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‘Instagram King’ Dan Bilzerian Claims He Won $12.8 Million in a Single Poker Session

Dan Bilzerian

There are high-stakes poker games and then there are ultra-private games where billionaires allegedly wager the equivalent of the GDP of some small countries.

It was in one of those elite games that self-declared “Instagram King” Dan Bilzerian claimed he won $12.8 million over the course of three games.

The stunning revelation came out of an interview on In-Depth with Graham Bensinger when the host asked Bilzerian about the biggest amount he’s ever won playing poker.

Bilzerian, who plays some of the biggest private games in the world, had been coy about the exact figure in the past but this time decided to drop the $12.8-million bomb.

On the flip side, Bilzerian also went on to acknowledge that he’s lost $3.6 million on three separate occasions.

Massive Win Came Against ‘Maniac Billionaire’

Bilzerian said he posted the win playing heads-up against a “maniac billionaire.”

The stakes were outrageously high for No-Limit Hold’em at $10,000/$25,000. That means the average bet is worth more than many people make in an entire year. Bilzerian said the big pots were typically in the range of $2 million to $5 million.

Bilzerian and his opponent took numerous breaks over the course of a day but decided to leave the money on the table the entire time.

The Instagram star said he was always covered by his opponent, who had somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million on the table.

After initially losing several million, Bilzerian decided to rebuy and managed to build his stack up to $18 million. It was at this point that he was put to the test.

“I just distinctly remember having $18 million in front of me and we were playing $10,000/$25,000 No-Limit Hold’em so it’s a really big game,” he told Bensinger.

“If this guy goes all-in at any point, I have to make a decision for $18 million. That was one of the most stressful periods of time for me.”

Apparently Bilzerian survived and bagged a $12.8-million profit.

High-Stakes Games Booming Over Last Decade

Bilzerian, who is the son of wealthy corporate takeover specialist Paul Bilzerian, came to fame around 2010 with social media accounts that documented his lavish lifestyle and exploits.

Prior to 2010, Bilzerian also played the World Series of Poker but he’s since said that he no longer plays against poker pros and doesn’t enjoy the long hours of tournaments.

That apparently hasn’t kept him from finding some extremely good games.

There’s no telling who Bilzerian was playing against in the $12.8-million session but anyone who follows poker closely might immediately think of Australian Matt Kirk, who is known for his wild playing style and allegedly earning over $600 million by having a big piece of Bitcoin before the cryptocurrency’s massive rise.

It’s all purely speculation but some of the other famous poker players with deep pockets include the Malaysian billionaires who frequent many of the Triton Super High Roller Series events.

Earlier this year Tom Dwan had the dubious distinction of losing a $2.3-million pot, which was the biggest pot ever televised.

The stakes that Bilzerian mentioned ($10,000/$25,000) are almost unheard of when it comes to No-Limit Hold’em.

Back in the early 2000s a conglomerate of poker pros including Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson and Howard Lederer pooled their money together so they could play against banking billionaire Andy Beal, who took a liking to heads-up poker.

The games, which were chronicled in the Michael Craig book The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King, allegedly went up to $100,000/$200,000 but that was Limit Hold’em so players didn’t have to worry about the billionaire constantly shoving all-in on them.