Why is the Poker Community Going Crazy Over Dan Bilzerian?
Recently the Poker Community has been surfing a wave of Dan Bilzerian stories. The thing is, who is Dan Bilzerian, and why does the poker community seems to lap up every thing coming from this poker playing trust fund kid?
Dan Bilzerian was born on the 7th of December 1980, and is the son of infamous SEC target Paul Bilzerian. Daddy Bilzerian has been the target of several SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) investigations in the US, including issues surrounding his two bankruptcies in 1991 and 2001.
Even so, it seems that Bilzerian Junior had a good life growing up, and enlisted in the US Navy in 1999. He served 4 years, and has claimed he trained to be a Navy SEAL, and was removed from training with only 2 days before graduation, However he still received an honourable discharge when he left the service.
From his Instagram account, as well as several videos on YouTube (see below), Dan is a big gun fan. He has a large collection of firearms, and has appeared as a stunt person in Olympus Has Fallen, and acting roles in Lone Survivor, The Other Woman and The Equalizer. Bilzerian also invested $1,000,000 in Lone Survivor.
Irrespective of the images and stories out here, life hasn’t been perfect for Dan. Sometime before his 30th Birthday, Bilzerian suffered two heart attacks following a four day orgy of sex, drug and other general partying. According to a Daily Star Article Bilzerian said “I had been partying for four days without a break. I was doing drugs, such as coke and ecstasy, and met a stripper who came back to my place. I popped a viagra and nothing happened so I took another one and then boom. Next thing I remember is waking up in hospital.”
Bilzerian woke up in Hospital and was told by his doctors that he had suffered two heart attacks, but while he feels lucky to be alive, he’s still a partying machine.
As recently as last month, Bilzerian was back in the News for an incident at his Hollywood Mansion. During a photo shoot for Hustler magazine Bilzerian threw a fully naked porn star, in the form of 19 year old Janice Griffith, off his roof and into his pool. He may be a good shot with a firearm, but his aim was off on this occasion as Griffith’s foot hit the side of the pool, resulting in a broken bones, a trip to hospital and a possible lawsuit. Her main issue seems to be a lack of apology, but as her tweets seem to have been deleted from her account, maybe Dan popped round with a bunch of flowers?
Bilzerian has a history of making errors. He was a co-founder of Victory Poker, a US facing poker site that folded in the aftermath of Black Friday. The site was actually in the process of joining the Cereus Network, a network that was still under a cloud following several cheating scandals. The Cereus Network still owes millions of dollars to players following Black Friday, with most analysts now assuming that this money has gone.
Victory Poker had aimed all of their marketing at the US player pool, signing players such as Antonio Esfandiari and Andrew Robl. The issues for US facing sites in the months following April 15, 2011 hit Victory Poker particularly hard because of this narrow marketing plan.
Bilzerian now paints himself as a professional high stake poker player, but the only verifiable part of his successful poker career so far has been a six episode run on the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event TV show. He ended in 180th place for $36,626. This is still the only entry on his Hendon mob page, even though Bilzerian claims to have won most of his $60 Million by playing poker. The only reference I could find in the past few months of Bilzerian’s Twitter account was a single tweet about another social media poker hero winning “11 Bentleys” in Bilzerian’s poker game. The rest was scantily clad women, and firearms.
Maybe the lack of poker content is what attracts mainstream media to this guy? TMZ seem to have a round the clock watch on him, and he has turned up in Tabloid press around the world. On Two plus Two, the number of threads started about him was so high that a containment thread had to be created for his antics. It currently has 1287 posts in it. Some of the posts are quite shocking and include anecdotal stories that we are unable to substantiate. If they are true however, what we see in the media and on his Instagram account is only the tip of the iceberg.
Dan Bilzerian provides good copy for the tabloid press, and on the surface he seems to be an example of a rich kid enjoying life. However, with his “poker career” being played out of the spotlight, and his antics being less than family friendly, is Dan Bilzerian the face we want for the future of poker? I really don’t think so, what about you?