He said that he and his college roommate began playing online in the winter of 1998, opening an Internet sports betting account and depositing $500 apiece after watching an HBO special about online gambling.
“We both ended up losing our money,” he recalled. “He didn’t get back in but I stuck with it.”
He said he started out Round 2 by betting $1,000 on a “sure thing”: Tennessee to beat the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in the 2001 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
“Unfortunately Charlotte won and I didn’t know how to handle that well so I chased and tried to make it back,” he said. “… In four months, I ended up being down $5,000 and came to my senses.”
The experience helped Seth add discipline to his wagering game plan.
“It helped me realize that it’s not worth the stress that it created when you’re down a bunch of money,” he said.
Stan Z., a real estate broker in Orlando, Fla., agreed that it’s never wise to bet more than one can comfortably afford.
“Fortunately, I make a very good living and I have a bank account that I can piss away,” he said.
Stan, who also asked that his full name not be used, said even though he knows better he can’t help acting “like a kid in a candy store” on Super Bowl Sunday.
‘It’s a sucker game’
“It’s a sucker game and everybody bets it, but how can you not play,” he said. “I’ll probably have $10,000 to $12,000 on the game on different props (proposition bets). To start with, I always put $500 on the coin flip.”
Not all online gamblers will heed the Qq Poker Online game’s siren call, however.
Sheryl, a 55-year-old from Shelton, Wash., said she will stick with playing online poker while doing jig-saw puzzles on Sunday in pursuit of her dream of qualifying for a $10,000 seat at a World Poker Tour event or the World Series of Poker in an online satellite tournament.
“With a little knowledge, you could wake up one morning with $5 million in your pocket,” she said.