Meet the playboy millionaire blowing up Instagram
Dan Bilzerian (center)Instagram
Dan Bilzerian, the poker-playing multimillionaire, has become famous for blowout bashes that easily rival Playboy Mansion bacchanals.
Revelers pile into Bilzerian’s 31,000-square-foot Bel Air, Calif., compound, where, he told The Post, “clothing is always optional.”
When the bachelor, 37, isn’t at home in California, he’s often at his luxe pad in Las Vegas, or snowboarding with Olympian Shaun White in New Zealand, or partying with friends in Tahiti or Ibiza, or racing dune buggies in the desert, or yachting around Italy’s Pontine Islands. One Instagram post shows him visiting Shanghai, China, “for no reason at all.”
In August, he and his brother flew to their ancestral homeland of Armenia, an adventure that ended when neighboring Azerbaijan issued an arrest warrant for Bilzerian — something to do with allegations that he obtained grenades illegally and “demonstratively” shot off missile launchers at a gun range.
It’s a high-flying lifestyle that’s earned him some 24.5 million followers on Instagram, where he shows off his world with no shame — even as critics say he objectifies and exploits the bikini-clad (or -less) women who pose for his photos. In March 2017, he created an uproar by posting a picture of himself relaxing in a hot tub and using a topless, bent-over female as a dinner table. “It’s national women’s day, be thankful,” he wrote.
It certainly didn’t help things when, in January, he wrote: “This #metoo s–t is getting out of control, guys getting their lives ruined over touching a girl’s back or hitting on someone.”
Female attendees wishing to attend Bilzerian’s bashes must abide by his door policy: “If you come with ugly chicks, you won’t get in; I keep the parties exclusive and it becomes a matter of there being only so much space.” And yet, some women will go to almost any length to party with him.
“They’ll text pictures of their [bare butts] and for sure offer to hook up with me,” he said. “I get that a lot.”
Caitlin O’Connor, 28, is an actress and frequent attendee at Bilzerian’s bashes. “I’ve been to parties where girls are walking around naked,” she said, likening Bilzerian to a modern day Hugh Hefner. “There are threesomes, foursomes, everybody doing what they want without pressure. These things happen naturally in Dan’s habitat. The girls there are all super-hot. They’re all 10s. You need to bring something to the table.”
She insists she and the other women at his parties are in no way exploited, or at least not in any way they don’t wish to be: “It feels empowering to be young and without judgment.”
Bilzerian hit public consciousness around a decade ago as a high-stakes poker player with a penchant for posting his larger-than-life exploits on then- nascent social-media sites. One ridiculous bit, viewable on YouTube, had him test-driving a bulletproof vest by shooting at his pal Antonio Esfandiari. (The vest worked.)
‘There are threesomes, foursomes, everybody doing what they want without pressure … The girls there are all super-hot. They’re all 10s.’
When Instagram exploded, so did Bilzerian’s money-spewing jet-setting reputation. Then again, he had something of a head start. The son of uber-wealthy corporate raider Paul Bilzerian, he grew up in a Tampa, Fla., lakefront mansion with an indoor basketball court. But things came crashing down in 1989 when his father, who had made a fortune from hostile bids on companies such as Hammermill Paper, was found guilty of stock and tax fraud and served 13 months in prison.
“Basically, I didn’t get a lot of attention as a kid,” Dan told the Daily Mail in 2013. “I guess that’s why I’m such a flashy lunatic.”
Following high school, he washed out after 510 days of Navy SEAL training and failed to graduate from the University of Florida. Instead, the trust-funder turned to poker, first playing online and then bringing as much as $100,000 to games in Nevada. He claims to have won $50 million between 2013 and 2014, eventually investing a good chunk of money in cryptocurrency.
Along the way, he developed a knack for engaging others with his tales of excess — gambling, girls, high-powered weapons and fast cars — and came to embody an aspirational lifestyle for macho bro strivers. It’s memorialized in a song by T-Pain and Lil Yachty that includes the line: “I get 10 Brazilians like I’m Dan Bilzerian.”
Dan also has a talent for dropping names and numbers, lacing his Facebook posts with photos of six-figure stacks of poker chips and him posing with stars such as Tom Hardy at the “Venom” premiere.
Bilzerian’s latest shindig was the launch of Ignite Cannabis, touted as the world’s first international legal-weed company, for which he is both the face and the chairman. The event attracted an estimated 1,500 guests, was budgeted at some $500,000 (including $25,000 for sushi) and featured the mask-wearing DJ Marshmallow.
As for whether or not the DJ hooked up with anyone at the party, “I’m not going to speak to that,” Bilzerian said with a laugh. “But any celebrity who comes to my house and wants to get laid is going to get laid.”
Bold-face names who’ve partied at Bilzerian’s pleasure pad include actors Adrian Grenier, Vin Diesel and Chris Brown, “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips and rapper Ludacris.
As for female guests, they’re less likely to be household names. “Honestly,” said Bilzerian, “I try to stay away from the famous chicks and LA girls in general. I personally prefer girls from the Midwest. They’re more appreciative. They haven’t been on 50 private jets and been to Dubai every three weeks.”
Abby Rao, a cosmetologist from Mandeville, La., accepted her first Bilzerian invitation last month. “I was a little out of my element,” admitted the 21-year-old, whose attendance at the Ignite party extended from her desire to be a spokesmodel for the company. “I’m from a small town, so it was a bit of a culture shock.
There were a lot of gorgeous girls, a lot of people free with their bodies. Dan and I connected that night and I held my own [among the other women]. I went back a week later, just to hang out. Now I’m moving to LA.”
She should probably brace herself.
“I once saw midgets [having sex with] two girls in the bathroom,” said Bilzerian of one of his house parties. “Then [another] girl began filming it and one of the girls got mad. She started a fistfight with the one who was filming them. I had to throw both girls out. After that, a midget was smoking cigarettes in the middle of my living room. I had to throw his ass out. Cigarettes are f–king disgusting. You can smoke weed in my house but not cigarettes.”
To make sure guests stay in line, Bilzerian’s events tend to be seeded with security. At his bash for Ignite, there were 35 guards with rifles and machine guns. “If anybody was going to f–k with this party, there was going to be a gunfight,” he said. “Last time I had a party, some a–hole pulled a gun at the gate . . . We didn’t have 35 guys with long guns at the time. Now that is the policy.”
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