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Tournament Trail Q and A -- Tony Bloom

Bloom Discusses Poker, Sports Betting, and Inversting

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Tony BloomTony Bloom has made a lot of money doing a lot of different things in his lifetime. He is a renowned sports bettor in the United Kingdom and he is no slouch at the poker tables either. Bloom won the Aussie Millions main event in 2004, and he has finished as the runner-up twice in the $100,000 challenge at the Crown Casino. His most recent heads-up final saw him fall to fellow Brit Sam Trickett in late January, but Bloom still scored big with a $975,000 payday. He now holds $2,651,060 in career earnings.

Bloom has used much of his winnings wisely to invest in outside business ventures during his career. His most recent investment came when he became the majority owner and Chairman of the Brighton Football Club. He has invested millions of pounds into the club and they recently opened Falmer Stadium thanks to his financial backing.

Card Player caught up with Bloom in Melbourne and he talked about his favorite forms of gambling as well as his approach to investing his winnings outside of poker.

Ryan Lucchesi: A bit of a chicken and the egg question to start. Which came first for you, sports betting or poker? What skills from betting on sports are you able to incorporate into your poker game?

Tony Bloom: I’ve been interested in both from a young age. They are pretty different apart from the gambling. I enjoy cards and I enjoy sport. I guess the math side comes into play in both but they are pretty different disciplines. Generally speaking not too many people overlap between the two.

RL: Is your love of sports, particularly football, what drives you to find a competitive outlet in poker tournaments?

TB: I like the competition, that’s why I play tournaments. I don’t really play in cash games, I haven’t got the time for them. Things change in the course of a tournament, your tactics and strategy. You have to analyze your opponents all of the time and that makes it interesting for me. There is an end-game and there is always a winner.

Sports tactics change all the time as well. I’m not sure a lot of coaches out there change tactics enough in different situations. But that’s a different story.

RL: I know you have a number of different investments that you’re involved with, and recently you made a very interesting one. Can you tell me about your involvement with the Brighton Football Club?

TB: Sure, I’ve been a big fan for all of my life. My family has been involved with my grandfather and my uncle on the board for many, many years and with the new stadium we didn’t quite get the funding we were hoping for from the bank for a variety of different reasons, and so I ended up funding the majority of the stadium, taking over the football club and I’m really enjoying it. We hope to win a championship next season.

RL: What advice would you give players who are looking to invest some of their winnings outside of the game?

TB: I think that is a good idea. You should set aside a certain amount. It’s easier for younger players to make a huge amount of money and set it aside. I think it is a pretty good idea when a guy gets a certain amount of money to keep most of it there, because you want to have a back up in liquid funds. It’s truly advisable to stick a percentage away now and again. Invest in business shares or property. It’s got to be the right way.

Particularly once you get to a certain age. When you’re young it doesn’t really matter because you can lose all of your money and get it back, but once you get to a certain age with a lot of money, like half a million dollars or more, something that if you lose it would hurt quite a bit, you need to invest. I’m also a fan of when you’re young and single to go through and step it up in order to build up. It depends on the individual, some people are a bit more risk adverse than I am.