Author Joe Turbessi visited Gateway Community College on May 7 to discuss his memoir, Into The Muck: How Poker Changed My Life. The book details his chaotic and self-destructive addiction to poker and the gambling lifestyle that almost ruined his life.
While in college Turbessi found that he was obsessed with poker, playing to the point where he was gambling his way through UConn, and forfeiting sleep and meals to feed his addiction. “The only thing that ran through my mind was the next poker hand,’’ he explains.
In a moment of truth at age 25, he realized that he was being defined by his addiction and began the journey toward a better path. Turbessi chronicles this journey in Into The Muck: How Poker Changed My Life, which he self-published in October 2011 to strong reviews that hail the book as “a powerful, beautifully honest book about gambling against the house and almost losing everything, including family, love and lots of money" (Franz Douskey, author) and “An eye-opening story of his realization of his problem and a problem facing many people in the world today. The struggles he had with his addiction can relate to any reader” (Amazon.com).
Turbessi says that writing the book was like “therapy to overcome the addiction.” It wasn’t long before others took notice. Over the past few years, Turbessi has been making his case for gambling addiction awareness on the lecture circuit, telling his story to college and high school students across the United States.
The event was one of a series brought to the college through the Esther Haseltine Schiavone Cultural Fund, established by Jennifer Schiavone through the Gateway Community College Foundation, Inc., to bring cultural and artistic events to the Gateway Community College for public enrichment.