‘If you can make money doing what you love, more power to you’: Dan Bilzerian
While some may judge the extravagant lifestyle that multi-millionaire Dan Bilzerian lives, many envy him, so much so that he has been hailed as ‘King of Instagram’. After all, the 38-year-old American-Armenian internet personality has 28.3 million followers on Instagram and another 13 million on Facebook.
During his maiden visit to India to announce his association with sports predictor gaming platform, LivePools, Dan’s flamboyance caught everybody’s attention. The billionaire was always surrounded by a group of girls, tight security and made all his appearances in his signature style — a white V-neck T-shirt and a pair of solid colour shorts. This, even when he attended the #GetDirtyWithDan party hosted by Dino Morea, which saw some socialites and actors. However, the internet sensation paired his muted look with a watch that took netizens by surprise — Richard Mille RM11-03 that costs a whopping `1.3 crore. Before his departure from India, Indulge got caught up with Dan for a quick chat. Excerpts:
Q: Tell us about your association with LivePools. And, how big is the market for sports betting?
Dan Bilzerian: In the US, the fantasy gaming industry has been explosive. You could look at the growth and story of Draft Kings as an example. We have been monitoring the Indian market for a while now, and the space has really blown up over the last few years. However, this seems to only be the beginning. I think there is real potential.
Gaming and sports are two spaces that interest me and the team behind LivePools have played a key role in my association. They have a solid growth plan and strategy. At this point, we are not disclosing the amount that we have invested, but I can tell you that the equity is between five-10 per cent.
Q: How invested are you in fantasy sports and gambling?
DB: I am very invested in fantasy sports and poker. I have had much success in playing poker, I think it’s time to equal that with my sporting knowledge! For me, it’s a game of skill. The ability to pick performing players and score points based on their performance is a skill.
Q: What would one need to make predictions in sports?
DB: Read the data and stats available and use them.
Q: You also went to India Poker Championship 2019 in Goa...
DB: I love poker. It was one of the first platforms that pushed me into what I am today.
Q: Could you tell us the highest that you have gained and lost in poker in one night?
DB: The most that I have won in a single night is $12.8 million. The largest amount that I have lost is $3.6 million and on three separate occasions. It is an unlucky number for me!
Q: India has got a lot of upcoming talent when it comes to professional gaming. Do you think more people should get into it and capitalise on it?
DB: If you can make a living out of something you love, then absolutely. When I was a kid, the option of making $10 million a year playing a video game was not on the table. But if you could make money doing something you love, then more power to you.
Q: Tell us about your watch. Why did you decide to splurge on it?
DB: The watch that I’m wearing is a Richard Mille RM11-03 designed by the engineers and designers of McLaren. Richard Mille RM11-03 was launched at the Geneva International Motor Show and was up for grabs only to limited customers. I was one of the first guys to get it.
Q: Why did you choose to venture into the grooming industry? How is Alister, your grooming product range, different from others in the market?
DB: The desire for a natural deodorant without harmful ingredients has inspired my journey to become a male-grooming entrepreneur. All Alister products tout Pheroboost™, a blend of ingredients that promise to increase pheromones.
Q: The range is cruelty-free and vegan. Do you agree that conscious luxury is the wave of the future?
DB: It is! Everyone should be aware of what they put on their bodies just as they are aware of what is put in it. Many aren’t aware that 80 per cent of what you put on your skin enters the body through the bloodstream.
Q: We are particularly intrigued by how you dress on most occasions. How did it become your signature style?
DB: That’s just me! I went to the White House dressed the same way.
Q: What does fitness mean to you? What workouts do you swear by?
DB: I think it’s very important to be fit. We get one body, so we should take good care of it. I have done pretty much everything from triathlon and MMA to just cardio or just weights.
The workout style I swear by — I would say the core stuff — pull-ups, bench presses, squats. I think by doing full-body exercises, there is a higher growth hormone secretion — more testosterone. I think that’s more beneficial than doing the isolation stuff. I’ve been focusing on doing weights lately, but I’ve been doing MMA for 20 years and used to be a big runner.
Q: You have mentioned that you are an animal lover. Are you vegan?
DB: I’m not! But I wish that I was. For me, it’s really hard to maintain muscle without eating meat, because I have a super-fast metabolism and it’s hard for me to get the protein. My dad went vegan and he lost 30 pounds of muscle in a pretty short period. I respect vegans. Maybe one day I will do it! It’s tough to be an athlete and consume enough protein without animal sources. It’s always been difficult to maintain the calorie intake that I need to keep up the muscle.
Q: How has your experience been in India so far? What did you like the most?
DB: It has been an incredible four days. The fans and people here have been amazing!
Q: Lastly, what’s your mantra in life?
DB: Be yourself.
• One gadget you wish to own: I would love to get my hands on one of those flying saucers they’ve been working on. Apparently, according to that Bob Lazar guy, they make their own gravity, travelling 50 miles a second.
• One thing money can't buy: My cat (laughs). Money can’t buy happiness. You can buy pleasure though.
• What does money mean to you: The happiness that comes with money is relative. The only difference is your perspective because of your previous experience.
• Define luxury in one sentence: Luxury is something which isn't needed but improves your life
• Describe yourself in three words: Active, adventurous, authentic