I'm all in

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

I'm all in

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:42 am

Ok, here's an interesting comment (and from a good source, I might add) --
Why is Las Vegas so open to Buddha-Dharma? One reason could be that there is no "sin" in Buddhism. Gambling, per se, and other Las Vegas activities are not forbidden in Buddhism.
and later this:
Participating in entertainment activities is not forbidden and can be done in moderation, especially without extreme attachment and greed. Studies show that the vast majority of all tourists and locals who do gamble, do so with a strict budget. It is specifically mentioned in the discourses of Buddha, Digha Nikaya, Sigalaka Sutta, number 31, that lay people should not waste their money and one way of wasting money is described as addiction to gambling. The discourse does not prohibit gambling or entertainment, just the addiction to it.

Here's the Sigalaka Sutta, which includes this:
7. "And what six ways of squandering wealth are to be avoided? Young man, heedlessness caused by intoxication, roaming the streets at inappropriate times, habitual partying, compulsive gambling, bad companionship, and laziness are the six ways of squandering wealth.

8. "These are the six dangers inherent in heedlessness caused by intoxication: loss of immediate wealth, increased quarreling, susceptibility to illness, disrepute, indecent exposure, and weakened insight.

9. "These are the six dangers inherent in roaming the streets at inappropriate times: oneself, one's family, and one's property are all left unguarded and unprotected; one is suspected of crimes; then rumors spread; and one is subjected to many miseries.

10. "These are the six dangers inherent in habitual partying: You constantly seek, 'Where's the dancing? Where's the singing? Where's the music? Where are the stories? Where's the applause? Where's the drumming?'

11. "These are the six dangers inherent in compulsive gambling: winning breeds resentment; the loser mourns lost property; savings are lost; one's word carries no weight in a public forum; friends and colleagues display their contempt; and one is not sought after for marriage, since a gambler cannot adequately support a family.

12. "These are the six dangers inherent in bad companionship: any rogue, drunkard, addict, cheat, swindler, or thug becomes a friend and colleague."
Which to me sounds like a pretty good summary of a whirlwind weekend in Las Vegas.

Any way, I have some friends who play no-limit Texas hold 'em every so often, and I have to admit it's kind of fun to sit down with them. (Turns out I'm not a bad player, and I don't mind losing either.) I notice at least one member here (Tex :hello:) who plays the game sometimes too. Anyone else? Opinions?

:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: I'm all in

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:15 am

I have been partial to play blackjack on occasion and roulette but not for many years, as I ended up working in the complex the casino was in so wasn't allowed in due to gambling laws there, but since I have been able to go into a casino since my move I haven't, just not interesting any more!
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Re: I'm all in

Postby Tex » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:07 pm

Yep, I play regularly. My skills are so legendary they named the game after me (Tex's Hold'em). :rofl:

Regarding poker as a form of gambling, here's my take from another thread located elsewhere on the web:

There are quite a few professional poker players who are practicing Buddhists, notably Andy Black, Men "The Master" Nguyen, David Pham, and others.

It's important to note that poker is not a pure "game of chance", it is a game of skill with an element of chance (among other elements like psychology). Poker is not like house games such as blackjack or roulette where the player is at a mathematical disadvantage and is destined to lose if he plays long enough. Those games, to me, are "gambling", as is betting on sporting events that we have no control over, and so on. I don't do any of those things.

But all players at a poker table are on an even level, relying on their own knowledge of the game and ability to play it under pressure. As for "chance" or "luck", any good player will tell you that there is no such thing as luck, there is only variance in probability over the short term, and over enough hands it disappears -- If I play against a less-skilled poker player long enough I will get all of his chips; the only thing that is determined by "luck" is how long it takes.

In my book, poker is not gambling at all, it is wagering on outcomes, much like buying real estate, stocks, or many other speculative investments.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

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Re: I'm all in

Postby dumb bonbu » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:10 pm

i saw in the new year playing poker with my housemates who helped teach me the rules. i'm not a gambling/wagering person - i've never bought a lotterey ticket, bet on horses, anything. we played with super small stakes about 3 quid each and i thoroughly enjoyed it. i quit at about 3am having really bluffed ridiculously with some appalling hands (sometimes it paid off, more often than not it didn't). interestingly enough, my friend who won was the guy who folded the most frequently and bet the smallest.

what was interesting to note personally, was how the next day when i got up one of the first thoughts to pop into my head was 'that was fun, i want to do it again! real soon!' as i said, i'm not a gambling person so this was quite a surprise to me. i can quite easily see how for some people it could start out small and innocent enough like that evening and then gradually spiral into something a bit less innocent - large stakes at casinos and addiction. i'm sure there are people who can bet/wager responsibly and have no problem detatching after a game but...yeah...it was interesting for me to see how quickly i wanted another poker night.
Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding.
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