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Tebi's story

So we've all been here before..

Waking up feeling like a complete loser and thinking this might be it. "This is the last time" !! Unfortunately, I know very well that this isn't the last time until I make serious life-changing choices.

I have been gambling since the age of 17, watching my older brother on the "old school" games. When I turned 18 and became legal, I didn't need to hide away from security guards who might ask for ID.

It all started with a massive win, and the wins that night just kept coming. Later on, sleeping in my bed, my heart was beating at a rapid pace. All I had was $200 and I managed to turn that into $8,500.

The following day I walked to the local pub and again I just kept winning. My pockets were full of cash. I felt so good. I thought I had it all figured out. But in reality, my life was going to spiral out of control.

I'm a very sore loser and because of my personality, I was incarcerated twice for gambling. The first time I went to jail was for an armed robbery on a poor guy just crossing the road at night. I'm not a bad person nor was I ever a criminal, but I was so zombified by gambling that it led me down this notorious path, and 2 years in jail.

The second time was an actual RSL club, where someone was shot. Luckily the man didn't die but I went back to jail for 3 years. This all happened within 6 years and I had done 5 years in jail for this pathetic disease I can't remove from my mind.

Inside jail, I never gambled. All I did was train and study. I came out looking good and feeling good. I was now 27. When I got released I made a choice never to go back. But 6 months later I was totally hooked, taking out loans for gambling and never paying them back.

I have had bad credit for 5 years and my name is going to clear up soon. I'm scared I might do it all again. In between all this, I got married and had a child. My wife knows about my past and luckily she controls my finances.

Being a gambler also leads you to become a compulsive liar. Only for gambling. Even though my wife controls my money I always find a way to gamble. Always putting myself into a debt which I need to pay back. I do it through lies. Lies are something against my nature but I've become that too. I was 91 kilos of muscle when I got out of jail. I'm now 140 kilos. A weight gain of nearly 50 kilos. I feel terrible each day.

Due to the COVID early super release I have pulled out $20,000. $10,000 each financial year. I also had a decent tax return of $5,000 which is all gone. How do you explain $25,000 in two weeks?

I literally gambled $25,000 in 2 weeks.

Do I laugh or cry? Surely there's got to be a massive outcry but gamblers are just not heard. We have to be the most silent Army to exist.

I have a very good business, a loving wife, son and one on the way. They don't deserve someone like me. The whole world is collapsing and I'm burning money like it's unlimited.

So just to summarise everything. I'm 33 today. I own a home thanks to my wife. I have one child, one on the way. I've been to jail twice. I'm still stuck in my old ways no escaping.

Believe me, if you're reading my story, run as fast as you can. I've thrown hundreds on horses paying $10 to win. I've won. I've suited good features. I've won. In the end, you walk out a loser. You always lose. There's no winning.

As I'm writing this I'm contemplating to get back into MMA. I need to figure out something ... it's a long road.