Tony 10 was the online betting username of Tony O'Reilly, the postman who became front-page news in 2011 after he stole €1.75 million from An Post while he was a branch manager in Gorey. He used the money to fund a gambling addiction that began with a bet of €1 and eventually rose to €10 million, leading to the loss of his job, his family, his home - and winning him a prison sentence.
From the heart-stopping moments in a hotel room in Cyprus with his wedding money riding on the Epsom Derby, to the euphoria of winning half a million over a weekend, to the late goals and the horses falling at the last fence, Tony 10 is the story of an ordinary man's journey from normality to catastrophe. At times, he vowed to get out while he was ahead, only to be taken by another surge of adrenaline, falling deeper and deeper into a compulsion that consumed his life. His disappearance on the morning the fraud was discovered led to a surreal three days on the run in Northern Ireland, and ultimately his arrest, conviction and sentencing to four years in jail.
Tony 10 is a mesmerising story of the secret life of a pathological gambler - as well as the most compelling account yet of the damage wrought by the online gambling industry.
Tony O'Reilly is a former An Post branch manager originally from Carlow. After losing everything to a gambling addiction he resolved to put his experiences to good use and today he is a fully qualified counsellor dedicated to raising awareness of gambling addiction.
Declan Lynch is an author and columnist with the Sunday Independent. A prominent commentator on matters relating to culture, sport and politics, he is also the author of ten books, including Days of Heaven, John Giles: A Football Man and The Ponzi Man.
The Sunday Independent
‘As hair-raising as the downfall reads, O’Reilly’s story grips to the end as a context of humanity replaces the sweat-browed hijinks.’
The Irish Independent
This is a spine-tingling tale, beautifully told, and at the end of the rollercoaster ride there’s even a happy ending.
‘A brilliant, nerve-shredding account of one man’s gambling addiction – and every word of it true. Would highly recommend it.
The Irish Examiner
Shocking, hugely readable and deeply important.
The Sunday World
Daithí Ó Sé
A fascinating story
The Racing Post
A startling illustration of the silent devastation that gambling can inflict
Associate Professor of History at UCD and Author of The Hurlers
I cannot think of a more important book ever written on any aspect of Irish sport.
Reading it has been a transformative experience.
One of the best non-fiction books of the year
The indelible links between gambling and sport in today’s world are a surprise to nobody and yet it’s still fairly bracing to see it all laid bare. A chilling, jaw-dropping bruiser of a book.