THE ENLIGHTENED GAMBLER, The Heart and Spirit of the Risk Taker in All of Us guides the reader through the author's world of gambling, seduced by the never ending excitement in the "land of uncertainty". The book encourages readers to step past the superficial and take a more conscious view of the motivating drive in all of us to take risks. In a lighthearted, sometimes laugh-out-loud, self deprecating style, the author playfully and willingly exposes his own vulnerability to the seductive lure of gambling, but then points out ways to encourage winning attitudes, which he has developed over the years, while defusing old, toxic, loser mentality.
"I wrote this book, first of all, to point out that everybody gambles, but most people don't call what they do gambling. Some of the risks we take in life work out and some don't. Right? Well guess what? I call those risks gambles.
"I also wrote this book to help you laugh out loud about all the dumb moves I made as a gambler, and maybe, just maybe, after laughing out loud at MY screw-ups, you'll sit back and take a look at your own. I say, if you want to play, you have to pay. One way or another. You either lose your stubborn defiance or you lose your shirt. So which one ya gonna choose?"
WHAT READERS SAY ABOUT THE BOOK
Here are some lessions to live and laugh by...
The Enlightened Gambler - For All, A Good Read
by Phyllis Campbell
The title of this book could easily conjure up several plots, including the reformed gambler ready to preach the joys of abstinence to all unfortunate enough to cross his path. The subtitle gives more insight into what to expect, but this book is many things and may have different meanings for different people. To me, that's the true definition of the term "successful book."
Marty Klein has lived, and is living, a rich and meaningful life. The reader is taken from the playground in a Jewish school, to the poolrooms of Brooklyn, to the sometimes gritty, sometimes glamorous, excitement of the race track, and to the dark despair of a falling stock market. Born in Brooklyn, Klein was exposed to gambling at an early age. "Gambling was all around us, and we thought nothing about it," he told me in an interview. I think that often people are turned off by the very word "gambling," but as Klein describes it, it was often just harmless fun. Still, it did often result in tremendous peer pressure, which (and this is my own observation in reading the book) helped to form Klein's personality. Again, in my opinion, he is a survivor of the first order. A picture emerges, not of a driven gambler who must struggle from one gain or loss to another, but of someone who sees gambling as something of a sport in itself, to be played regardless of the stakes, with the risk being the primary reason for the wager. To be sure, the gain or loss of money must figure in, especially as it did in Klein's catastrophic brush with the stock market. As with most things in his life, Klein learned from the experience and therefore was the winner in an important way. He feels that life itself is a risk. We do take risks every day, usually without thinking much about it. I confess that I had never quite seen it that way until reading THE ENLIGHTENED GAMBLER. Of course, I saw the risk in the big things such as choosing a marriage partner, buying a house, taking a new job, or choosing a college, but after reading the book, I also think about many small risks that we take every day. I won't carry an umbrella, but could get drenched on the way home. Should I buy that expensive roast? So many small things confront us each day, but, hey--that's life. Klein isn't saying that it's okay to bet your entire savings on a horse. He admits that an obsession with winning can become a serious threat to personal relationships and a full and meaningful life. On a beautiful afternoon on an Atlantic City beach, Klein confronted what he calls his rebellious nature. He realized that his obsession with winning and losing had come between him and many things important to him. To quote, "It felt like something deep inside of me was tired of the same old game. Some higher power in me was rebelling against my rebellious nature. Something inside of me wanted more for my life and, somehow, my stubborn defensiveness was exposed to me for the first time as simply boring and shallow." That afternoon, he and his partner, Charlotte, talked for a long time about what they wanted from the future. The book takes the reader through many of the experiences that led to that realization and follows Klein as he gains enlightenment through his experiences. As I said previously, this book will be many things to many people, but for all, a good read.
The Mind of the Committed Gambler
by Michael Lang
"Great look into the mind of a committed gambler"
by Steve Davidowitz, author Betting Thoroughbreds for the 21st Century and The Best and Worst of Thoroughbred Racing
"Marty Klein may have lost his eyesight more than 40 years ago, but through dozens of insightful anecdotes in this good book, he can help you see what is both dangerous and surprisingly healthy about gambling-something we ALL do every day!"
A Great Mix
By Paul Smart, Woodstock Times
"...a great mix of picturesque tales of lottery risks, casino tables, horse racing and television sports, mixed with hard earned aphorisms that indicate how all life is an element of risk taking, and all personal equilibrium a matter of self realization, confidence and perspective."
