see where SIL is at, and try to get her to agree to get help.

I tried to be there and listen, but I'm not about to tell him to end his marriage. If he decides to do it, it will have to be his own decision. But I will be there to listen to him, and help from the legal and analytical/financial side to figure out how he can come out of this in the best shape.
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