The snapshots of Dan Bilzerian’s life which are offered to us through the medium of Instagram can be described in many ways. Lavish. Extravagant. Offensive. Exuberant. Repulsive.
It all depends on your point of view, which is one of the many things Bilzerian couldn’t care less about. The self-proclaimed “King of Instagram” has happily described himself as an “asshole” in the past and seems to revel in the impact his pictures and claims have on his social media audience.
He also holds himself in very high regard in the poker world, recently stating on “True Geordie” podcast, where he was busy promoting his cannabis venture “Ignite” that the poker world should not forget “the Bill Gates of poker”
He went on to add that the poker community should credit him with being one of the biggest winners of all time and with improving the strategy of the game. He may be undeniably sure of himself, but as bold statements go, this doesn’t even make Bilzerian‘s highlight reel. Here are our top five.
1 – “I pioneered the LAG style of play”
In an interview for podcast “True Geordie” in July 2019 Bilzerian said
“I was like, one of the first guys to play loose aggressive, and that’s kinda like, the adopted style nowadays. I was one of the first people who pioneered that”.
This is one of the few claims of Bilzerian’s that we can dismiss as nonsense without a doubt, because many players were playing this way well before Bilzerian, including Stu Ungar back in 1980.
If what he is really trying to say is that he pioneered the style of betting every street regardless of his own cards, the board or his opponent’s range, then we can confirm this to be true. Bilzerian proved as much when playing online during a session which was streamed live on Twitch.
2 – “I beat a guy for $54 million”
While speaking on “True Geordie” podcast, Bilzerian said that he had beaten one player for $54 million, and while he did not specify the time frame in which this happened, it could easily link in with some of the other claims he made below, such as winning $50 million in 2014. With nobody looking likely to step forward and admit that they were the beaten player in question, we only have Bilzerian‘s word for it, but we do know he plays high stakes against some very wealthy people.
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3. “I played for a plane”
In an interview for “In Depth” with Graham Bensinger which was released on YouTube late 2017, Bilzerian went into details about a poker game he played against a mystery billionaire. During the interview he spoke of a heads up game where his opponent would move all in for up to 10x the size of the pot on rivers and that Bilzerian’s stack was always considered to be automatically covered whenever he was facing an all in because his opponent was always good for it, no matter the amount.
Bilzerian also spoke of how his opponent would verbally bet in objects like “a plane, or a car”.
The idea seemingly being to remind Bilzerian about the real money value of the bets he was facing. During this same game, Bilzerian said he flipped a quarter for $6 million and lost.
When pressed on how losing the flip made him feel, he said
“I was like, ahh whatever, fuck, you know?” We’re pretty sure the interviewer didn’t know.
4. “I won $12.8 million in a day, over three sessions”
Having previously claimed on Twitter to have won $10.8 million in one day in November 2013, in his series of interviews with Graham Bensinger, Bilzerian claimed to have won $12.8 million.
He said the game had played out over three sessions, with players taking breaks in between, and that at one point he had $18 million on the table. The fact that Bilzerian won’t name anyone he plays with (understandably) means that it is impossible to verify these stories, but they are certainly not beyond the realms of possibility given the stakes.
5. “I won $50 million playing poker in 2014”
Again, as Bilzerian stays away from games where the results are made public, nothing can ever be corroborated. This wild claim made on the Howard Stern Show could be feasible given that Bilzerian plays in private games against wealthy people, but for this sort of claim to true you would think that he must be at least a decent poker player.
Video evidence is in fact out there which suggests that he is not even a moderately skilled poker player by any stretch of the imagination.
Back in early 2017, Bilzerian jumped onto Bill Perkins’ account on two occasions to play online. The recording of that action was later analysed by Doug Polk who had absolutely nothing positive to say about Bilzerian’s ability.
Article by Craig Bradshaw