Mention the name ‘Dan Bilzerian’, and no doubt a life of extravagance, excess and big spending will come to mind. Hailed by many as the ‘King of Instagram’, this professional poker player and all-round playboy, who is said to be worth an enormous $199 million, has gained quite a reputation for himself in recent years, counting the likes of Floyd Mayweather and DJ Steve Aoki amongst his friends and often seen singing his own praises on the grounds of his astounding wealth and endless community of online followers.
So, how does someone like Dan – a relative unknown just a few years ago – shoot to fame? In this case, all it took was a five-second loop of video, and he was made. Showing players betting at a poker table, with $7 million in the pot, Dan wasn’t even up there that night – but look at the background, and he could be seen up in the spectator’s gallery, with a woman draped over him, stroking his beard. That video went viral, thus establishing him as the ultimate playboy of our time – think a young and modern Hugh Heffner, and you wouldn’t be far off the mark.
His extravagant and wildly ostentatious lifestyle has won him a huge audience of fans both online and off, but one has to wonder whether they are watching him in awe and admiration, or mild horror. You know that feeling you get when you see a car crash? Where you want to look away, but you can’t? For many, that may well sum up their strange fascination with Dan – but they continue to follow him, nonetheless.
Prior to the beard-stroking video, few had heard of Bilzerian outside of the world of high-stakes poker – although he had, at that point, already accrued a small following of online fans. Now, his limited reputation as a high-stakes poker star couldn’t be further from his reality, and his controversial lifestyle choices continue to make headlines around the world.
Dan is not shy when it comes to playing poker; he has been known to make the occasional 8-digit bet, seemingly without a care in the world. In November 2013, he posted an unconfirmed claim that he had won $10.8 million from a single night of playing poker – although on another night, he admitted to having lost $3.6 million all in one go. It’s proof, if you needed it, that gambling always comes with its risks – no matter how big or small you decide to play.
But Bilzerian’s extravagance certainly isn’t limited to that alone. On his Instagram page, he can often be seen having his hair cut by topless women or wielding his latest weapons for all to see. He’s renowned for owning a stream of luxury cars, replacing them on a regular basis and being sure to show them off on his Instagram page. His most bizarre purchase so far? His own private Gulfstream IV jet – which features a portrait of his pet goat, Zeus, painted on the tail.
His tweets are controversial, to say the least. A post where he wrote: “My greatest fear is that someone will break in and I won’t be able to decide which gun to shoot them with”, coupled with a photo of his dining table, laden with assault rifles and other weaponry, unsurprisingly went viral, too. But just how does he get away with living such an openly reckless life?
Some might say that he seems more like a character out of a film, and they wouldn’t be wrong. But it’s difficult not to question how long it will last. A lifestyle like this has rarely turned out to be a good thing for anyone in the past – and you have to wonder whether, eventually, it’s all going to end in tears.
Nonetheless, Bilzerian remains unfazed, continuing to proceed with reckless abandon and seemingly upping the ante even more each day. It does, for many, beg the question as to whether all this living fast really will lead to him dying young.
His response? “I’ll bet a million dollars I don’t die. Any takers?”
One thing is for certain; this is one person who chooses to live their life to the fullest, splashing the cash and spending big on just about anything in sight. It’s certainly a luxury lifestyle, but largely devoid of the glamour and sophistication one might expect. Nonetheless, there’s no denying that Bilzerian will go down in history for his extravagant ways, having made a lasting impression on many.
Image credit at the very top of the article: kathclick/Bigstock.com