He’s a controversial social media star, a poker player and a gun enthusiast. Now, Dan Bilzerian will be known as a survivor of the Las Vegas massacre, so learn all the vital facts about him.
1. He filmed the chaos during the Las Vegas Strip shooting. When the Las Vegas shooting took place on Oct. 1, Dan Bilzerian, 36, was there to give a first-hand account. He posted a series of videos to his Instagram account. In the first, he was seen fleeing from the carnage caused at the hands of Stephen Paddock, 64, and in a second video, he said he had to “grab a gun. I’m f*cking headed back.” Though Dan begged authorities to let him help, even demanding a cop give him a gun, he ultimately returned home.
2. Dan is a professional poker player and an actor. Born the son of Paul Bilzerian, a corporate takeover specialist convicted of fraud in 1989, Dan grew up wealthy (but suffered a “lonely and often stressful childhood,” according to GQ). He joined the Navy and began training for the SEAL division before receiving an honorable discharged. Dan said he learned to play poker at the University of Florida, going brome in his second year. “You have to go broke to respect the money,” he has said. “And I had a style where I could make a lot of money if I had self-control.”
After selling guns, he said he turned $750 into $10,000 from gambling. After buying a one-way ticket to Vegas, he turned that $10,000 into $187,000. After returning to college, he resumed his classes before ultimately dropping out. “Some weeks I was making, like, $90,000,” he has said, “so I’m looking at these professors, thinking, what am I doing here?” In addition to the poker table, Dan has appeared in films like Olympus Has Fallen, War Dogs and Lone Survivor.
3. He’s been dubbed the “King Of Instagram.” Dan came in 180th place when he tried to win his first major tournament (taking home $36,000 in prize money.) However, ESPN recognized his charisma and gave him plenty of airtime. This led to him to getting a sponsorship with Victory Poker, and thus, a reputation for high stakes stunts. This flashy attitude and wealth made him a star of Instagram, as he has flooded his accounts with pictures of half-naked women, exotic locations, and his celebrity friends – including Floyd Mayweather, 40, and Steve Aoki, 39.
4. He loves his guns. “My greatest fear is that someone will break in and I won’t be able to decide what gun to shoot them with,” he once wrote as a caption of a photo of his gun collection, according to the Washington Post. He also once fired a 5-caliber machine gun at an RV in the desert until it blew up. Needless to say, he’s a fan of the Second Amendment.
5. He has gotten in trouble with the law in the past. Dan allegedly faked his own arrest to make a video. He was actually arrested in 2014 on bomb-baking charges, which resulted in him cutting a plea deal. He was banned from a Miami nightclub for allegedly kicking a model in the face during a fight. Most famously, Dan threw pornographic actress Janice Griffith off the roof of a house, into a pool, for a photo shoot for Hustler magazine. She fell short and broke her foot. Does this bother him? Probably not, according to a self-leaked conversation with his social media manager. “Good thing I’m rich and don’t give a f*ck.”
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