Dan Bilzerian talks sex, guns, poker, Instagram fame in Howard Stern interview
“The high isn’t as high as the low is low. (Gambling) destroys your value of money. There’s a lot of negatives to gambling. Most people can’t handle it. Unless you get out of it at your peak, you’re always kind of chasing.”
Bilzerian told Stern he made around a whopping $50 million net playing poker in the last 12 months. The success at the tables has enabled him to have a staff of 20 people working for him, which includes three assistants and three chefs. Why does he need the three full-time chefs? Because he has them work 12-hour shifts, and he needs one chef full-time at each of his home bases in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Bilzerian says he first learned poker from his brother and was pretty bad. He went broke in college, but through a lot of practice and time playing online and in-person, he became a “really good player,” though he admits he’s “not the best.” The most he’s lost playing poker is, oddly, exactly $3.6 million three times. But obviously his frequency of winning has greatly outweighed that, because he’s won several millions more over the years.
Bilzerian doesn’t like to play with professional players, so he stays away from casinos and instead plays mostly high-stakes, private games with extremely wealthy people. However, he doesn’t play as much anymore because the stakes have gotten so high — like games where the buy-in is $10 million.
“The professional players are so good that the amateurs really can’t win,” Bilzerian told Stern.
One of Bilzerian’s advantages is that he feels like people don’t see him as a professional player because “I’m kind of a nut,” and that helps him in games.
While he has been staying away from poker, Bilzerian has been using the money he’s won at the game to live the lifestyle that makes many envious.
“The last year of my life has pretty much been doing bucket list stuff,” Bilzerian told Stern. “I think that’s why I’ve gotten a lot of notoriety and a lot of fame. I’ve just been doing whatever I want to do. If I want to go skydive I go skydive. If I want to shoot a machine gun I shoot a machine gun …
“There’s a lot of guys that have money but they have wives or jobs or family or they’re worried about their reputation or whatever it is, but I just kind of just took the attitude like, ‘what the f—,’ and just do what I want to do.”
Bilzerian says he lives even better than a rockstar — he told Stern he went on tour with a rocker and realized he has more fun than that person did.
By documenting his incredible life via social media, Bilzerian has amassed a huge Instagram following. But he says fame and attention happened unintentionally.
“I don’t know, it was just kind of like the thing. I was doing a lot of cool s–t. It’s not like I set out to become famous from Instagram. Truth be told, my ex was all into this Instagram stuff and she would always give me s— how ‘I have 100,000 followers and you’re known as my boyfriend, not the other way around.’ I just wanted to hang out in Vegas and travel and do cool s— and she wanted to go to LA and become a star.
“We break up and I go to LA and started having a good time and started kind of documenting it. There was kind of a tipping point when it kind of took off and now it’s kind of a snowball.”
“It’s really surprising and how fast … it’s like I woke up one day and I was famous. It’s a weird thing to say. It’s kind of crazy,” Bilzerian admitted to Stern.
Because of all his fame, Bilzerian began receiving a lot of offers from companies looking to promote him or put him on reality TV. He says he even hired a PR firm, but they wanted him to tone down his antics. He refused.
“At the end of the day I said, ‘look, these brands can represent me and take me for who I am or they can go f— themselves.'”
Bilzerian also does not plan to do a reality TV show.
“My fame has gotten to a level where it’s cool … I get girls, it’s fun. I don’t have much privacy, but I feel like if I did anything like that, it would take it to a level where my life would change. I wouldn’t have any privacy. I’m looking at it where what do I have to gain and what do I have to lose? It just doesn’t seem to make sense.”
As you could imagine, there was much more in the interview that would amuse you. Some of that is below.
– Bilzerian says he scored a 1340 on his SATs without being in high school for five years
– He scored 94 out of 99 on military intelligence program.
– His attitude with the SEALs was “Be a hard a– dude and never give up.”
– He was kicked out of the state of Utah at 17 because he had a machine gun in his car in his high school parking lot, and that was after Columbine.
– He got his first gun when he was 6
– He got a heart attack after not sleeping for 3 or 4 days and using a combination of Viagra, cocaine, ecstasy and booze. He took 200 mg of Viagra, not really realizing he had taken way too much, and he took it because he was about to have sex with a stripper and thought he’d need it.
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