Tony Bloom, infamously successful sports bettor, property investor and chairman of the Brighton and Hove Football Club, still manages to find time for the odd million-dollar score at the poker table.
Known as the Lizard for his reptilian coolness under pressure, Bloom finished second last night in the $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller event here at the 2011 Aussie Millions, pocketing $975,000 AUD.
Bloom’s $3.34 million in career tournament earnings is impressive, but when you factor in the fact he plays only a few tournaments a year it’s just ridiculous.
We caught Bloom on the break in the $10,000 main event for a quick chat.
Sam Trickett is a tough player and he’s had a lot of success recently. How do you rate him after having had the chance to play with him in the $100K?
I played with him for basically two solid days and it was the first time I’d played with him. I was very impressed with his play.
The heads-up match only lasted for about ten hands and apart from one big hand he dominated.
We’ve seen a lot of success from young players coming out of the UK in the last year or two. Is there something you can point to that accounts for the amount of talent we’re seeing?
Honestly I don’t think it’s something that’s only happening in the UK. There are talented young players coming out of Scandinavia, the US, and it’s no surprise to me that there are young kids coming through that are going to be very successful.
There’s probably hundreds of thousands of kids trying and a very small percentage of those are going to have the talent to be successful.
The opportunity is out there for eighteen, nineteen year olds that just wasn’t there for me when I was that age. Most of these kids, by the time they’re nineteen they’ve played more hands than I’ve played in my entire life.
I don’t play that much so it’s really hard to keep up but it’s a good challenge for me to be playing against these young up and coming players.
Like you said you’re not playing every tournament on the circuit by any means but you seem to like these high roller events. Is it the big money that motivates you to play these or the higher level of competition?
It’s a mixture of a few things. Because I don’t have a lot of time to play too many tournaments a year these high roller events suit me well.
They’re not too long, they’re for big money so that is a motivating factor but more it’s the caliber of player you’re up against and the challenge of it all that motivates me.
Do you have anything else scheduled poker-wise in the next few months?
I probably won’t end up picking up a card for the next five months after I’m done with the Aussie Millions. That’s just the way it is. I probably won’t go to Vegas in the summer but I’ll be playing the World Series events in London in September.
That’s really all I have time for these days but occasionally if something comes up I’ll play it. If I can, I like to play.
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