A story of a person making big early wins on the pokies, only for their luck to turn and addiction set in, is a fairly common one seen by gambling counsellor.
Rocky Pereira's first stint on the pokies turned $20 into $2800 and his next win turned $50 into $2500.
In his first two months of gambling in 2012, he was $18,000 up.
But it was a far different story six years later, with Pereira torching his Wodonga cafe amid an overwhelming financial burden caused by his addiction.
It led to him being jailed last week for 21 months.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation principal clinical advisor Tony Clarkson said interactions with the law weren't uncommon in serious gambling cases where people couldn't stop.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"Often it starts exactly like that, on the pokies with a win, and with that comes a rush and a high," he said.
"Then people go back and try to replicate it, and once they start losing - which is usually inevitable - then they start to chase the losses, and that's when people get into a difficult situation."
Mr Clarkson said poker machines probably caused the most harm of all gambling and for each addict, six other people were impacted.
He said it was important people sought help.
"Gambling is often a symptom of more deep-seated underlying trauma," Mr Clarkson said.
"I've had gambling clients who came every week for two years, and often didn't talk about gambling, but talk about other issues."
Free, confidential support is available 24 hours a day on 1800 858 858.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.