We’re all used to offshore, online poker barons getting themselves in hot water with the US government; Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet and (former) PokerStars figureheads being perfect examples. Now Dan Bilzerian, co-founder of online poker room Victory Poker, has attracted the scrutiny of authorities, but for a much different reason. The controversial millionaire playboy and social media guru was arrested at LAX and charged with possession/manufacturing of an explosive device.
According to police reports, on the evening of December 9th, authorities took the 34 year old ‘King of Instagram’ into custody at the Los Angeles International Airport. Just before 10:00pm that night, he was booked at the Pacific Division of the LAPD, charged with ‘possession or manufacturing’ of an explosive device and held without bail. However, records then show the online poker founder was mysteriously released a few hours later at 1:16am.
Bilzerian’s arrest stemmed from a warrant issued for his arrest in Nevada back in November. At that time, authorities chose not to act on the warrant pending further investigation.
On November 4th, a criminal complaint was issued stating that Dan Bilzerian was in illegal possession of “ammonium and/or cooler and/or aluminum powder” and an “ammonium nitrate mix”. On November 13th, a warrant for his arrest was issued in Las Vegas. Reports indicated that the poker player had been charged with felony counts that included possession or manufacturing of explosive/incendiary devices.
Bilzerian was not suspected of acting alone in the incident. A warrant was also issued for an accomplice, Jeremy David Guymon, according to Audrie Locke, a spokeswoman for the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in Nevada.
Even stranger than the millionaire’s sudden release from custody was Locke’s assertion that her office had not dropped the charges against Dan Bilzerian. She was unable to provide any explanation for his dismissal. On the contrary, Locke said that both Bilzerian and Guymon were expected to be arraigned in Las Vegas Justice Court on January 9th.
The social media giant’s attorney, David Chesnoff, shed some light on the situation when he told reporters with the LA Times that Los Angeles police were forced to release Dan Bilzerian. Apparently, Bilzerian was able to get the warrant recalled on the grounds that he did not face any charges in the state of California, where he was arrested.
After returning to his lavish home in Hollywood Hills on Wednesday, Bilzerian posted on his Twitter account: “Jail… Let’s not do that again”.
Dan Bilzerian in an inherent millionaire, thanks to his father and Wall Street tycoon Paul Bilzerian. Dan grew up in Florida and entered the Navy SEAL training program, but was kicked out just weeks before finishing the program. He went on to attend college where he majored in Business and (oddly enough) Criminology.
Bilzerian first gained fame as a poker player five years ago when he was highlighted on the featured table of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event. After finishing in 180th place for $36,626, he went on to co-found the online poker room Victory Poker in 2010. These days, however, Bilzerian is best known as the ‘King of Instagram’, gaining countless followers for posting pictures of his extravagant playboy lifestyle, including frequent photos of skimpily dressed women.
This isn’t the online poker founder’s first brush with the law, either. He’s been involved in several legal matters this year alone, the most famous being an incident that occurred in May in which Bilzerian flung pornographic actress Janice Griffith from the roof of his Hollywood home into the pool below. It was during a shoot for Hustler magazine in which Bilzerian got ‘overly enthusiastic’, (to put it very mildly), deciding to toss the actress into his pool. His aim wasn’t so good, though. Griffith fell just short of the pool and broke her foot, costing Bilzerian an $85,000 law suit.