Adam J. Bilzerian
1983 (age 35–36)
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
|Occupation||Professional poker player|
|Parent(s)||Paul Bilzerian (father)|
Terri Steffen (mother)
|Relatives||Dan Bilzerian (brother)|
Bilzerian is the son of Armenian-American corporate takeover specialist Paul Bilzerian and Terri, grew up in Florida. He has a brother, Dan Bilzerian. He attended Gaither High School, where he represented his school in tennis.
On June 11, 2001, FBI agents raided the Bilzerian residence in Tampa, Florida, in relation to charges of market manipulation against Paul Bilzerian. A neighbour described the raid as "pure intimidation". Paul Bilzerian would be held in prison and was not permitted to attend his son's high school graduation. In the aftermath, Adam Bilzerian would question his dream of becoming an Army Green Beret; in press interviews, he asked, "How can you go in and fight for your country when this is what they're doing to [your father]?" Longer term, the incident proved to have a lasting effect on Bilzerian's worldview. He went on to Vanderbilt University, where he witnessed the 2004 United States presidential election that resulted in a second term for George W. Bush; Bilzerian saw this as a bad sign for the future of the freedoms of the Bill of Rights, and began to look into emigrating from the U.S. and establishing himself abroad. In 2007, he purchased a residence in Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the following year went on to become a citizen of the country, relinquishing U.S. citizenship in the process.
Bilzerian came in 47th in the 2009 World Series of Poker, winning $138,568. His brother Dan also participated in the tournament; their performance led Norman Chad to nickname them the "Flying Bilzerian Brothers". He participated in the 2010 World Series of Poker as well.
He played poker privately with baseball player Alex Rodriguez at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and was reportedly surprised by Rodriguez' skill; he was quoted as stating, "Alex busted everyone except me. I was like whoa, this guy can play. He had an amazing run. He won about $20,000 and left with everyone's money."
- Bilzerian, Adam (2010). America: love it or leave it — so I left. Libertad Publications. ISBN 9780615360645.. The Midwest Book Review's Small Press Bookwatch reviewed it favourably as "a well-versed list of grievances with the powers that be in America, making for an intriguing read through and through".
- Abrahamian, Atossa (February 12, 2012). "Special Report: Passports … for a price". Reuters. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Barancik, Scott (June 22, 2001). "FBI agents raid Bilzerian home". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Kaplan, Michael (April 2010). "Laak and Esfandiari shoot guns". Poker Player Magazine. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Boys tennis roundup". St. Petersburg Times. April 21, 2001. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Player profile: Adam Bilzerian". Bluff Magazine. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Adam Bilzerian Eliminated in 47th Place ($138,568)". Poker News. July 14, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Bump in the Road for Bilzerian". Poker News. July 10, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Feinsand, Mark; Dillon, Nancy (July 1, 2011). "MLB probing A-Rod poker reports: Yankees' Alex Rodriguez denies being dealt in high-stakes games". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "The Biography Shelf". Small Press Bookwatch. October 2010. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2012.