Often, the lives of the rich and famous are put on full display for public praise or criticism, with all the drama that brings. Then there are people like Tony Bloom, who have made a name for themselves yet maintain their privacy.

Tony “The Lizard” Bloom is perhaps best known today as the chairman of the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. Here’s what we know about how he started his successful career and where his net worth stands today.

Tony Bloom’s Origins

A lot of Tony Bloom’s reputation comes from his poker and betting career, but the vast majority of his money came from elsewhere. Bloom described his old poker days as “people in dimly lit rooms” but added that “it’s become a lot more mainstream.”

Things have changed a lot since, with the internet helping the industry become more popular than ever. Now, it’s possible to play at a poker or even blackjack live casino from the comfort of your own home, along with other kinds of casino games. This wasn’t the case back when Bloom started.

It started when a young Bloom was fascinated by the bright lights of Brighton’s waterfront arcades. After becoming a math degree graduate, he settled into a career as a city trader. This no doubt lucrative career was how Bloom got his start. While that would have been enough for most, Bloom then got lucky with his side passion – gambling.

Through shrewd management of his finances afterward, Bloom made investments into Brighton F.C. and horse racing, specifically owning the horses. His horses Energumene and Withold have been successful since.

The Lizard’s Net Worth

Bloom’s nickname, The Lizard, comes from his televised poker appearances. It was said that only someone cold-blooded could keep their cool under so much pressure, and the name stuck.

He started with Late Night Poker appearances but his notoriety spiked in 2004, when he won the Australasian Poker Championship in Melbourne for a pot of $320,000. A year later, he placed fourth at the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions.

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Publicly, his live poker winnings number around $3.8 million. While those kinds of stakes would drive most people mad, it was nothing compared to how he grew his early wins with shrewd business management that didn’t rely so much on luck. Most recently, his net worth is estimated to be £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion). The number makes sense, considering he has sunk over £200 million into his football club.

The Secrets Of Starlizard

Bloom made most of his money from business, not betting. Besides Brighton F.C. and its improvement in the years under Bloom’s management, Bloom holds considerable wealth in property and private equity. That’s standard for wealthy businessmen all over the world.

Then there is Starlizard, his second-largest venture. Founded in 2006, it is a self-described betting consultancy firm that analyzes football matches and is only open to high rollers that post £2 million ($2.5 million), leveraging Bloom’s reputation to advise them on gambling responsibly even with their massive wealth.

The exclusive nature of this business shrouds it in much mystery. From what little we do know; Starlizard operates mostly in Asian sports markets nowadays. Bloom is no stranger to the Asian market, seeing as that was where he spent a lot of his luck before quitting his day job.

While he was clearly destined for financial success, Bloom’s early luck and shrewd head for business took this math whizz from a would-be millionaire into a billionaire.

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