But I'm ashamed of what I've done, and that's hard. So he had one last bet, on the Derby, in the hope of winning it all back. The amount of money in Tony's case is, of course, staggering, and makes it remarkable, and people wonder how can that happen, but on a smaller scale this is happening every week now. He was distracted and disconnected, always on his phone, never at peace. He might have been caught, he might have had to own up, he might have been stopped before it became stealing from your employer and ending up in prison. The ability online gambling offers a person to keep their addiction secret fascinates Declan, who has written for years about the subject.
You can't dress it up. Or the first time he wins big. Near the end, Tony almost confessed all to his father and, separately, to his best friend Niall. 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. But with gambling you justify your actions, and if I could figure out in the therapy room why that happens or how to fix that, I'd be a very rich man. He'd be his old self and Tony 10 - the online persona that was starting to dominate his life, in that it was becoming increasingly his persona in the real world - would be left behind.
If he told her, then everything would come crashing down. Tony knows how to deal with that voice now, though, and he knows that it lies. He's a guy who could have taken that route himself, but that Tony, as Declan describes it, always hankered after something more, something a little bit more special, a little less humdrum. To an extent, Tony admits, it's like talking about someone else, but the sense of regret and remorse remind him that this tragic tale is his. It was the complete thing.
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. So in recovery I had to deal with those issues without gambling. That, both Declan and Tony say, is the mentality of the gambler. The first heart-sinking moment is when he spots a computer in the hotel lobby. And no one in Tony 10's life shouted stop, either. Incredibly self-aware and mindful, he is a man at peace with himself, but still extremely aware of the hurt and pain he caused his family, his former colleagues and all affected by the chaotic pursuits of Tony 10.
It amazes me that something is out there that is causing incredible levels of carnage and no one is doing anything about it. The back-up to his resolve was there would be no chance to get online anyway, so for a full two weeks, everything was going to be fine. Gambling is a way of escaping your life. Tony was a clever guy, a good writer, a meticulous fella who could tend towards compulsive meticulousness. It's a way of coping with issues such as self-esteem and confidence, and gambling dealt with those for me. He got that it wasn't just about the individual, but about a bigger gambling problem that Tony and Declan believe is growing and growing without censure.
It had the total destruction of an individual, short of dying. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! This book is often a tough read but, in this age where gambling is so ubiquitous, it is a crucial one. He tells Sarah Caden how his online-gambling addiction cost him his marriage, his liberty and nearly his sanity. And, conversely, the desire to be found out, as well as the thought that he should end it all and that everyone would be better off without him. 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. Lynch graduated from Marist College secondary school in 1978. Even though, in reality, he'd lost it all already.
Declan documents the wins and losses, the withdrawals and, in time, the cessation of the withdrawals. I know what she means and I do try, and sometimes I think I'm nearly there. Tony is an altogether different person now. Without doubt, both Declan and Tony believe that his gambling addiction might not have reached the depths it did if there was no such thing as online betting. Or the first day he steals from the coin bags at work to fund his growing habit. 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.
I mean, how could bookies not have a billion-dollar business based on that? 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. Tony continues, of course, to feel shame for what he did and sorrow for those he hurt. Two weeks ago, when his partner of two years started a new job and he finished a draft of his thesis for his ongoing career in counselling, a little voice told him a little bet wouldn't hurt, that he could handle it now. It took him two years to be able to watch a sporting event without feeling sick. Friends and family noticed that Tony changed in the last months before he was finally found out.
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. 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. Further, Tony was high on the intention to do no gambling while he was away. I've been through recovery and prisons, and recovery was as hard as the prison part, but I'm conscious about bringing it up again for Fiona and her family, and for An Post and people I worked with. And he's never going back again. Tony 10 was certainly his secret self for many years, as what started as casual dabbling in gambling turned into an addiction that saw him swing between feeling like a master of the universe; through desperation to gamble himself out of growing debt and criminal behaviour; to suicidal thoughts. 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.