Dan Bilzerian Claims to Have Won $54 Million From One Opponent
Dan Bilzerian has laid claim to winning $54 million from one poker player despite the fact none of the high stakes poker community have every played against him or watched him play any meaningful sessions.
The controversial character, who is the self-proclaimed King of Instagram where he has an incredible 27.6 million followers, recently appeared on a British podcast called the True Geordie where he gave a candid interview about his life.
Bilzerian, now 38-years-old, hails from Tampa, Florida but resides in Las Vegas, Nedava. He is the son of corporate takeover specialist Paul Bilzerian who was forced to disgorge $62 million in 1994, has declared himself bankrupt on numerous occasions, served a 13-month prison sentence, and this year renounced his American citizenship in protest of his treatment by the U.S. Government.
Bilzerian Appears on the True Geordie Podcast
True Geordie quizzed Bilzerian from a lavish hotel room where Bilzerian spent the entire one-hour 23-minutes eating a variety of foods while candidly answering any questions pitted to him. Bilzerian loves talking about himself and revealed his love for woman, answered questions about his sexual conquests, his time served in the military, and a brief set of questions about his apparent poker prowess.
It has long been believed that Bilzerian’s apparent riches and bottomless bankroll stemmed from a trust fund set up in his name by his father. Bilzerian poured cold water on these claims by revealing he allowed the trust fund rumors to run because he wanted rich businessmen, Hollywood celebrities and producers, and hedge fund managers to believe them and allow him to play ultra high stakes cash games against them.
Bilzerian: I pioneered the LAG style of play
“I let people think that I had a big trust fund and that’s how I got all my money because that allowed me to get into those really good games,” said Bilzerian openly.
The playboy went on to states, “I didn’t try to be a grinder, I did my grinding in college, played online and all that shit, but I kind of moved on from that. For me, it was getting into games with celebrities, producers, and hedge fund guys. I didn’t want to be associated with poker players, didn’t want to hang out with them, not even be seen with them.”
These games, that nobody else in the poker community has ever heard of or had the opportunity to play in, is where Bilzerian made the first of two almost ridiculous claims. Bilzerian said, without batting an eyelid, that he was one of the first poker players in the world to play a loose-aggressive style of poker before adding that “I was one of the first people that pioneered” a LAG approach.
LAG players have existed almost as long as the game of poker itself. While a Tight-Aggressive (TAG) approach was adopted by large sections of the poker community for quite some time, poker legend Doyle Brunson highlighted the importance of being able to play LAG in his 1979 poker strategy book Super System.
Bilzerian Claims to have Won $54 Million From One Opponent
Bilzerian then went on to claim that a poker game in 2015 was his breakthrough moment and was when he got his hand on a gargantuan sum of cash that has allowed him to travel the world, living a playboy lifestyle surrounded by beautiful models.
“I beat this one dude for $54 million and that was like my Scarface moment. We were taking in more money than we could spend, we had bags of cash, I was making money from gambling and sports betting, I had money coming in from every fu*king direction.”
It would be unfair to call Bilzerian a liar because only he knows the actual truth about that fateful cash game. It does seem like poppycock when you consider back in 2001, investment banker Andy Beal took on “The Corporation”, a team consisting of Chau Giang, the late Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson, Gus Hansen, Howard Lederer, Jen Harman, Phil Ivey, Ted Forrest, and Todd Brunson in a series of fixed-limit hold’em heads-up cash games with $10,000/$20,000 blinds, that increased to $100,000/$200,000 at one stage.
There were some huge wins and losses on both sides, with Ivey winning $16.6 million over the course of three days, prompting Beal to quit the challenge while down to the tune of $16 million. These were games played by elite players who pooled their gigantic bankrolls against Beal who has a net worth in the region of 9.2 billion. Despite his huge wealth, Beal quit when $16 million down, how much money do you need to soak up a $54 million loss? The games were written about in the Michael Craig book The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King.
Bilzerian’s only recorded tournament cash came in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event where he finished 180th for $36,626, hardly the sum of money that one can parley into a $54 million haul.
The poker community is always going to have to deal with the likes of the misogynist Bilzerian laying claim to be part of it and showing the game in a negative light as a result. Thankfully, Bilzerian seems to be investing his $54 million “winnings” into his legalized cannabis venture and countless more money into living up to the image he portrays in his Instagram posts so we may never see him at the poker table again.