Inside wild life of Dan Bilzerian – from X-rated model parties to poker scandal
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Dan Bilzerian has built a life for himself that's filled with beautiful women, exotic holidays and wild parties – but not all was as it seemed.
It looks like the 40-year-old from Tampa, Florida, exaggerated some of his lavish and controversial lifestyle.
For years Dan has been labelled the "King of Instagram" and has boasted about his $200m net worth – but many are now questioning how he makes his money.
The 40-year-old has more than 32 million followers on Instagram, where he sporadically uploads photos of himself with scantily clad women in far-flung locations.
He has said he made his fortune off playing high-stakes poker and once boasted on his Instagram that he made $50 million in a year playing the game.
Dan said he got into playing poker when he attended the University of Florida and claims he began making five figures most weekends. He eventually dropped out and, by 2007, was competing in high stakes poker matches.
However, professional poker players have since lambasted Dan for allegedly not being a good enough player to make that kind of cash.
Some say it's likely Bilzerian got money through his father Paul, a corporate trader on Wall Street.
In 1993, Paul was slapped with $62 million in fines by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for fraud and as of 2014 had only paid back $3.7 million of it.
It is believed Paul set up trust funds for both of his sons to live on but it is unknown how much he deposited.
This isn't the end of the apparent deception.
That opulent lifestyle he flaunts online comes at a cost – and Dan has reportedly been funding it through his company Ignite.
The company sells CBD, spirits, beverages, nicotine and has branded itself as a “global lifestyle brand unlike any other”.
The company received $1.2 million in Paycheck Protection Program Loans from the US government in 2019.
Then Ignite International Ltd reported a loss of over $50 million in the same year, which some believe is due to Dan's extravagant spending.
Adding fuel to the fire, a 2020 lawsuit brought upon Dan by former Ignite president Curtis Hefferman revealed the details of his exorbitant spending.
Allegedly, the lease on his $200,000 a month home in Los Angeles is charged to the corporate tab of the company, as are the models he hires.
Dan also reportedly funded a $40,000 rock climbing wall, a $130,340 photoshoot in the Bahamas, and a ping-pong table worth $15,000.
Then-president Curtis Hefferman rejected the expenses and was later fired. Curtis filed a lawsuit in response.
Ignite employees spoke to Forbes about their experiences in a 2020 interview.
They claimed: “Ignite pays for everything, models, events, yachts. Dan would just have it wrapped with the Ignite logo, and all of a sudden it was an Ignite expense and he would send them the bill.”
While Dan still has millions of followers on Instagram, it will be interesting to see what he does next.
Maybe people will continue to admire the image he projects.
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