Poker Machine Compulsion

 Here’s another strange sequence of numbers that Michael Patterson experienced over a period of time in the 1990s. He heard Rob and me when were on Grimerica, a podcast whose hosts are as knowledgeable as they are mysterious. His antenna twitched when we mention 1111, a number that has held some significance for him.

Around 1990, Michael was living in New South Wales, working for the Department of Family and Community Services, in an office building that had 5 floors and a bar on the ground floor. He was on level 3.

He was going through a time of intense intuition that kept him safe on the roads, not only avoiding a couple of accidents that would have certainly killed him, but alerting him to police, so he wasn’t caught speeding. At the time he was working in a job where nearly all the people who had regional roles had lost most of their point on their licenses from speeding offenses. In addition to his new job, his marriage finally imploded and he moved, and had very little with him. He celebrated his new life by buying a brand new CD player.

“So this particular day, a payday, I went to a store near the office during my lunch break and paid a $20 deposit on a selection of CDs that cost me $120 in total,” he writes. “I expected to pay the $100 balance over the next three or four pays. That afternoon I developed a powerful compulsion to go downstairs to the bar. Now, I do not drink during the day generally, and never during working hours, so that was not an idea I was about to go along with urge. However, my mind became invaded by the idea to the point where I could not think about my work. Finally I packed up some papers and headed down to the bar, bought a small lemon squash and settled down to work. Not a problem. After half an hour I decided to have another lemon squash.”

The bar, he explains, had two new poker machines. These were electronic, actual poker machines that played real poker. You put 20 cents in the slot, got a hand, selected cards to keep, discarded, got replacement cards. He’d never played before but had 20 cents change, dropped a coin in. Royal flush. It paid $100. He went immediately to the shop next door to the office building and paid off his CDs.

He didn’t think much about the incident, but was grateful it had happened. In the intervening months, he occasionally dropped a coin into the machine but never got another royal flush. No repeat of that compulsion until 20 months later, after he’d relocated to Dubbo in Western New South Wales. New job, new town.

“One Friday evening, not long after I’d settled there, I’d gone to the video store and got a good selection of movies. I’d bought some wine and a roast chicken. I was planning an indulgent night in – all alone. As I settled down in front of the telly with my roast chicken and wine, I was overwhelmed by a compulsion to go out to a pub. At 6 pm in Dubbo on a Friday night, it’s not a good time to go to a pub, nobody is there. I resisted. But resistance was futile. My feet began tapping, my mind went haywire. There was no hope of focusing on the movie.”

He gave into the impulse, drove into the town center, went into the first pub. It was nearly empty. He had a beer, decided to leave. On his way out, he dropped 40 cents into a solitary poker machine. “Second go I get a royal flush and win $100. Then I remember this has happened before. I go home to a lukewarm roast chook, with $100 in my pocket, thinking I could have done without this interruption.”

Months later, he’s in Sydney for a couple of nights, the impulse returns. Now he gets it. Michael goes to the nearest pub, buys a beer, sticks a coin in the poker machine, gets a royal flush, wins $100 and leaves.

This happened again 6 months later. Same MO. The compulsion, he drops 20 or 40 cents into the poker machine, gets a royal flush, wins his 100 bucks.

Again, about 6 months later, he experienced his last pattern in whatever this was. This time, he doesn’t even bother buying a beer. He finds a 10 cent machine, drops in his 10 cents, gets a royal flush, wins his $100.

So, what the hell is going on with this kind of repetitive pattern?

As Michael concludes, “Yes I have played the machines in between times, but mostly every idly with loose change, testing whether winning is associated with me deciding to play. There have been times when I have had a strong sense that I would win, and did – but never anything major – usually around $40 – $300 once.

“Through experimentation I have concluded that without an intuition that I will win I do not. I have not had an intuition for years now, and when I have played (out of experimental interest – risking no more than $20) I have not won.

“I have had no repeat of the overwhelming compulsion. Every time it happened I responded. At first I resisted and was overcome and then I went with the flow. Every time I got a royal flush in 2 coins. Every time I won $100. But only the first time was that precisely the amount of money I needed. At none of the other times was I in any particular need.

“What was it all about? Now, about 22 years after the last experience I have never had anything remotely similar, but I have a sense of the message I was intended to get.

“There are spirits around me who have the power to do stuff – not only induce me to do things but to make the world coincide with an intent they have. They did that in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2008 in gross ways –and they are doing their thing this year as well.

“In a way I kinda knew what was going on, but confusions about worthiness of intervention and other nonsense made me stupid.

“I am not unfamiliar with strong and overwhelming impulses to act in ways that have changed my life. But the poker machine series stands out as particularly remarkable (but not the most influential).”


Interestingly – synchronistically? – when I added my 2 cents at the end here, this post came out to 1,111 words.

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4 Responses to Poker Machine Compulsion

  1. Darren B says:

    I had never heard you guys on that ‘Grimerica’ podcast until yesterday after I read this post.
    I noticed that show was released on March 14th, which is Pi Day and the day Stephen Hawking passed away.
    I wrote a post about all of the synchronicities I saw with you guys being on that show and it being released on March 14th called, ‘Grimerica Episode #274: The MacGregors, Synchronicity, UFOs and Pi/Pie in the Sky Day?’

  2. Nancy says:

    Ha. It was 11:11 when I looked up just before reading this post. I have no idea what 11:11 is trying to tell me, but it happens over and over and then stops abruptly for long periods of time. It has been at least once, often twice a day, for months now.

    “There are spirits around me who have the power to do stuff – not only induce me to do things but to make the world coincide with an intent they have.”

    He may be right. It goes with that voice that actually speaks loudly to me at very rare instances, but is always about something important. It was interesting to hear my brother say he also hears a voice – which he says is the voice of God – telling him to do certain things, usually kind things for other people. (He is otherwise a skeptic about everything.) Could clairaudience run in families?

    • Rob and Trish says:

      Fascinating! It seems that psychic abilities may run in families, so why not clairaudience as well?