Emmerdale spoilers follow.
Vinny Dingle has been attacked by a rival poker player in shock Emmerdale scenes.
In Friday’s episode (December 9), Jimmy stuck his foot in it by pitching another poker game to Vinny and Mack, after he’d let slip about Vinny’s gambling in front of Mandy.
Vinny told off Jimmy, claiming they wouldn’t be playing poker together anymore. In reality, Vinny and Mack were arranging a secret poker game with Darren.
The sinister Darren was annoyed when he showed up for the game to find only Mack and Vinny waiting to play with him. He initially went to leave, but his interest was piqued when Mack mentioned Vinny had come into money recently.
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Darren insisted on a £500 buy-in to play against him, and after some coaxing from Mack, Vinny reluctantly agreed to put up the cash.
When Vinny saw he could have beat Darren with a hand where he’d folded, he surprised even Mack by challenging Darren to another round for higher stakes.
This time, Vinny managed to win a massive prize pot by beating Darren’s Full House with a Royal Flush, much to his new friend’s shock. Darren demanded another round to get even.
Jimmy stumbled upon the game, only to warn them that betting such huge amounts of money could be dangerous.
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“Going forward, I don’t think ‘big stakes games’ are a good idea,” Jimmy advised.
Vinny shot back: “They are if you win.”
Mack and Vinny set off to play at some casinos in town, while Mandy expressed her concern when Jimmy revealed what her son was up to.
“The good news is, he’s still winning… for now,” Jimmy sighed.
An irate Mandy confronted Mack and Vinny back at home, telling her son that Liv would be embarrassed to see him pulling off small-time scams. She also warned he was on a slippery slope towards gambling addiction.
“I want to get you help, professional help,” Mandy begged.
Vinny shot back that nobody could “fix” him and threw his mum out of the house.
Meanwhile, Darren overheard Jimmy and David referring to Vinny as a “card shark” and a “hustler”, leading him to believe he’d been tricked by Vinny and Mack.
“If you ever sit down with him, you’re either two things: stupid or a loser,” David boasted while Darren stewed in anger.
The episode ended on an alarming note when Darren barged into Vinny’s flat and confronted him for allegedly hustling him in their poker game.
Vinny stood up to Darren, admitting he’d spotted his ‘tell’ during the game and even referred to him as “an idiot”. Darren viciously punched Vinny in the gut, leaving him gasping for air.
Can Vinny escape his furious enemy?
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.
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The National Gambling Treatment Service offers free, confidential help for anyone who is worried about their gambling, or someone else’s gambling. Call the 24-hour freephone National Gambling Helpline on 0808 802 0133, or visit begambleaware.org. Further information and resources can be found on the Gambling Commission’s website.