Tony Bloom

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Tony Bloom
Tony bloom.jpg
Bloom in November 2005
Nickname(s) The Lizard
Born Anthony Grant Bloom
20 March 1970 (age 48)
Brighton, Sussex, England
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s) None
Money finish(es) 11
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
512th, 2006
World Poker Tour
Title(s) None
Final table(s) 1
Money finish(es) 2
European Poker Tour
Title(s) None
Final table(s) None
Money finish(es) 1

Anthony Grant Bloom (born 1970 in Brighton, Sussex) is a football club chairman and professional poker player.

Poker and betting[edit]

Bloom has been a sports bettor and property investor, nicknamed The Lizard.

Bloom appeared in the Late Night Poker television series and also has a final table appearance on the World Poker Tour. He also made back-to-back final table appearances in the first two Poker Million events. His first major win came in January 2004 when he won the Australasian Poker Championship in Melbourne, collecting a first prize of around A$420,000 ($320,000, £180,000).[1]

Bloom won the £5,000 No Limit Hold'em VC Poker Cup Final in London on 5 August 2005 and won the £200,000 ($351,401) first prize.

He also had a fourth-place finish in the 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. He was a member of the winning British team in the Poker Nations Cup.

As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $1,500,000. Bloom won A$600,000 for his second-place finish in the High Rollers Challenge, event 8 of the Australian Poker Millions tournament held in Melbourne in Jan 2009.

Bloom fell short of the million pound grand prize in the Poker Million IX event held in London on 10 December 2010. He finished second behind Gus Hansen.[2]

Football chairman[edit]

Since 2009, Bloom has been the chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion, who are currently a Premier League club, having gained promotion in the 2016–17 season after 34 years out of the top flight of English football.

He succeeded Dick Knight after securing a 75% shareholding in the club and investing £93 million in the development of the club's new ground, the American Express Community Stadium at Falmer.[3][4] Since the stadium has been built, it has received numerous extensions in spectator capacity and has received funding to ensure that it is "Premier League ready" by installing floodlights, amongst other minor features.

Upon taking over the club, Bloom declared his love of the game, "I've been a football fan and a gambler since the age of about seven or eight. My interest in both developed at the same time."[5] Bloom is a longtime fan of Brighton[6] and his family has had a long association with the club: his uncle Ray is a director and his grandfather, Harry, was vice-chairman during the 1970s.[7]

On becoming chairman, Bloom appointed former Uruguay international Gus Poyet as manager, and together they led the team to promotion from Football League One as champions in 2011, the season before Brighton moved into their new home - the Falmer Stadium. Poyet left the club in 2013 after losing in a play-off semi-final to Crystal Palace. In June 2013, Bloom appointed Óscar García as the new head coach of the club; Garcia resigned after losing a second successive play-off semi-final to Derby County and left the club in May 2014. The next manager was former Liverpool player Sami Hyypiä, who only lasted a few months in the managerial role after a poor start to the 2014–15 season left Brighton in the relegation zone. Chris Hughton became manager towards the end of 2014, and the club have been successful since.

Hughton steered Albion to safety in their 2014–15 campaign, and then guided the club to an impressive third-place position in the Championship in the following season, narrowly missing out on promotion to Middlesbrough on goal difference. The club would again taste defeat in a play-off semi final, for the third time in four years - this time to Sheffield Wednesday.

Brighton went one step further in the 2016–17 season under Hughton's guidance and Bloom's ownership, finishing second in the Championship and gaining promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club's history. Bloom backed Hughton in the following transfer window, breaking several record transfer fees to improve the squad, ready for Brighton's first Premier League season.

Personal life, and other ventures[edit]

Bloom is Jewish, and has contributed significantly to the development of a synagogue project in Hove. He stepped in with the Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation suffering financial problems, and the funding for the development will come from his Bloom Foundation, of which he is the chairman.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tony Bloom's Player Profile and History Archived 2 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Pokerpages. Retrieved 1 May 2010
  2. ^ Hendon Mob Database The Hendon Mob. Retrieved 26 May 2011
  3. ^ Stadium Funding Secured Archived 22 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Seagulls World, 18 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009
  4. ^ Prediction for 09-10 Season Squarefootball, 21 February 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009
  5. ^ TONY IS BLOOM-ING GOOD NOTW, 16 May 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009
  6. ^ Szczepanik, Nick (22 May 2009). "'I'm no Abramovich' says new Brighton chairman". Times Online. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Szczepanik, Nick (19 May 2009). "Brighton secure £93m investment". Times Online. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Albion owner finances new synagogue project". The Argus. 28 October 2017. 

External links[edit]