Dan Bilzerian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dan Bilzerian
Born Dan Brandon Bilzerian[1]
December 7, 1980 (age 34)[2]
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Residence Hollywood Hills, California[3][4]
Other names “Blitz”[5]
“Instagram King”[3][6]
“Instagram’s Playboy King”[7][8]
Ethnicity Armenian (father)[9]
Occupation Professional poker player[10]
Years active 2007–present[4]
Net worth $100 million (December 2013)[3]
Parent(s) Terri Steffen (mother)
Paul Bilzerian
Relatives Adam Bilzerian
Website www.danbilzerian.com

Dan Brandon Bilzerian (born December 7, 1980) is an American professional poker player, actor, and internet social media personality.

Early life, family, and education[edit]

Dan Bilzerian was born in Tampa, Florida, to Paul Bilzerian and Terri Steffen, and has a brother, Adam. Half of the Bilzerian family were killed during the Armenian Genocide.[11] His father, who is ofArmenian descent,[12][13] was a successful corporate raider on Wall Street and set up large trust funds for each of his sons.[14][15][16]

Bilzerian entered the Navy SEAL training program in 2000.[17] After several attempts, he did not graduate the program. According to Bilzerian he was “admin dropped for no real good reason”. The reporter who conducted the interview of Bilzerian for SOFREP.com confirmed his participation in the SEAL program and stated that according to his research Bilzerian was dropped “for a safety violation on the shooting range”.[17] After his military career, Bilzerian enrolled at theUniversity of Florida, majoring in Business and Criminology.[18]

Career[edit]

Gambler[edit]

As a professional poker player, Bilzerian’s most notable cash was in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, for which he appeared on six episodes of the show’s television broadcast. He finished in 180th place and won $36,626.[19] He is also a co-founder of Victory Poker, an online poker room.[20] In 2010, he was voted one of the funniest poker players on Twitterby Bluff Magazine.[21] On March 9, 2011, Bilzerian raced fellow race car enthusiast and Supreme Court Litigator Tom Goldstein for a wager of $385,000 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with Bilzerian racing a 1965 AC Cobra and Goldstein behind the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Italia. Bilzerian won the race.[22]

In November 2011, Bilzerian, along with ten others including actors Tobey Maguire, Nick Cassavetes, and Gabe Kaplan, were asked to pay back winnings that they had won in poker games against Ponzi scheme operator Bradley Ruderman after Ruderman was sentenced to prison, to help pay back some of the victims Ruderman had stolen from over his criminal career.[23] That same year Bilzerian defended Alex Rodriguez publicly against accusations that he had gambled illegally, claiming that he was present when the alleged gambling event had taken place and Rodriguez was not present.[24]

Acting[edit]

Bilzerian appeared as a stuntman in the 2013 film Olympus Has Fallen[25] and as Sr. Chief Healy in the 2013 film Lone Survivor.[26] The following year he appeared in the films The Other Woman, The Equalizer and Cat Run 2.[27] Bilzerian will appear in the 2016 Bruce Willis film Extraction.[28]

Promotions[edit]

Bilzerian was signed by online casino company bgo to front their TV advertising campaign alongside Verne Troyer.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Starting in 2013, Bilzerian gained media attention from photos posted on his Instagram account. Although as early as 2012, website TheDirty.com founder Nik Richie began to document Bilzerian’s lifestyle via his website.[30] Because of his lavish lifestyle and heavy drug abuse, he reportedly suffered three heart attacks before the age of 32.[31]

In 2014, Bilzerian sued the producers of the film Lone Survivor. His lawsuit states that although he loaned the production of that film $1 million in exchange for a minimum of eight minutes of screen time and 80 words of dialogue, his role was reduced to less than one minute and has just one line. His lawsuit demanded $1.2 million (the original loan amount plus a 20 percent penalty).[26]

In December 2014, Bilzerian was embroiled in a legal matter with pornographic actress Janice Griffith, whom he threw off the roof of a house and into a pool as part of a photoshoot for Hustler magazine in April 2014. She fell short of the pool, hitting the edge, and broke her foot. Then, 18-year-old Griffith asked Bilzerian for $85,000 for her injuries, which was rejected. Later, Griffith filed a lawsuit against both Hustler and Bilzerian to which Bilzerian’s attorney responded that Griffith was under contract for the event by Hustler, that Hustler hired Bilzerian for the event, and that Bilzerian was not at fault.[32]In January 2015, Hustler’s attorney claimed that the toss was an “act of God” and stated that it was not the publisher’s fault that Griffith suffered injuries as a result.[33]

In August 2014, Bilzerian was banned from a Miami nightclub for kicking model Vanessa Castano in the face during a brawl. Bilzerian stated that Castano and another woman attacked Bilzerian’s female companion. Castano stated, “There were two girls standing next to me at the table that were fighting. People started getting shoved and I tried to separate them. Then Dan pushed me off the banquette and once I fell he kicked me in the face.”[34] Castano later filed a lawsuit against Bilzerian for her injuries.[35] It was also reported that Castano has asked Bilzerian for US$1 million to settle the suit citing the possibility of greater punitive damages based on his income if the suit went to trial.[36]

On December 9, 2014, Bilzerian was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on unrelated bomb-making charges.[37]According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Bilzerian was arrested on a fugitive warrant from Nevada and was booked at the LAPD’s Pacific Division around 10 pm; “Bilzerian has been charged with violating a law making it a crime to possess an explosive or incendiary device with the intent to manufacture it.”[38][39] He was released from LAPD custody on the day of his arrest after charges were dropped but is scheduled to be arraigned in January 2015 in Clark County, Nevada.[40] In February 2015, Bilzerian pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of “negligently failing to extinguish a fire in the open” and was fined $17,231.50.[41][42]

Defamation lawsuit[edit]

In August 2015, The Money Zone (tmz.press) reported that Dan Bilzerian had filed a defamation suit against a gossip website known as TheDirty.com and its operator Nik Richie. TMZ.press also reported that Bilzerian is complaining about a comment a woman made on the site, “I ended up getting super drunk and sleeping with Dan. I got tested two weeks later and lucky me I found out he gave me chlamydia.” Bilzerian insists that he does not have any sexually transmitted diseases.[43]

Philanthropy[edit]

In 2014, Bilzerian financially assisted Las Vegas foster parents Brian and Nicole Hammond. The Hammonds are foster parents to six special needs children. Bilzerian learned of their plight via a YouTube video.[15]

Presidential candidacy[edit]

In June 2015, Bilzerian announced his bid to run for the President of the United States in the 2016 election.[44][45] Bilzerian will be eligible to serve because he will be thirty-five by the 2016 election day.

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