Gabriel Agbonlahor reveals he became addicted to poker while at Villa

Gabriel Agbonlahor reveals he became addicted to poker while Aston Villa as he was ‘BORED’ after training and claims a ‘lot of players at the club’ suffered from the same issue

  • Gabriel Agbonlahor started playing poker to kill time after training
  • The former Aston Villa player claims several of his teammates did the same
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Gabriel Agbonlahor has revealed he became addicted to poker when he played at Aston Villa and that several of his teammates suffered the same issue.

The former England striker told talkSPORT on Thursday that he started playing poker online due to being bored after returning home from training.

Players used to finish training at around 12:30pm-12:45pm during Martin O’Neill’s five-year spell in charge of Villa, and some of them turned to online casinos to pass the time.

‘I was on good money at Aston Villa at the time. It was more about being single with no kids and living with a couple of kids,’ Agbonlahor said.

‘Coming back from training, we used to finish quite early with Martin O’Neill at around 12:30pm – 12:45pm.

Gabriel Agbonlahor has revealed he became addicted to poker while at Aston Villa

Your browser does not support iframes.

‘You’ll be bored, you’ll get your laptop and play your poker online.’ 

Agbonlahor, who scored 86 goals in 391 appearances for Villa in all competitions, added the online platforms soon turned to real life casinos. 

‘Then you may go to the casinos in the evening and before you know it you are playing with the big dogs,’ he said.

‘It becomes an addiction, it happened to a lot of players at the club. 

‘For me it was never [about] betting on football. It was more the poker.’ 

Agbonlahor’s comments come as a betting scandal has rocked Italian football over the past week involving Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli, Newcastle’s £52million summer signing Sandro Tonali and Aston Villa star Nicolo Zaniolo.

Fagioli became the first player to speak directly to prosecutors after news broke last week, and on Tuesday, the 22-year-old was handed a seven-month ban from football. 

Under Italian regulations athletes are forbidden from betting on the sports in which they participate. 

The former Villa striker said several of his teammates suffered from the same issue

The trio had their electronics confiscated  last week as part of the investigation, which also saw the Italian national team’s training camp raided by the authorities as they sought to interview Zaniolo and Tonali. 

As reported by Mail Sport, Tonali could learn the length of his ban for illegal betting as early as next week but remains available for Newcastle’s clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Italy international faces up to a year-long ban if found guilty after admitting on Tuesday to placing bets on former club AC Milan to win games.

Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali faces a lengthy ban for betting on games in Italy

Tonali flew to Italy on Tuesday to cooperate with the prosecutors heading the investigation, while his agent admitted the Newcastle midfielder was addicted to gambling.

‘Sandro is playing an important game against gambling addiction – he will win this one too,’ Giuseppe Riso said. 

‘I’d like to thank Newcastle who have always stood by Sandro. He is in shock, shaken and sad.

Zaniolo, meanwhile, has steadfastly maintained he has not taken part in illegal betting and returned to training ahead of Villa’s home game against West Ham on Sunday. 


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

Your browser does not support iframes.

Source: Read Full Article