For Every Gambler and for those who Don't Understand their Friends who Gamble
In the interest of full disclosure I must say that I've known Marty for 30 plus years and have consistently encouraged him to write about his adventures and misadventures given his wonderful narrative style. That being said I learned a bunch of new things about the author and THE ENLIGHTENED GAMBLER was not only a delight to read but very informative as Marty recounts his career in gambling from his modest beginnings of "pitching pennies" to those type of decisions that forever change our lives.
Stylistically, reading this book is akin to sitting in Marty's living room as he recounts how gambling crept into his life but also how it pervades all of ours. At the same time Marty provides practical attitudinal strategies that could increase your odds of winning and survive times of loss. Marty recounts how at times he has won big and lost big, and in ways that could make you shudder. However, when the final tally is in, no one could doubt that Marty is a real winner.
My only criticism of the book is that I wish it was a little bit longer cause I just wasn't ready to get off of this ride.
Dive right into this new book!
By Marcy D. Tracy
Marty takes us on a trip through his life as a gambler and risk-taker. He gives us incentive to dive into the very juice of life by jumping into the world of uncertainty. As such it is a reprieve for many of us from the daily grind of routines with known results. Embracing the unknown and taking on new challenges is a task well taken. Marty's lightness and gift for story-telling are delightful.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Marty Klein has written and published two other books. His first, a memoir, Blindsighted, One Man's Journey from Sight to Insight, is an account of his transition from being a self-centered, cocky soldier in the Air Force with normal vision, to a compassionate, loving counselor, workshop leader and family man with no sight at all. His second, a self help book, Emotional Cleansing, The Spiritual Journey toward a Clear Heart, is a compilation of insights and wisdom, gained from years of experience in the counseling world. He has co-produced a 5 CD yoga program, Beginning Yoga for the Blind and visually Impaired. blindyoga.net. In addition Marty was the founder and CEO of Southern Springs, a holistic learning center in Tallahassee, Florida. He has written two screen plays, FAT CHANCE, a romantic comedy and DIE TRYING, a drama, and is currently seeking a producer. He has been totally blind for more than forty years, a counselor and workshop leader for over thirty-five years and currently lives in Woodstock, New York.
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IF YOU'RE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE NEXT THRILL . . .
LET'S GET THIS STRAIGHT - EVERYBODY GAMBLES!
Everybody gambles. Most people, though, don't think of it as gambling. But it is. Am I just playing with semantics? I don't think so. Everybody makes numerous decisions each day of their lives. Some of those choices work out well, while others turn out to be disasters. Some of those decisions are minor, like getting stuck in traffic because you tried another route instead of your regular route. Oh, well. No big deal. However, some decisions turn out to be major, like buying a house, having surgery, or getting involved in a new relationship. If those decisions don't work out, our lives are deeply affected in a negative way. Those decisions or choices are gambles because you hope for the best but you really don't know how it's all going to work out. Right? And sometimes we win--the house is great, the surgery went well and our lives are better off, or the new relationship is delicious. And sometimes we lose--the house has problems we did not foresee, the surgery did not go well and there were unexpected complications, or the new relationship is fraught with conflict and pain.
So now, I give you permission to stand tall and proud when others try to make you feel guilty about your gambling. Be firm and don't bother listening to any of that nonsense. Remember ... everybody gambles, whether one admits it or not!
Now, with that monkey off your back, we can start looking at the energy that drives all of us to take risks every day, especially when we are totally unsure of the outcome. After all my years as a therapist, I realize now that the juice of life takes place in the land of uncertainty. The unknown is deeply connected to the mystery of life. There's excitement and anticipation, as well as some anxiety, when we are not sure of the outcome. Gamblers understand this on some intuitive level, even if they may not be aware of it. But now, we can celebrate our persistent desire to journey into that land of uncertainty. And, personally, I feel sorry for all the people who are just too scared to risk anything. Their lives are ordered, secure, safe and, I believe, incredibly dull, but many of them seem to have no problem acting righteous toward those of us who gamble. We all are blessed with free will and we each get to choose the kind of life we desire. I will continue to wish those people well. However, I think the biggest mistake anyone can make in life is to never take a chance. As the saying goes, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you get rained out." But you've got to show up to play. It's so important to remember that life offers us precious jewels when we stay open to the mystery. Remember the CHANCE card in Monopoly? The big question mark of life has unlimited possibilities if you are willing to take a chance.
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