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Showcasing DEADLY SINS – GREED: Jack of Diamonds

DEADLY SINS GREED - Jack of Diamonds

Our Protagonist

Jackson “Jack” Hoffman, known in the poker world as the Jack of Diamonds, is a skilled player who inherits Wolfgang’s Den, a beloved bar and poker hub, from his uncle, Wolfgang Braun. Raised under Wolfgang’s mentorship, Jack’s profound talent in poker is overshadowed by his struggle with gambling addiction, leading to mounting debts and personal turmoil.

As the owner of the Den, Jack grapples with the responsibility of maintaining his uncle’s legacy while wrestling with his own demons. His journey is a complex tapestry of skill, charm, vulnerability, and impulsiveness, deeply influenced by his relationships with mentors and regulars at the Den. The narrative follows Jack’s chaotic path towards confronting his addiction, making difficult decisions about the Den, and seeking a path to redemption.

The concept of greed is depicted in a way that goes beyond just wanting money. It’s the compulsive chase for the excitement and power of gambling that consumes Jack. This story showcases how greed can deeply influence and challenge a person’s life and choices.

Inspiration

I was introduced to the game Texas Hold ‘em when I was probably around 15 years old. I made my first bet, eventually bought a set of poker chips, and started running some games. It all started for fun, then decided to put some money involved. Something light like $10 a person tournament style. It got addicting fast and then started playing with friends at a bar, underground poker rooms, and over friends’ places.

You win some, you lose some.

The game was addicting. Not just the game, but socializing with the players and friends and meeting new people. The community around it, I felt, was positive and engaging. So, to metaphorically describe the community, I used Wolfgang’s Den in Jack of Diamonds.

The character of Elijah was inspired by a few people but mainly one man who everyone was intimidated by whenever he arrived at a bar I used to play at. He is similarly described, but with a couple of adjustments. Sometimes, my friends and I would quickly get together and start the tournament before his arrival. It still didn’t stop him from arriving and starting up his own tournament with his own friends. Slowly, he mingled his way to us. Yes, he was that good in the game, nearly winning every single tournament. I was lucky to win one against him, which changed the course of the game for me forever.

Eventually, I had to stop, as I felt poker was all I ever thought about. It got addicting and before it was too late; I quit cold turkey. Haven’t played the game since.

Gambling Disorder

Gambling Disorder, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), is characterized as a pattern of persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. It is classified as an addictive disorder and is the only non-substance-related disorder included in the category of Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders in DSM-5.

The specific criteria for diagnosing Gambling Disorder include:

1. Need to Gamble with Increasing Amounts: The individual needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement.

2. Restlessness or Irritability When Cutting Down: The individual is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.

3. Repeated Unsuccessful Attempts to Control: The individual has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.

4. Preoccupation: The individual is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble).

5. Gambling When Distressed: The individual often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed).

6. Chasing Losses: After losing money gambling, the individual often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses).

7. Lying to Conceal Gambling: The individual lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.

8. Jeopardizing Significant Relationships: The individual has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling.

9. Relying on Others for Money: The individual relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling.

The DSM-5 also allows for specifiers of the disorder’s severity (mild, moderate, severe) based on the number of criteria met, and whether the disorder is episodic, persistent, in early remission, or in sustained remission.

Jackson “Jack” Hoffman’s life closely mirrors the criteria of Gambling Disorder as defined in the DSM-5. His need for increasingly higher stakes to feel excitement, his restlessness when trying to quit, and repeated failed attempts to control his gambling highlight the depth of his addiction. Jack’s constant preoccupation with gambling, whether planning his next game or dwelling on past experiences, further underscores the disorder’s hold on his life.

For more information on Gambling Disorder, check out the links below.

What is Gambling Disorder?

Gambler’s Anonymous

Gambling disorder in adolescents: what do we know about this social problem and its consequences?

Tilt in Online Poker: Loss of Control and Gambling Disorder

Here is the first chapter for GREED.

For more information about DEADLY SINS, click on the link here.