"From my youth I was immeasurably given to table games; through them I made the acquintance of Francisco Sforza, Duke of Milan, and many friends among the nobles. But through the long years I devoted to them, nearly forty, it is not easy to tell how many of my possessions I have lost without compensation. But the dice treated me even worse, because I instructed my sons in the game and opened my house to gamblers. For this I have only feeble excuses: poor birth and the fact that I was not inept at the game...
In perhaps no respect can I be deemed worthy of praise, but whatever this praise be, it is certainly less than the blame I deserve for my immoderate devotion to table games and dice. During many years--for more than forty years at the chess boards and twenty-five years of gambling--I have played not off and on but, as I am ashamed to say, every day. Thereby I have lost esteem, my worldy goods, and my time. There is no corner of refuge for my defense, except if someone wishes to speak for me, it should be said that I did not love the game but abhorred the circumstances which made me play: lies, injustices and poverty, the insolence of some, the confusion in my life, the contempt, my sickly constitution and unmerited idleness, the latter caused by others. An indication of this is the fact that as soon as I was permitted to live a dignified life, I abandoned it all. It was not love for the game, nor a taste for luxury, but the odium of my position that drove me and made me seek its refuge."
--From the autobiography of Girolamo Cardano (The Mathematics of Games and Gambling, Edward Packel)