On a Youtube video published September 20 Wednesday entitled ‘In Depth with Graham Bensinger', social media star Dan Bilzerian revealed to sports journalist Graham Bensinger that different from what most people assume, he made his own money via poker and he is not spending his inheritance doing so. During the course of his interview, the Instagram celeb with 22.6 million followers said he won $12.8 million.
Bensinger, who conducted the interview sitting next to Bilzerian at his mansion in Las Vegas, asked, "You've lost $3.6 million on three different occasions. How about the most you've ever won or lost?"
Bilzerian replied, "I think it was $12.8 (million). But it was over a period of three games." He did not disclose who his opponent was in the game nor when and where it happened. However, he did say was that his opponent was a billionaire and a "maniac", so he did felt some pressure about the likelihood of being forced to go all-in with almost the entire $18 million he had in front of him at that time.
The host asked, "After a night like that, what are you thinking?"
Bilzerian answered, ""I don't know. It's kind of hard to say," Bilzerian answered. "I remember one time I lost $3.6 (million) and I wasn't that upset and then there's been other times when I've lost $50,000 and I've been super pissed."
How Bilzerian (allegedly) built his bankroll
The sources of Dan Bilzerian's finances have always been a mysterious topic in the world of poker. Most notable poker pros, such as Doug Polk who mentioned in one of his Youtube videos earlier this year, say that they believe he inherited it from his father, Paul Bilzerian, a rich ex-Wall Street corporate takeover specialist who had done time in prison, as he had been convicted in the year 2000 for SEC and tax violations in the 1980s.
Aside from imprisonment, Paul Bilzerian was ordered to pay back $62 million in profits and interest; unfortunately, most of that amount has not been recovered. In 2001, he filed for bankruptcy, saying he had only $15,000 in assets against $140 million in debt. Earlier on he filed bankruptcy in 1991, paying back almost $400,000 to settle $300 million in debt.
Several people speculate that some of the missing money went to his son, a claim that Dan strongly denies. The now 36-year-old says that a trust fund that he was allowed access to when he turned 30 had nothing to do with his bankroll. He said, "I gave it all back. "I gave it to my brother (Adam). I didn't need it, didn't want it, didn't care."
Bensinger asked what Bilzerian thinks about his critics who dispute the authenticity of the massive amount of money he accumulated through poker.
Bilzerian answered, "You have to remove your ego from these situations. For me, I just let people talk sh*t about my poker and that I was bad and that I had a trust fund because that was very helpful for me to get into these games ... I never cared if people thought that I was good. I never gave a sh*t how people thought that I got my money. I still don't. I don't give a f*ck if they think I got it all from a trust."
From binging on booze and drugs to becoming a school teacher
In an extended interview that viewers can watch in multiple parts on Youtube, Bilzerian talked about his misadventures regarding drugs, like when he was 25 years old, he mixed alcohol, cocaine, pot and heavy doses of Viagra. That incident began at a strip club, included a short stop to a casino, and then he ended up in the hospital, where he suffered two heart attacks and he had to go through a very embarrassing confession in front of his parents, his girlfriend (at that time), and his physician Conrad Murray (who later on was imprisoned for two years for prescribing drugs that ultimately led to the death of Michael Jackson).
The interview also included non-gambling topics too, such as Bilzerian's desire to become a teacher in the near future. He says he has already received his teaching license in California and he is serious about doing the noble profession. He would not divulge which school he shall be teaching because he "doesn't want a million assholes showing up at school and ruining my cover". He said he will "soon" enter a classroom and teach, "just for the hell of it."
"It seems like it would be kind of cool to actually teach kids important stuff. I feel like you learn so much useless sh*t in school."
The host responded, "Yeah, but you have to stick to the school's curriculum. You're a substitute teacher."
To which Bilzerian replied, "What the f*ck are they going to do? Fire me?"