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Hi, this is Cameron. He’s fifteen, and the story he’s going to tell you took place about a year ago. While all of this was happening, he lost a lot of cash – some of which didn’t even belong to him – and he was really stressed out. But at least he learned his lesson!
Cameron doesn’t have a lot of friends at school, but there is a group of guys he hangs out with. They’re called Nate, Mitch and Jordan. They’re all from the same class, so at any moment of the day the chances are they can be seen together.
They hang out almost every day after school, and usually they go to Mitch’s house. His family’s got a really big house, and there’s always stuff to do – inside or outside. They play basketball, watch TV or YouTube videos; Mitch has got a PlayStation, of course…they even have a pool table, since his dad is a big fan of stuff like that.
But of course, if you spend enough time there, even in a place like that house, you still get bored. So at one point they found themselves looking for something else to do. And after a while, Mitch turned up one day with a small metal case.
It was his father’s poker set. Both his parents were at work, so all four of them sat down at the table and started playing. Mitch was the only one of them who knew the rules, so he taught everyone else to play. Jordan and Cameron didn’t know anything about poker, and Nate barely knew the rules.
After several rounds, once all of them got the main idea, Nate had another suggestion. There’s almost always a guy like this in every group of friends. He said that playing with no stakes wasn’t fun enough, and that they had to at least bet on something. The guys seemed enthusiastic about this, while Cameron didn’t like the idea from the very beginning. His parents had always told him to stay away from anything that involved gambling.
Cameron became even more reluctant when, after they couldn’t find anything else to use, Nate proposed betting with real money.
Cameron comes from a family that’s not all that rich. His dad works a day job and designs websites at night as a freelancer, and his mom works long hours as a nurse. They have everything they need, but he can’t afford to lose money like that just playing with the guys, because he doesn’t get a lot from his parents in the first place. But his other friends, especially Mitch, come from families that are pretty well-off.
When Cameron refused to play with real money, the guys reassured him that it was going to be fine, and that they'd keep the stakes low so no one would lose that much money. And playing with three people, they said, was not as fun as playing with four. He doesn’t even really remember how it happened, but eventually he gave in – reluctantly.
Imagine how he felt when, two hours later, he was leaving Mitch’s house with three times more money than he’d had when they started. In the beginning he had something like ten dollars, and when they finished he had thirty. Now, that did feel good!
So of course, he was happy to play the next day when they all gathered at Mitch’s house. That first night, before he fell asleep, he had been lying there in his bed thinking about how much money he could get if he just played like that at least twice a week. He had been saving for a mountain bike for a while already, and now he estimated that he could save up the remaining money for it within a week or two!
So, that’s why he was ready to play!
But this time, it didn’t go the way he expected. He not only didn’t win anything but also lost every dollar he had on him. Like, he was doing the same things he did the day before, but he just...didn’t have any luck.
By this point, all four of them were totally into poker. They planned their next poker afternoon for the very next day, and Cameron really wanted to play, since he couldn’t stop thinking about his first day at the table, when he was winning. And when the time came for the next game at Mitch’s house, he had about a hundred dollars with him. This was all of his bike savings.
But at the end of the session, the only money he had left was a ten-dollar bill. And within a couple of days that was gone too. And the same thing happened with the small amounts of money his parents gave him. Whenever he won some money, he'd lose it almost immediately. Gambling wasn't fun any more, but the thought of winning like he had on that first day kept popping up in his head. Also, they stopped talking about anything other than poker, and a couple of times a fight almost broke out.
Then one morning Cameron’s parents asked him to go to the supermarket to buy groceries from their shopping list...
To know more, watch this story to the end!
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com