Bilzerian and Other Poker Players Respond to Las Vegas' Brutal Massacre

In the wake of what many have called the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, celebrities, political pundits and even poker players have spoken out against the heinous acts committed by Stephen Paddock, who killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 with an assortment of assault rifles. Dan Bilzerian was among those at the scene of the slaughter when the shooting began, and posted a video to his instagram of him running from the scene with the intention of returning. 

Dan Bilzerian flees from the scene of the shooting. 

Bilzerian, who is known in part for his affection for firearms, contends that while at the scene a woman was murdered next to him, and during the video he mentions his intention to return with a gun. Presumably this would've been to retaliate in some manner, though in a later video he posted, he explains that the situation was under control by the time he came back. 

The original video and consequent follow ups from Bilzerian have caused something of a backlash within the mainstream media, with many insinuating that Bilzerian is a coward, including decorated U.S. marine Dakota Meyer, who had the following to say: 

"This is what kills me about people like you. Always playing 'operator dress up' and so so tough when the cameras are on. A woman just got shot in the head and you are running away filming that's not what operators do. Please stop trying to be someone your not. People are dying, you're running away not helping them and pretending it's worthy of a video is disgusting."

Dakota Meyer and Dan Bilzerian side by side.

Other prominent players within the community have also reacted with outrage, taking to twitter either to express their frustration with current gun laws or by announcing their solidarity with the victims and against "hate." Scott Seiver, for example, expressed frustration with the typical phrases that often come out in such a situation, along with a hatred for guns:


Ryan Laplante on the other hand insisted that "hate and fear won't win", and that players such as himself will be "grinding as soon as the games are back up." Different still was previous November niner Jay Farber's reaction, which was to thank the Las Vegas Police Department and first responders for their stellar efforts in bringing some semblance of order to the situation. 

Whatever the case, it seems that despite the volume of the tragedy and the horiffic aftermath that has ensued, most players have indeed returned to their typical modus operandi, though some big names such as Doug Polk cancelled their schedule in the days following the event to show some respect to the victims.