Dan Bilzerian is an American social-media celebrity and gambler, best known for his lavish lifestyle. Born to Paul Bilzerian in Florida, Dan led a comfortable life as a child. His father was a successful corporate takeover specialist. In 2000, Dan enrolled into the ‘Navy SEAL’ training program but could not complete it even after several attempts. He finally quit and completed his college education from the ‘University of Florida,’ majoring in business and criminology. Dan had an interest in poker since an early age and participated in the ‘World Series of Poker’ in 2009. He ended his run at the 180th place. Over the next few years, Dan amassed a grand fortune by playing poker. He also made outrageous claims about winning millions through the game. Dan has been known to lead a no-holds-barred lifestyle and has had three heart attacks before the age of 32 due to drug abuse and an unhealthy lifestyle. He is highly active on ‘Instagram’ and shares his lavish adventures regularly, thereby gaining a huge fan base. He had also landed himself into controversies many times due to his uncontrolled and irresponsible lifestyle.
Childhood & Early Life
Dan Bilzerian was born in Tampa, Florida, on December 7, 1980, to Paul Bilzerian and Terri Steffen. He has Armenian roots from his father’s side. He grew up with his younger brother, Adam.
His father, Paul, was just beginning to get rich when Dan was born. By the time Dan was in primary school, Paul had become one of the richest businessmen in the region. Paul was incarcerated in 1991 but he was smart enough to accumulate trust funds for both his sons.
Dan wanted to join the American army, following in the footsteps of his father. He joined the ‘University of Florida’ for his higher education but could not focus on studies. At that time, he had not become the beneficiary of the trust fund that his father had set up for him. He learned to play poker at the university.
He eventually graduated in business and criminology. However, by then, he had decided not to enter the world of business. Moreover, he had started making money through poker games.
In 2000, Dan enrolled into the ‘Navy SEAL’ training program. He wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and enrol in the ‘US Army.’ However, his lack of discipline prevented him from completing his training. He was expelled on charges related to safety violation on the shooting range. He finally gave up and turned to gambling yet again.
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Soon after, he started playing poker at high stakes and started making a fortune at that. He also funded some start-ups, but his main source of income has remained poker ever since he reached his 20s.
He was remarkably good at playing poker. Some people claimed Dan was a fraud, while others credit Dan’s immense success at poker to his extraordinary IQ level.
Dan has also sponsored other poker players. He entered the competitive poker scene in the 2009 ‘World Series of Poker’ and earned the 180th spot by the end of the tournament. In 2010, ‘Bluff,’ an American magazine, named him one of the funniest poker players in the world.
As his fortune grew, several critics claimed that he was not the self-made man that he claimed himself to be. Many said that he had used his father’s trust fund money to make bets on poker and had just been lucky.
Ignoring the naysayers, Dan continued to get rich and soon turned into a celebrity on social media.
In 2011, he suffered a minor roadblock when he was asked to return the money he made while playing against Bradley Ruderman, when the latter was charged with fraud and had to repay his victims.
In November 2013, he claimed that he had won over $10 million in a single night, playing poker. By the end of the next year, he claimed that he had made over $50 million in one year through poker.
Also a sports enthusiast, Dan has been highly attracted to adventure sports. This interest also landed him a few roles in action films.
Dan made his film debut with a small role in the 2013 film ‘Olympus Has Fallen,’ starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman. The next year, he appeared as ‘Daniel Healy’ in the Mark Wahlberg-starrer war film ‘Lone Survivor.’
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The same year, he appeared in a romantic comedy named ‘The Other Woman.’ He also appeared in the Denzel Washington-starrer 2014 film ‘The Equalizer.’ Some of his other films are ‘Extraction’ and ‘War Dogs.’
Dan has always been a seeker of a high-profile life. Before he reached the age of 25, he had had two heart attacks, on 2 consecutive days. The doctors believed the attacks were due to binge drinking and consumption of cocaine and weed, accompanied by a lot of sex.
Dan Bilzerian is known as the most successful poker player in the world, and he does not shy away from showing off his fortune. His ‘Instagram’ profile has 25 million followers. He is known as the “King of Instagram.”
Dan often uploads pictures of him traveling around the world and indulging in adventure sports. Almost all his pictures have him posing with models by his side.
He has claimed in his interviews that he often spends time with celebrities such as Mel Gibson, Wiz Khalifa, and Ludacris. He has also invited many of his celebrity friends to his house parties.
People who have attended his house parties have even more outrageous claims about him. It is said that people randomly have sex with each other at his parties. They also consume drugs while drinking non-stop. Dan himself has had multiple sex partners, a news he himself claimed in one of his interviews.
Apart from traveling and spending time with pretty girls, Dan is also passionate about guns. He has a large collection of guns, which has dragged him into controversies a few times. He once claimed in an interview that his biggest fear was him having to choose a gun among his stash in case somebody breaks into his house.
Personal Life & Controversies
Dan Bilzerian has a younger brother named Adam who lives a peaceful life with his family in a small West Indian country named Saint Kitts & Nevis. Unlike Dan, Adam never wished for an extravagant life.
Dan has two mansions, one in Hollywood Hills and another in Nevada. He keeps hopping between the two.
During a photo shoot for ‘Hustler’ in April 2014, he threw porn actor Janice Griffith into a pool from his roof. The impact caused her to break her foot. She filed a lawsuit against Dan and ‘Hustler,’ but it was later rejected.
In August 2014, Dan kicked a model named Vanessa Castano at a Miami nightclub. Following the incident, he was banned from the club.
In October 2017, Dan encountered the Las Vegas shooting incident and uploaded several videos of him running back to his house. He was later criticized for being a coward. He later uploaded another video of him asking the police for a gun and running toward the shooter.
In August 2018, Dan received Armenian citizenship.