Image source: FILMORA NEWS / CC BY via Wikimedia Commons
Dan Blizerian: Early Life
Born into an upper-middle-class family in 1980, he suffered from a typical childhood that comes with having an absentee father. While the father was certainly a very generous figure, who provided well for the family, he was more or less permanently traveling on business. Later, he would go to jail for stock and tax fraud. As a result, Dan suffered from bullying at school, being forced to change schools several times. In his final school year, he found himself in serious trouble after bring a machine gun to school. He was expelled and finished his senior year from home. He wasn’t even allowed to collect his graduation certificates with the other students.
Navy Seal Training
His big ambition was to become a Navy Seal. To that end, he joined the service after school. He actually made it through the UD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal) training, even whilst suffering from a broken leg. But with just a few weeks to go before graduation, he was kicked out for insubordination, for fighting with an officer.
Dan Bilzerian: To University
In spite of his relatively wealthy background, Dan Bilzerian was still a driven young man. He enrolled in the University of Florida and ended up with a double major in business and criminology. And it was during this period he was first introduced to poker. He instantly became enamored with the game and started to play with anyone willing to do so, in between classes and during any available spare time. Then he discovered online poker sites in the US. Soon he was addicted to the game and even took a loan out on his car so that he could gamble even more.
Poker and Other Gambling Ventures
Interestingly enough, Dan Bilzerian didn’t visit a casino until he was over 25 years of age. At the same time, he received access to the trust fund his father had set up. So, Dan Bilzerian filled up a suitcase with cash and headed off to the casino in Lake Tahoe. But to his credit, he was level headed enough to set himself spending limits. And he was strong enough to stick with them. Going from tournament to tournament, he gradually improved enough to attempt the World Series in 2009. Though he was playing against top players like Phil Ivey and Joe Cada, he still made a healthy profit of $36,626 and ended up in a very respectable position of 180th place.
His performance was noticed by the company who then became his first sponsor, Victory Poker, which was an online poker card room. Dan Bilzerian received $1 million in exchange for their logo in all his tournaments. Bilzerian is only interested in high stakes cash games. Famously he was able to enter a casino with just $750 and turn it into a $187,000 win. On another occasion, he claims to have won over $10 million in Las Vegas. But such is the nature of this showman, you can never be really sure if he’s telling the truth, or just marketing himself. Though he enjoys playing poker himself, he’s also known for sponsoring other players.
Dan Bilzerian: Love Side Bets
An example would be when he gave Jay Farber $2,000 for the 2013 WSOP main event in exchange for a 20% cut of any winnings. Well, it was a great investment as Farber took second place and a cash prize of $5 million. So, Bilzerian technically turned $2,000 into $1 million without lifting a finger. Dan Bilzerian is also famous for his side bets. He once bet and won $400,000 against a Supreme Court litigator that he could beat him in a car drag race. Then there was the time he bet Dan Perkins that he could cycle from Las Vegas to Los Angeles within 48 hours. To show his single-minded dedication, he trained hard with Lance Armstrong. In the end, to everyone’s astonishment, he completed the ride in just 33 hours. And was then $600,000 better off!
Spreading His Wealth
But Dan Bilzerian is not just in the game for himself. He runs his own charity called “The Robin Hood Project” and he helps people in need of financial assistance. he is happy to donate up to $10,000 per person, as this is the gift limit for the IRS. he has also hosted special charity poker events to raise money for brain research. Many of his celebrity friends showed up. In just one event he was able to raise over $100,000.
Dan Bilzerian: Personal Life
When Dan Bilzerian’s not doing the rounds of casino’s, you can find Dan Bilzerian holed up in his LA mansion. It boasts 11 bedrooms, a pool, a hot tub, and a movie theater. In the garage, there is a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, a Bentley Flying Spur, and a 1965 AC Cobra. He employs a personal chef to fix all his meals. And the mansion is always full of babes who hang around for his regular lavish parties. And one of the reasons why we know so much about his life is that he chooses to live most of it via social media.
Dan Bilzerian: Social Media Hit
Bilzerian boasts of over 20 million Instagram followers. And over 1 million on Twitter. He’s famous for his hilarious posts and pranks. In fact, in 2010 he was voted the world’s funniest poker player by Bluff Magazine. You can also see his photos, with him hanging out with his celebrity mates all over social media. Politically he holds some interesting views for a US citizen. Describing himself as a constitutionalist libertarian who believes that both prostitution and drugs should be legal. He’s also a big supporter of gun rights, has a special room in his mansion which houses over 100 different gun types.
Dan Bilzerian: Into The Movies
If you are watching the movie, The Equalizer (2014), War Dogs (2016), Lone Survivor (2013) or Cat Run (2014), you’ll see Dan Bilzerian’s face writ large on the cinema screen. Some say that he is a pay to play actors in these bit parts. This means that he only gets the parts by donating to the movie’s production costs. Never the less, he’s still up there on the silver screen and we are not!
Once he was asked if he has any regrets and he replied, “Honestly, the things I regret in my life are the things that I didn’t try. Not the things I tried and failed, or the things I f***** up. Just the s*** that I wanted to do that I didn’t do. Like a hot girl I saw that I didn’t talk to, or I wanted to race a car and I didn’t do it, or I wanted to skydive. Do you know? If there was something I wanted to do, and I didn’t pull the trigger on it. Those are the regrets I got.”