Dan Bilzerian has never been shy about talking about his poker skills, but he went above and beyond his usual bravado while speaking on a podcast last week.
Bilzerian appeared on the True Geordie podcast, speaking to the hosts for over an hour during an episode that was published to YouTube on July 16.
Rounders Sparks Discussion of Poker Career
While the episode wasn’t about Bilzerian’s poker career specifically, the conversation steered in that direction after the self-proclaimed King of Instagram mentioned having recently watched the film “Rounders” with a woman who hadn’t seen the movie before.
“It resonates so strongly with me because that was kind of like my poker career,” Bilzerian said. “Going broke, putting it on the line…going into underground games, the whole thing.”
That led into discussion about Bilzerian’s poker career, and the fact that his exploits have come outside the spotlight of the World Series of Poker or other televised events. According to Bilzerian, that was an intentional decision on his part.
I never wanted to be the guy on TV showing everybody how good I was,” he said. “I wanted to be the guy that people thought sucked, that I could play with the rich guys. It was the one thing in my life that wasn’t about ego – it was about bank account.”
Bilzerian said he even went out of his way to avoid associating closely with poker players, just to ensure that the celebrities and businesspeople in the underground games he frequented wouldn’t think he was a strong player.
Bilzerian Recounts ‘Scarface Moment’
While there might be skepticism from the poker community over how much of that was true, there was nothing particularly outlandish about what the Instagram star had said at that point in the conversation. But that changed in a hurry when Bilzerian claimed he was one of the early adopters of a play style that would come to define the way most high stakes pros played.
“I was one of the first guys who played loose-aggressive,” Bilzerian said. “I was one of the first people that kinda pioneered that.”
That might be news to many of the players who had already been playing LAG poker by the time that Bilzerian began playing in his high stakes games. But even if Bilzerian was among the first to attack as many pots as possible – particularly, he said, against the weaker players he found in the cash games he frequented – it wasn’t the most unbelievable comment he made on the podcast about his poker career.
2014, 2015, I beat this one dude for like $54 million, and that was like my Scarface moment where we were taking in more money than we could spend,” Bilzerian said late in the episode. “We had bags of cash, I was making money from gambling and sports betting, I had money coming in from every f—ing direction.”
The podcast proved controversial, to say the least. True Geordie and Laurence McKenna even did a follow-up video in which they responded to some of the criticism they received, with many viewers apparently wishing they had pushed Bilzerian harder on some of his claims.
Even if some of his stories aren’t verifiable, nobody can deny that Bilzerian has lived an interesting life. From winning $600,000 on a cycling prop bet to getting himself wanted by Azerbaijani authorities, Bilzerian has made a habit of generating headlines – a pattern that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.