– General Introduction –
Born on December 7, 1980 in Tampa, Florida, Dan Brandon “Blitz” Bilzerian is the son of Terri Steffen and Paul Bilzerian. After surviving the Armenian Genocide and immigrating to the US, Paul Bilzerian became a Wall Street corporate takeover specialist who also owned a robotics company. Thoughtfully, he set up trust funds for both of his sons.
Dan and his brother, Adam (now also a poker player), seemed to have charmed childhoods, growing up in a lakeside mansion that included eleven bedrooms, an indoor basketball court and batting cage, and a swimming pool and waterslide. However, their father was often away at work, and when Dan was only 10, he was arrested, charged, and convicted of fraud. Currently, Paul Bilzerian resides in the West Indies, having repaid only $3.7m of the $62m judgement against him.
After their father went to jail, Dan and Adam were ridiculed by their classmates, and Dan’s growing contempt for authority resulted in him being expelled from two schools within one year. Following his second expulsion, Dan was enrolled in a military academy and left under the care of drill instructors. When Paul Bilzerian got out on parole, he bought a new company and moved his family to Utah (over 2,000 miles away).
In 2000, Dan Bilzerian enrolled in the Navy SEAL training program, where he lasted for 510 days, completing two “hell weeks” and finishing the first with a broken leg. Nevertheless, following several attempts, he failed to graduate. According to reports, he was dropped from the program due to a “safety violation on the shooting range”. After leaving the training program, Bilzerian attended the University of Florida. While his father continued to deal with legal issues, Bilzerian, ironically, majored in Business and Criminology.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2005: First heart attack
- 2009: Entered the WSOP and finished 180th
- 2010: Voted one of the funniest poker players on Twitter by Bluff Magazine.
– Dan Bilzerian’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Dan’s brother, Adam, taught him to play poker when he was a student at the University of Florida. However, he went broke by his second year and was unable to access the sizeable assets in his trust fund. Finally, deciding to sell his guns to build funds, Bilzerian returned to the poker table.
Reportedly turning $750 into $10,000, he caught a one-way flight to Las Vegas and turned that $10,000 into $187,000.
Returning to the University of Florida with this considerable bankroll, he resumed his studies and his poker practice with more determination than ever, honing his skills in cash games after class.
In 2007, Bilzerian announced his entrance to the casino scene by showing up at casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada with suitcase overflowing with cash. In 2009, he took the next step by participating in the World Series of Poker Main Event, where he won $36k after finishing in 180th place.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Bilzerian finished in 180th place in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Bilzerian quickly transitioned from playing high-stakes casino games to private cash games, where he became known for his loose, aggressive style of play. Hosting “nosebleed stakes” games at his Los Angeles home, Bilzerian regularly played with a variety of billionaires and celebrities, including Tobey Maguire (from Spider Man), film director Nick Cassavetes, and Mark Wahlberg.
Bilzerian is active on social media, where he’s made many unconfirmed claims. For instance, in December 2013, he claimed to have won $10.8m during a single night of playing poker. He posted on his Twitter account, “I played poker tonight with 13 million in front of me, heads up 5K/10K, damn what a rush.” Several hours after, Bilzerian tweeted, “Won 10.8 million last night playing poker, headed to Puerto Vallarta to relax.” In 2014 he boasted winnings of $50m total for the year. He added that he “doesn’t play against professionals anymore and the most [he’s] ever lost in a single session is $3.6 million”. In an interview, he suggested that his biggest win was $12.8 million over a period of three games, but he did provide any more details.
→ Online Poker ←
Playing under the account of Bill Perkins (nickname “gastrader”), Bilzerian could be found on America’s Cardroom, and some of his heads up poker sessions were available on Twitch.
Youtube commentator Doug Polk analyzed his Twitch sessions and said, “I think that maybe he can beat some high stakes very soft live games, but on the Internet, he’s a fish in the water“.
→ Sponsorship deals ←
He had a brief sponsorship deal with the now-defunct online cardroom Victory Poker following his 2009 WSOP appearance.
→ Scandals ←
Well known for his excessive partying, the lifestyle finally caught up with Bilzerian in 2005 when he was rushed to the hospital having suffered a heart attack following five consecutive days of partying that included the consumption of massive amounts of cocaine and Viagra. Less than twelve hours later, he suffered a second heart attack. Luckily for him, neither heart attacks were major, and he was reportedly fine after two weeks of recovery.
Bilzerian was banned from a Miami nightclub in August of 2014 after he reportedly kicked model Vanessa Castano in the face during a brawl. According to Bilzerian, Castano and another woman attacked his female companion. However, Castano told a slightly different story, when she reported, “There were two girls standing next to me at the table that were fighting. People started getting shoved and I tried to separate them. Then Dan pushed me off the banquette, and once I fell, he kicked me in the face.” According to reports, Castano filed a lawsuit against Bilzerian for her injuries, and, reportedly, she asked Bilzerian for US$1 million to settle the suit, suggesting that there would be a possibility of greater punitive damages based on his income if the suit went to trial.
In December of the same year, Bilzerian threw pornographic actress Janice Griffith off of a roof and into swimming pool during a photoshoot for Hustler magazine. Griffith, 18-years-old at the time, broke her foot during the incident and asked Bilzerian for $85k to cover her injuries. Her request was rejected twice.
