Dan Bilzerian has completed his grueling 300-mile cycling ride from Las Vegas to the Hollywood Hills in just 33 hours, winning a $600,000 bet with poker player and natural gas tycoon Bill Perkins in the process.
Everyone’s favorite poker-playing, gun-toting, babe-tickling, porn-star-tossing, federal-owned-land-exploding bad-boy hedge-fund trustafarian, Bilzerian, had been charged by Perkins to complete the ordeal in 48 hours, which meant he won the bet with an incredible 15 hours to spare.
Or, as the New York Post succinctly put it today: “The biggest jerk on Instagram just won his $600K bike bet.”
The Post article, incidentally, was written by journalist and author Michael Kaplan, a man who has been heroically covering poker and the gambling world in the mainstream press for years. We’re not sure if the title is Kaplan’s own, or his editor’s; possibly the latter’s, considering the contrast in tone between the header and the article itself, which bears no animosity towards Bilzerian.
But Post article does introduce an exciting new twist into the mix, in the radiant form of “celebutant” Rick Salomon, the man who starred in and leaked the infamous Paris Hilton sex-tape, married then divorced Pamela Anderson, and finished fourth in the 2014 Big One for One Drop, all in that order.
According to Kaplan, Salomon had jumped in on the bet with a proposition of his own, to wit: should Bilzerian die as a result of his exertions, then he (Salomon) would get to keep Bilzerian’s private jet. Should Bilzerian come through, though, Salomon would be on the hook for $250,000.
Salomon, learning of Bilzerian’s medical history (two heart attacks before the age of 30), perhaps hoped he was party to some privileged information that would give him an edge in the bet.
But now, the controversy. The bet stipulated that Bilzerian would ride “without mechanical assistance,” but for at least part of the way, towards the end, Bilzerian was employing a practice known to students of aerodynamics as “drafting.”
Drafting is a process whereby a cyclist, when aligned to another in front, can reduce the effect of drag by exploiting the lead cyclist’s slipstream, which helps the pursuant cyclist reduce energy expenditure (thank you, Wikipedia).
This is a technique Bilzerian was employing for the last leg of his journey, by cycling behind a van with its back doors open.
Perkins, who was along for the ride, objected, and the van was taken out of the equation. Perkins believes Bilzerian won the bet fair and square and is paying up, but Salomon is allegedly crying foul and wants out on the drafting technicality.
Whether drafting constitutes “mechanical assistance” is thorny and it’s up to the bettors to settle their differences, but in the meantime we’ll pay our grudging respect to Bilzerian, who, according to Perkins, is currently lying in his sickbed and never looked so green.