Professional gambler sets up own betting
By Linda
Tony Bloom has, by his own admission, been gambling for over 20 years. Perhaps it should not be a surprise that he is setting up his own

After all, the stakes are high, the returns potentially huge, you need guts to step up and play and if you blink you could miss something vital and lose everything.

He first went into a bookmaker at the age of 15. For a while, he was even a professional poker player and came fourth, winning £25,000, in the first ever live 'Poker Million' tournament in 2000.

Now, he has moved on to the internet and is trying to make a success of online gambling, specifically betting on football matches.

The site he launched in May is called Premier Bet and takes bets on football matches under a system known as the Asian Handicap.

'Whoever the punters are, Asian handicap is better for them,' said Mr Bloom. 'Though, they may not know it yet.'

As the name suggests, Asian handicaps are well known in Asia and less well over here. Understanding them can take some time.

Anyone putting money on a match typically bets for their chosen team to win, lose or draw.

Under the Asian handicap system the final score of the team you bet on has a handicap added to or subtracted to it.

On the recent England-Brazil match in the World Cup, the handicap for Brazil, as the favourite, was -1 and for England, the underdog, +1.

Anyone putting money on Brazil had to be sure that they would win by a good enough margin to wipe out this handicap.

This is only the simplest case. There can be split handicaps which try to do a better job of reflecting the form of a team.

Mr Bloom set up and ran the Asian handicap business of betting conglomerate Victor Chandler before he branched out on his own.

'We aim for the more sophisticated and discerning better,' said Mr Bloom.

All he has to hope now is that the gamble pays off.

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