There is a double meaning to this piece. Sure the elements are painted well and they are arranged in an interesting and compelling composition but the underlying meaning is not all that ambiguous when you consider the title. You're gambling with your life when you make certain life choices, whether it's drinking, smoking or playing cards (for money). Most of my paintings don't have a hidden social message-- I just thought this one might be fun to do and I actually can credit my husband Scott with the idea. We were on vacation and it was raining so I couldn't paint outside and I was searching the cabin for still life subjects to paint. When he saw me grab the pipe off a wall display he suggested the German beer bottle on display in the kitchen area. It all works well when grouped in a circular pattern and linked with the shadow shapes.