– General Information –
Bill Perkins is an American businessman, hedge fund manager and recreational poker player. He was born on February 2nd, 1969 in Jersey City, NJ.
He’s earned most of his wealth originally from trading with commodities in New York, then moved on to trading stocks at a huge volume. In 2013, he founded his own hedge fund Skylar Capital.
He’s started playing high stakes, highly publicized poker tournaments in 2012. Perkins is also known for initiating ambitious prop bets with various people from the poker world, as well as his close personal friendship with Dan Bilzerian.
– Key Career Dates –
- 1991: He begins his career as a trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- 1997: He founds Small Ventures USA, a private equity and venture capital firm based in Houston, TX.
- 2012: He starts playing high stakes poker tournaments around the world.
- 2014: He appears PokerStars’ poker show the Shark Cage.
- 2019: He comes in 6th place in the £1.05 million buy-in Triton Million, the largest buy-in poker tournament ever held, for £2,200,000. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date.
– Bill Perkins’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
As we wrote in our intro, Perkins started his career as a trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange at the age of 22. The NYMEX is a commodity futures exchange, meaning that people are buying and selling huge amounts of goods through paperwork constantly.
Perkins honed his business skills there until 1997 when he founded Small Ventures USA in Houston. That company, operating to this day, collects funds from investors and invests in the field of energy, technology and entertainment.
In 2002, Perkins joined Centaurus Energy, thus making the energy market the focus of his career – specifically, he mainly managed the risks in trading with natural gas.
In 2013, he founded his own hedge fund called Skylar Capital. A hedge fund is very similar to private equity firms like Perkins’ Small Ventures USA, but they usually invest their pooled funds in more liquidities (like stocks), while private equity firms invest in companies that aren’t publicly traded yet directly – among other differences.
As for poker, Perkins started buying in for high stakes poker tournaments in 2012 – evidently, he was already a millionaire then. That means he’s not chasing profits at the poker table, he’s only there for the love of the game.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Bill Perkins’ Hendon profile shows $5.449 million in live tournament winnings. That is the result of just 10 individual cashes.
That is impressive, however, please note that Perkins is not a professional poker player. That means he can buy into tournaments for huge amounts of money without worrying about cashing enough times to make a return. This points to a flaw in Hendon’s all time money rankings that many in the online poker community pointed out – having a huge sum in career earnings doesn’t say anything about a player’s success since it fails to take into account the lost buy-ins.
This is not to belittle Perkins’ achievements at the live poker tournament scene. He’s collected some impressive scores playing against the world’s best.
The first cash on his tally is from the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He finished 15th in the $25K High Roller for $58,020.
The PCA has been his most lucrative live tournament scene ever since. Out of his 10 cashes, 6 is from Stars’ Central American tournament series. His biggest PCA score is $117,980 for an 8th place finish in a $50K event from 2019.
That year, he also collected the biggest live tournament cash of his career. Perkins competed in the largest buy-in tournament ever held, the £1,050,000 Triton Million in London. Evidently, that field featured some of the greatest players, such as Tom Dwan, Daniel “Jungleman” Cates or Fedor Holz.
Perkins managed to make the final in that star-studded field, eventually taking 6th place for £2.2 million ($2.678 million).
— Bill Perkins (Guy) (@bp22) July 28, 2019
→ World Series of Poker ←
Perkins has cashed in two World Series events so far. He has no bracelet yet.
In 2013, he came in 3rd in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller for $1.965 million. In 2019, he finished 19th in the $10,000 Short Deck Hold’em event for $14,615.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Bill Perkin has appeared on a number shows where he played high stakes cash games in front of cameras.
He played in Live at the Bike’s Million Dollar Cash Game in March 2019. There, he played $100/$200/$400 No Limit Hold’em against – among others – Alex Foxen, Garrett Adelstein, Matt Berkey and the defending WSOP Main Event champion at the time, John Cynn.
Clip of LiveattheBike Playing Poker – Clipped by fattrain
The New Jersey millionaire was also featured on Poker Central’s revived version of Poker After Dark, the classic poker TV show.
In season 5 of Poker Night in America, a series airing on CBS Sports, he played a session of $100/200 NLHE. There, he was faced with Berkey again, as well as Jason Mercier, Mustafa Kanit and others.
→ Online Poker ←
“GASTRADER” is Perkins’ moniker on PokerStars.
HighstakesDB has exactly 8,888 high stakes cash game hands tracked on that account. Unlike live tournament cashes, cash game graphs show the losses as well as the winnings.
That said, it paints a less impressive image of Perkins’ poker accolades: he’s down about $850,000. That is a conspicuously huge amount to lose over the course that number of hands. On average, he’s actually lost $95.67 with every hand he played. That rate is up there with the worst in online poker history, like Guy Laliberté – although to be fair, the infamous Canadian fish was “maintaining” that losing pace over the span of a lot more hands.
→ Bill Perkins’ Net Worth ←
There’s no concrete data available on his personal wealth, evidently.
Some websites estimate it is $55 million, while others put that number at $400 million.
→ Scandals ←
Account sharing on ACR with Dan Bilzerian
In January 2017, Bill Perkins’ close personal friend and Instagram superstar Dan Bilzerian decided to stream himself playing poker.
That in and of itself is a rarity since Bilzerian, despite claiming he made his immense fortune from poker, hardly ever plays the cardgame publicly. Bilzerian played a session of super high stakes heads-up cash game on Americas Cardroom – the problem was, he was using Perkins’ account, “gastrader”.
Having other players play on one’s account is against the rules at almost every online poker room. Many people pointed this out in the online poker community, yet the two multi-millionaires got away with breaking the rules and broadcasting it live.
That is until the next month when Bilzerian streamed himself playing on Perkins’ account once again – but ACR decided to actually enforce their rules this time so the account was banned right then and there on the live stream.
Avid betting man Perkins likes to make ambitious and creative proposition bets with various people from the poker world.
For example, in October 2016 he wagered $5 million against Dan Bilzerian. Bilzerian had to row across the Atlantic Ocean to win the bet – he never did.
In April 2017, Perkins made what is probably his most famous prop bet of all. The poker pro Staples brothers took 3:1 odds that they can get their body weights within 1 pound of each other’s.
Jaime was very overweight at the time, while Matt Staples had to gain muscle and bulk up.
The bet received national media attention in the US. The Staples bros eventually managed to win the bet and take $150,000 of Bill Perkins’ money.
– Bill Perkins on Social Media –
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/billperkins/ 132,000 followers Twitter: https://twitter.com/bp22?s=08 36,200 followers