Swapping One Addiction For Another

While the title makes me sound like a substance abuser I assure you I can anything but. A gambler? I don’t think I qualify. Although gambling does play a small role.

I have been playing online poker since I was old enough to open account, that was more than 10 years ago. I consider myself a fairly reasonably skilled player. The problem is I lack the patience to play continuously, often throwing out my reserved disciplined style and going on an aggressive rampage against all the players at the table.

Clearly not a profitable way to play, but after ten years I find the game to be boring and time consuming. I’m told its because the stakes are not high enough, and that I have outgrown the stakes I play. After all, I still play stakes that cost no more than a meal at Burger King and the winnings are no longer large enough to make it worth my while, or enough perhaps to keep me interested.

Normally a long absence has a positive effect, it gives me time to ‘want’ to win again. But that’s enough about poker. The problem with the game as I have mentioned is that is does take up a lot of time. I recently played a tournament for 3 straight hours only to exit making a total profit of £5. It clearly is not a good use of time. That’s 3 hours I could have spent studying, programming, or tinkering.

So instead, I cashed out my bankroll and invested in another supposedly addictive hobby. The Arduino Microcontroller electronics kit.


I have mentioned it before in my blog, and said I have yet to make the plunge. But having shopped around recently I did find a kit that I took a strong liking to. The Ultimate Arduino Kit. It retails for £76 and contains nearly all of the sensors and electronics components you need to make a few projects. Which is great, because my one reservation about buying the Arduino was that I would end up having to buy all the components myself, and set up an organized lab. However, the Arudino bundle comes with its own box, and all the breadboards and components you need. Also, as an added bonus, no soldering is required – although it is optional depending on how far you want to take your projects.

Having watched more YouTube videos on home automation and Arduino projects I couldn’t help myself, I needed to dive in. Using some of my poker bankroll to fund it made me realize that I am actually swapping one hobby for another. It might not be as lucrative, but it may be more interesting. I’ll be happy to waste 3 hours toiling away in electronics. I may even post a few YouTube videos of my own. Now I just gotto wait for the bundle of joy to arrive.

Now I wonder, can I use poker to buy me a CNC milling machine, a 3D printer, a lathe, and a drill mill. Hmmm…

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