The Rise and Fall of Dan Bilzerian

1 month ago
The Rise and Fall of Dan Bilzerian
08:34
15 Oct

Once lauded by anyone fond of money, girls, and lavish lifestyles, Dan Bilzerian, the self-proclaimed Bill Gates of poker, seems to have misrepresented his story and lifestyle.

It seems that the lies all started when he gained traction in the poker world claiming to have won $50 million playing high stakes poker. In 2013, the Daily Mail even called him a “$100m poker playboy.” However, the origins of such large amounts of money are up for debate.

The story Bilzerian spun about gaining his wealth by playing the nosebleeds has been under attack. Doug Polk made a video in 2017 reviewing some of Bilzerian’s play on a Twitch stream that year, and Polk was not impressed.

“All-in-all, while Dan did play very aggressive I wouldn’t say that he played all that great,” Polk said. “In fact, there was some serious button-clicking going on in this match.”

Others in the poker industry have also questioned Bilzerian’s story, claiming that it is very difficult to win such a large amount of money in poker these days. It is more likely that Bilzerian inherited wealth from his father Paul, a “corporate raider” who cashed in on fraud in the 1980s and has secured his wealth in offshore assets despite filing for bankruptcy decades ago.

The misrepresentation doesn’t stop there. That lavish lifestyle he flaunts on the internet doesn’t come without a price, and to fund it, Bilzerian has been using his company IGNITE. The company brands itself as a “global lifestyle brand unlike any other,” and sells CBD, spirits, beverages, nicotine and more.

It was uncovered that the company reported a $50 million loss in 2019 by funding the lifestyle of the internet playboy. Furthermore, a 2020 lawsuit brought upon Bilzerian by former Ignite president Curtis Hefferman revealed the details of Bilzerian’s spending.

Bilzerian funded a $40,000 rock climbing wall, a $130,340 photo shoot in the Bahamas, and a ping-pong table worth $15,000 with Ignite funds. When then president Curtis Hefferman denied the expenses, Bilzerian fired him. In retaliation, Hefferman filed a lawsuit.

Ignite employees told Forbes everything in a 2020 interview, claiming:

“Ignite pays for everything, models, events, yachts. Dan would just have it wrapped with the Ignite logo, and all of a sudden it was an Ignite expense and he would send them the bill.”
It was also found that Bilzerian rented his 31,000 square feet, 12 bed and 25 bath Los Angeles home before moving out of it last year after facing issues with the HOA. The $200,000 lease was charged to Ignite, and the move has left people wondering if Bilzerian is broke.

The “King of Instagram” still has his massive following on the popular social media site, but the scrutiny he’s faced over the last few years makes one wonder whether we’re watching the last leg of Bilzerian’s storied playboy run. Or perhaps he will never fall out of taste for those who wish to attain what Bilzerian’s image represents, despite its fraudulence.


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Nikk from Western New York is a part-time journalist, a successful tournament poker player, and an avid fly fisherman.Read more

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