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newsaston villa legend gabby agbonlahor admits to losing thousands on high stakes poker during his career

Aston Villa Legend Gabby Agbonlahor Admits To Losing Thousands On High-Stakes Poker During His Career

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Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has opened up about his past gambling addiction, where the Premier League star admitted to losing thousands to online poker during a difficult time.

Gabby Agbonlahor Shares Difficult Battle With Addiction

Agbonlahor was one of the youngest ever debutants in England when he first stepped onto the pitch for Aston Villa in 2006 and the pressure took its toll on the teenager at the time.

Appearing on the Ben Heath Podcast, Gabby Agbonlahor shared openly about his struggles with addiction during his career after making his Premier League debut at just 19 years of age.

“I really enjoyed bluffing and showing my cards at the table for banter. Then someone said to me ‘you know you can play online?’ I was like ‘what?’ Agbonlahor admitted on the podcast.

“Because we only trained until one o’clock back then under Martin O’Neill sometimes, I’m sitting there like ‘I’m not gonna watch Last of the Summer Wine like my dad used to or boring TV. You like poker so let’s have a go on the computer’.”

Opening up on why he would play poker, Agbonlahor explained that it wasn’t the money that drove him but instead his competitive nature and the feeling of beating other people around the table.

“I wasn’t doing it for money, that’s the silly thing. I was doing it for that buzz when you win a hand and just beat someone.

“The problem was the buzz wasn’t enough at that time for playing a game of like £100,” he admitted. “It was the big boy tables where you had to have £5,000 or £10k behind you. It was so easy to go ‘another £10k’.”

Emotions Got The Better Of Agbonlahor

With the stakes only rising during his career, Agbonlahor admitted to struggling with anger issues that would result in broken laptops.

“Because I’d be so angry I’d lost a hand, laptop thrown down the stairs off the bannister. Apple Mac into pieces.

“I’d rip it open, then I’d message a friend, ‘got a spare laptop?’ Got my friend’s big old laptop come round, ‘how does this work?’ Buy a new Apple Mac and then I was like ‘this isn’t good’. And some of the younger players at the club had problems as well because it’s online, so easy.”

The former England international recalled that he found it ‘easy’ to stop the gambling once his first son was born – turning a new leaf at the age of 21 and not looking back since.

Olly Taliku
Olly Taliku
Olly Taliku

Olly Taliku has worked with highly respected sports and gambling websites where he has produced hundreds of articles, as well as being published with Burton Albion and Chesterfield FC. At Burton Olly worked closely alongside the women's team, producing mainly matchday content including reports and interviews, while at Chesterfield he worked in a similar role but with the academy side, as well as some first team content. He also has experience as an accredited Premier League and EFL writer for Prost International where he worked during the 2021/22 season to produce matchday content as an on location reporter. Olly specialises in football as well as long form SEO content plus news, tips and betting but also produces content on basketball, baseball and American football.