Should we believe Dan Bilzerian has won $50 million this year?

In the Community Weekly Round-Up, Barry Carter suggests Dan Bilzerian may have been exaggerating a bit when he went on the Howard Stern show.

Dan BilzerianLove him or hate him, Dan Bilzerian is possibly the most famous poker player in the world right now, and this week he told Howard Stern he has won $50 million playing poker this year

I, for one, don't believe him. 

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of private high stakes games out there where such a large amount could potentially be won. I read about those very games recently in the excellent book Molly's Game. 

I just don't see how Bilzerian would figure in those games. 

In Molly's Game, she makes it quite clear that many of the high stakes celebrity games had a strict 'no pro' policy. Which is why you never hear about Phil Ivey fleecing Tobey Maguire and the like. Discretion is equally important in these games; they are a very private affair.

Neither of which fit into Bilzerian's MO. He professes to being a successful pro, bragging about his winnings on Twitter, and of course, the Howard Stern show. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of attention he has garnered this year. 

If he really is winning in these games, and bragging about it like he is a pro, I don't see how he would be invited to them. 

Dan BilzerianOn the flipside, you have the wealthy businessmen who love to play against the pros. People like Guy Laliberté and Andy Beal who get a kick from taking on the best. I don't see why these guys would invite a brash player like Bilzerian to their private game, when genuine stars like Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu would jump at the chance to play. If you had a chance to play golf against anyone, you would pick Tiger Woods, not Justin Bieber. 

I don't have a problem with the idea that Bilzerian might be a winner in these games, maybe even a big winner. Just given that he has a multi-million dollar trust fund to fall back on, and is surrounded by yes men (and girls) all the time, it is no wonder he might believe his own hype. I'm not hating (I'm jealous), most guys would do exactly what he is doing in his position. 

Either way, whatever you think of him as a person, maybe his antics are good for the game. I'm sure he has attracted a lot of gullible young men to poker, who think winning $50 million is plausible, and that professional poker players spend most of their time cavorting with porn stars. Obviously he isn't helping make the game more accessible to women, but nobody can deny he has brought a lot of mainstream media attention to poker (and porn stars). 

Do you think it is possible that Dan Bilzerian has won $50 million this year? Do you think his antics are good for the game? Let me know in the comments box. 

Thread of the week

HUDBig debate this week on the forums, started by Metamorphis, where he asks if HUDs have ruined poker or made it better

Lots of coaches and forum heroes have their say on this discussion, with a lot of people claiming they wish HUDs did not exist, but admitted to using them.

My personal opinion is that there are as many players who misuse their HUD so that it actually makes them worse than without it. Also from a recreational player's perspective, the multi-tabling pros who rely on HUDs will still be playing worse than if the same pro was one-tabling against them without a HUD. 

So for me it evens out, like everything in poker, it is about adapting and evolving. 

LOL of the week

We ran a story about Andrew Robl bailing out a friend for $1.5 million, and we were all reminded of this classic hand:

Running hot

The last full week of July looked like this:

Poker globe• Collin Moshman has a fantastic guide to hero calls.

• This one really got you talking - do you judge players based on their nationality

• Win $50 in our Summer Challenge

• Check out some of the most interesting facts and figures from the WSOP.

• Win coaching with ElkY by showing us why you are Like a Boss!

Stay tuned next week as we have the return of one of our most popular promotions. 

// Carter is the editor of and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2. He has been working in the poker industry for nine years and in 2013 won the APAT Award for Best Poker Media Provider. You can learn more about his work here

Follow Barry Carter on Twitter l Follow Barry Carter on Google+ 

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Comments (23)

newest first
  • NightShadePMC


    There is no way in hell that idiot brag machine made $50 million. All he does is brags and lies in every interview.
    All his money comes from his father, he's not capable of making one god damned thousand dollars for himself, let alone 50 million. He's a consumer, not an investor.
    I'd bet good money on the fact that he's actually a losing poker player. When would he have had the time to master poker as much as he claims? He spends all his time with women paid to stay with him.
  • trivaa90


    Wow nightshade dont be so salty bro... He made cash and he is enjoying life with it. Like paying for women is bad rofl :D
  • Tomaloc


    well maybe he did win $50 million, but... how much did he lose?


  • grbell


    Judging by the pictures looks like he's spending it at some rate too!
  • NightShadePMC


    #2 You totally missed the point - He occupies his time with anything BUT poker. And about him "making" money - get informed before commenting. It all comes from his father. If he ever did make any money, it was from his financial advisers. That idiot doesn't know shit about economics. He's just a 30+ years old daddy's boy.
  • NightShadePMC


    If you will be so kind to use google, you will realize that his lifestyle and poker "career" are just a money laundering front for his father, from whom he gets all of his money.
  • dylboi011


    so much butthurt comments about Bilzerian, he's clearly good for the game, who cares if he didn't make 50mill.
  • gadget51


    He's a young man, he's loaded and he's having a ball. would that we could all be so happy.

    Good luck to him.
  • CrazedTulip


    who cares?
  • Minnow2Hook


    Yea...What he said!!! number 10 comment, 27 jul 11:20
  • LemOn36


    my hero
    I believe him he's in the Perkins clique
    those games are juicy as hell if he works on his game 30 minutes per day it's still way more than the rich businessmen ever do.
    And he hosts the games at his house some+attracts hookers
  • peche025


    lol @ #3
  • JCSeerup


    He is the best player in the world and he has all his money from poker!


    yes I'm happy that a guy like Bilzerian exists. He is very good for poker bringing them foolish fishes! I don't care whatever he does, but he must've bring a lot of dudes who thinks poker his easy and that is yummy yummy
  • randomdonk


    should we give a f
  • AtrociousNightmare


    I do believe it's possible.
    With all the impossibly rich people (that don't even see a movie star budget) out there, I don't see how one like him could not be able to start his circle of "fun" millionaire poker.

    And for the advertisement he brings, as you said it certainly doesn't help much bringing women to poker, but for the rest, well, he brings a dream that everyone wants to chase.

    So, yeah, that's good.
    (and it's not the first time I see fish on my tables with Dan as their picture)
  • rompas


    cant really care if he won or not, more important things in life then this
  • slobodarp


    how much he lose
  • SirTradeAlot


    hey, if he gets all these bitches with such a beard he must have the cash!

    big man!
  • Zheelvern


    $50 million of playmoney, sure.
  • PaTaPaTaPoNn


    ^ LOL
    Maybe he meant $50 million of win, not net winnings
  • joey1toe


    Who cares wether it's true or not, just by making that bold statement he's helping the poker economy.