December 2014 was a bit of a rough month for Bilzerian. On December 9, he was reportedly arrested for bomb-making charges at the the Los Angeles International Airport, which turned out to be unrelated to the actual charge. According to the report from the LA Police Department’s Pacific Division, who booked Bilzerian at 10pm, the arrest was based on a fugitive warrant from Nevada: “Bilzerian has been charged with violating a law making it a crime to possess an explosive or incendiary device with the intent to manufacture it.” Although the charges were dropped and he was released from LAPD custody the day after his arrest, his arraignment was scheduled for January 2015 in Clark County, Nevada. Following his arraignment, Bilzerian pleaded no contest in February 2015 to the misdemeanor charge of “negligently failing to extinguish a fire in the open” and paid a fine of $17,231.50.
In “celebration” of Women’s Day, he posted photos of himself with topless models in a Jacuzzi.
– Dan Bilzerian’s Private Life –
→ Love Life ←
A consummate player in all things, Bilzerian, allegedly, once slept with 17 different women in one week.
Sometime around 2011, his 3-year relationship with former Playboy playmate and current beauty and fashion blogger, host, and model Jessa Hinton ended.
The list of girls he’s “partied with” includes a number of playmates as well as models that he’s helped gain fame on Instagram:
- Lindsey Pelas, instagram model
- Lauren Blake, fitness model
- Sam Abernathy, professional poker player
- Sunshine Shane, Playboy model
- Corin Jamie-Lee Clark, model
- Kailey Weldon, model
- Tawny Jordan, model
- Mabelynn Capeluj, former Miss California
- Morgan Hultgren, model
More recently, its been reported that Bilzerian is dating 21-year-old model Sofia Bevarly. According to reports from several news websites, the couple started dating in late 2017, after meeting at a pool party where Bilzerian had sex with three other women before hooking up with Bevarly.
→ Business ←
He made $1.5 million on Mark Wahlberg’s Lone Survivor after he invested $1m in the production of the war film.
At the 2013 World Series of Poker, Bilzerian gave up-and-coming poker star Jay Farber 20% of the his $10,000 buy-in. After Farber won $5.1 million, he reportedly gave Bilzerian $1 million and a goat to thank him for his support.
Bilzerian released a mobile game called Save Dan in 2016. According to the description, the player’s goal is to “Watch Dan’s back and protect his lifestyle” by shooting bimbo zombies.
He’s also launched a personal merch website, the Blitzshop.
→ Net Worth ←
How much is Dan Bilzerian worth?
When Howard Stern interviewed Bilzerian on his radio show in July 2014, Bilzerian declared that his net worth was about $100m. By 2018, both celebritynetworth.com and therichest.com were estimating his fortune at $150 million.
Where does Dan Bilzerian’s money come from?
This is a controversial question. Some people argue that Bilzerian made his money in poker prior to gaining access to the trust funds his father set up when he was a child. According to Bilzerian, “I just let people talk sh*t about my poker and that I was bad and that I had a trust fund because that was very helpful for me to get into these games … I never cared if people thought that I was good. I never gave a sh*t how people thought that I got my money. I still don’t. I don’t give a f*ck if they think I got it all from a trust.”
Others disagree and suggest that Bilzerian’s lifestyle and playing style are directly related to his father’s assets. People in this camp argue that rival players in Bilzerian’s nosebleed stakes games don’t simply see him as a big fish, they regard him as the ultimate whale.
→ Hobbies & Personal Life ←
Regularly living between his homes in Las Vegas, Nevada and Hollywood Hills, California, Bilzerian also owns a residence in La Jolla, which is a beach town near Mexico. Apparently, this home is reminiscent of Tony Stark’s headquarters in the Iron Man series.
Probably as a result of his heavy drug use and 24-hour party lifestyle, Bilzerian had three heart attacks before the age of 32.
He started “The Robin Hood Project” in 2013. This organization will give up to $10,000 to someone in need. For example, in one instance The Robin Hood Project donated funds renovate a woman’s home to be more handicap accessible after she lost her limbs in a tragic accident.
Possibly as a joke, Bilzerian announced his bid to run for the President of the United States in the 2016 election in June of 2015. However, he ended that bid in December of the same year, endorsing Donald Trump instead.
Bilzerian was present at the Las Vegas shooting on October 1, 2017, where he filmed himself multiple times that evening and posted his videos to Instagram. During the first video, he described the shooting and filmed his flee to safety. The following video suggested that he “had to go grab a gun. I’m f—ing headed back.” However, the final two videos show him headed hom, reporting, “I don’t think there’s much I can do.“
He has appeared in several movies, including the following: Olympus Has Fallen, Lone Survivor, The Other Woman, The Equalizer, Cat Run 2, Extraction, War Dogs.
He boasts the 65th most popular Instagram account, as well as friendships with with Floyd Mayweather, Mel Gibson, and Steve Aoki.
In keeping with his 24/7 lifestyle, Bilzerian enjoys MMA training, scuba diving, racing cars, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and shooting. According to his own reports, he owns over 100 different guns and keeps a loaded gun on display in every single room of his Hollywood Hills mansion.
At one point, Bilzerian announced his intentions to work as a teacher in the future. He reports that he’s already received his teaching license in California, and he insists that he’s serious about taking up the profession. According to Bilzerian, “It seems like it would be kind of cool to actually teach kids important stuff. I feel like you learn so much useless sh*t in school.”
Dan Bilzerian on Social Media
Dan Bilzerian has his own website, the Blitz Shop : www.danbilzerian.comTwitter: https://twitter.com/danbilzerian 1,470,000 followers Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danbilzerianofficial/ 12,760,000 fans Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danbilzerian/ 23,200,000 subscribers Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/philhellmuthofficial 2,000 subscribers