Bill Perkins: Businessman Turned Poker Player

From hedge fund manager to film producer, to poker player, Bill Perkins has certainly made some smart business moves in his career. At 50 years of age, Perkins is now a high stakes regular on the tables and has $5.5 million in live poker earnings.

By: James Currie

So how did we hear about Perkins? Well, apart from cashing for $2.7 million in the biggest tournament ever played - The Triton Million Charity event, and finishing 3rd in The Big One for One Drop 2013, Perkins spent most of his time, prior to poker, focusing on venture capital and energy markets.

To say Perkins has done well in the business world would be an understatement, Perkins manages his own hedge fund called Skylar Capital, has a degree in engineering and has even produced some movies. But what is Perkins like at poker?

Well, despite having a rumoured net worth of nine figures, Perkins hasn’t had much success online and is down almost $1 million on his PokerStars account.

Besides his online results, Perkins is often seen amongst the elite poker players and must manage to hold his ground somewhat to compete with this level of competition. He is also not afraid to gamble from what it seems and is regularly seen making prop bets for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In 2016 Perkins bet Antonio Esfandiari $50,000 that he could not lunge everywhere for two days during the PCA, unfortunately Perkins lost that one. If you’re familiar with Dan Bilzerian, then you will most likely be aware of the media coverage of the two gambling for life-changing amounts.

The two made a bet that Bilzerian could not cycle from LA to Las Vegas in less than 48 hours, however Bilzerian managed to win the $500k bet. The two are good friends and are constantly seen in the media spending millions of dollars betting and playing poker:


Battling with my brother

A post shared by Dan Bilzerian (@danbilzerian) on

Bilzerian can usually be seen spewing off as much money as possible in poker games but Bill seems to take it a lot more seriously. Bill's scores in live earnings tell us that he is a likely competent player, despite being a recreational. Some of his plays have been second guessed in the past, and some of them are questionable at times from what has been shown in the media. Daniel Negreanu even got in the mix at one stage:

However, all poker players mess up at points and we cannot pin anything on Perkins. He is friends with a lot of the top poker players in the world and to be playing high stakes for almost ten years is nothing short of impressive.

Perkins success is not something that he likes to hold close to home, in fact he is a good role model for a lot of people, and he frequently shares his wisdom and knowledge in podcasts and in the media.

Here is an episode of his with Jeff Gross where Perkins dives deep into his success and current lifestyle:

So what do we make of Perkins? Well, the man has no ordinary story, and seems to garner success in a lot of his past endeavours, there is certainly something to be learned from this! However his poker ability is hard to put your finger on, and although we know he is not among the elite in the poker world, it would be pretty inaccurate to believe that he does not have some level of competence. Nevertheless, we can certainly expect to see Perkins remaining among the highest stakes cash games and tournaments, and do not think for one minute that this will be the last of his prop betting!


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