To say Steve Aoki is a jack of all trades would be an understatement. The award winning DJ is more than just that. He is a brand builder, philanthropist and – most recently – the new brand ambassador for the World Poker Tour.
In a recent interview during a sit-n-go at his Las Vegas home, PokerNews caught up with Aoki and got his thoughts on Dan Bilzerian as well as his work in the music industry.
Dan Bilzerian “Is A Great Player”
Unbeknownst to many, Dan Bilzerian and Steve Aoki have been buds for a long time. In an older Facebook post, Bilzerian claimed to have “been friends with Aoki before people gave a shit about him and he knew me long before anyone gave a shit about me.”
Well, their friendship goes beyond partying and enjoying night life together. Aoki is convinced that Bilzerian is a top notch poker player. “A lot of people don’t realize this, but (Bilzerian) is a great poker player,” he said in the interview. Aoki and Bilzerian’s friendship goes way back, and he claims that in the 2000s, Bilzerian was playing the nosebleeds before he started showcasing his physique and acumen for women on social media. “Before he was a celebrity, he was a poker player,” says Aoki. “He was always at the tables playing big games back in like 2006 when I first met him. When I was getting into poker, I didn’t know him too well, but I knew he was a big high-stakes poker player.” Despite Aoki’s friendship with Bilzerian and his claims about his poker game, the poker world is not too keen on Bilzerian’s poker skills. In a YouTube video a few year’s back, industry leader Doug Polk dissected a session Bilzerian played live on stream. “All in all, while Dan did play very aggressive, I wouldn’t say that he played all that great,” Polk said in the video. “I think that maybe he could beat some high stakes, very soft live games, but on the internet he’s a fish in the water.” With contradicting statements coming from one of Bilzerian’s friends and somebody who is keen on the poker world in Doug Polk, it’s safe to say that Bilzerian’s true poker skills are probably somewhere in the middle.
Passionate For Poker
Aoki is not just a celebrity personality who hopes to bring his fans into the game of poker and the World Poker Tour. In face, Aoki has been playing poker for the better part of two decades, and his love for the game has continued to grow.
It was one of his DJ friends who introduced him to the game of poker back in 2004.
“One of my very close friends in 2004 was an avid poker player,” Aoki said. “He was kind of a DJ guru, and I looked up to him a lot as far as guidance. He was kind of my big brother, and he played poker all the time. So, he got me into the world.” After a night of headbanging and DJing together in Vegas, the pair would head over the the Commerce Casino and grind cash games. “I’d grind it out at the $1/$2 table and $2/$5, that was my game at the very beginning because back then when I was DJing in 2004/2005, it was like a couple hundred bucks,” Aoki said of his poker beginnings. Getting a perfect fit is not always possible, but the new WPT brand ambassador may be just that.
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