Okay so, I'll start by saying that I don't like losing. That can be dangerous sometimes.. and I've been beat twice in 2009 and I almost got beat yesterday. When I say beat.. I mean the casino has literally taken me for everything I had in the bank and left me with just enough to survive on to build my bankroll back up. It happened once last year when I lost $4000 in one night but I came back the next day to win $7000. And it happened another time playing blackjack on Bodog... started with $200, built it up to $2000, lost it all. So I put more and more money in... I got up to $5000.. and lost it all.... in the end I lost somewhere around $5000 of my money, in addition to any profits I had going for me....it's a gutwrenching feeling... and last night I came so close to doing it again. I go in to Harrahs with $500. Feeling pretty confident, the night before I played and left with $550 up, so to play $500 today I felt good. I was going to leave after doubling up.. well, it didn't turn out to be that easy. I sit down on the blackjack machine. A lot of people are skeptic about playing on the machine, I'm not because I've won far more than I've lost on the machine over the long haul. Additionally, the machine gives me the option to surrender, whereas the tables do not. So anyways, I put my $500 in the machine... long story short, I lose it within 10 minutes. No big deal.. I go get another $500 from the ATM... lose that too... Now I'm starting to feel it... I can quit now and still have a decent bankroll for my vegas trip next month... but like I said earlier, I really don't like losing. So I go back to the ATM, try to take out $1000, which is over my debit card limit... transaction declined... f'it, I get an advance from the cage, pay the $40 fee, and I go back to the machine... This time I'm betting $200 per hand. It's simple; I want to either hurry up and get back to even or just put myself out of my misery quickly. I lose that $1000 faster than I lose the original $500... and then the familiar feeling comes back. There's a certain amount of money that you can lose where it's "okay".. and then there's an amount where "you shouldn't have bet in the first place, but you'll be able to recover from the loss without much impact to your normal life". You're thinking about your finances and your job and the money you have coming to you from those things and realize that you'll be alright if you just quit now. And then there's a point where you've lost sooooo much that you just don't care anymore. You keep enough in your bank for your immediate finances, maybe you're even tapping into that... but you just don't care. At this point, you're at the mercy of mathematics. Mathematics says you have almost a 50/50 shot at getting your money back, assuming you put up the full amount of what you lost. Mathematics says that if you have a good chance to walk away unscathed if you are willing to put everything on the line, all it takes is one bet. For me, being down $2000, I was there. I still had money in the bank, but losing it would have forced me to stop playing altogether and focus on recouping for a good while just to get back to where I was before I came in the casino. I didn't want to lose $2000 again, so I took $1500 more out... and instead of going to the machine, I went to the high stakes blackjack table... sat down at the $50 minimum table... and let mathematics decide my fate. First hand, I bet $500... win. Suddenly, it seems possible. Next hand, I lose. Next hand, I win. This goes on for a few hands, and then I get ballsy. I put up $1000, and the dealer questions me if I'm sure.... I chicken out and ask if I'm allowed to take it back. The cards haven't been dealt yet so he lets me take $500 back. The dealer hits blackjack and sweeps my $500 off the table. Losing $500 never felt so good. I play a few more $500 hands and pretty much stay at even, and then I do bet $1000.. I win.. $3000 on my side. $500 and I'm pretty much even for the day... I fight and fight and fight.. and sure enough I get to $4000.. quitting time. But I don't quit. Working up to $4000 seemed so easy... an extra $500 would be nice... heck, why not. I throw up another $500 bet and lose. And another.. I lose that. Down to $3000... $500 under par. At this point, having seen $4000... having come out of the hole only to fall back in, I realize that I am still in the hole for the entire day. Just as deep as when I was down $2000... I realize that my fate is still being determined... With $2500 in chips, I put up a $1000 bet.... I catch a pair of 8's vs a dealer's 6. Logic tells me to split. But it's going to cost me an extra $1000.... everything kinda moves in slow motion from this point forward. This is the rush that I play for. I push in an extra $1000 for the split, left with only $1000 in chips... First 8 hand, I catch a ten to make 18. stay.... Next 8 hand, I catch a 5... totaling 13... f'it, stay. I get up from the table and watch from far away... The dealer flips over an 8... and then a king.... bust. I just won $2000 in a matter of seconds.. I college my chips... tip the dealer.. and walk away with $5000... up $1500 for the night.