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.
’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.’ Hilary A White, The Sunday Independent
’This is a spine-tingling tale, beautifully told, and at the end of the rollercoaster ride there’s even a happy ending.’ Damian Corless, The Irish Independent
’A brilliant, nerve-shredding account of one man’s gambling addiction - and every word of it true. Would highly recommend it.’ Paul Howard
’Shocking, hugely readable and deeply important’ The Irish Examiner
’Remarkable story’ The Sunday World
’A fascinating story’ Daithí Ó Sé
’A startling illustration of the silent devastation that gambling can inflict’ The Racing Post
‘Tony 10 is easily one of the best non-fiction books of the year’ Hot Press
‘A fascinating and often incredible read’ – Barry Glendenning The Guardian
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. If you wish to get in touch with him, you can find him on LinkedIn (Tony O’Reilly MACI).
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.