Steve Aoki is extra than simply an iconic song DJ and document manufacturer. He is additionally a passionate poker participant and an envoy for the World Poker Tour (WPT).
On Wednesday night time from inside of his Las Vegas “playhouse,” the 44-year-old famous person hosted a WPT-sanctioned home game for 5 fortunate contest winners the place PokerNews stuck up with him for an unique sit-down interview. Christophe Osse, a leisure participant from Germany, took a 15-hour flight to defeat a desk that incorporated poker greats Phil Ivey, Maria Ho, and Vince Van Patten. In doing so, he won a $10,000 WPT passport.
Read about Christophe Osse’s win here!
Assessing Dan Bilzerian’s Poker Talents
Following Osse’s win, we spoke with Aoki to talk about his musical profession, and likewise a arguable poker matter — simply how excellent is his pal Dan Bilzerian truly at poker?
“Numerous other folks do not notice this, however (Dan Bilzerian) is a brilliant poker participant,” Aoki stated of his long-time buddy.
Bilzerian is a GGPoker ambassador and claims to have gained upwards of $50 million enjoying poker during his lifetime. A lot of that cash has, through his account, come in opposition to billionaire Alec Gores, whom he is offered up a $100 million heads-up challenge to, however nonetheless hasn’t won an acceptance.
“Earlier than (Bilzerian) was once a celeb, he was once a poker participant,” says Aoki. “He was once at all times on the tables enjoying giant video games again in like 2006 after I first met him. When I used to be entering poker, I did not know him too smartly, however I knew he was once a large high-stakes poker participant.”
Bilzerian’s poker talents to the mainstream poker target market have lengthy been puzzled, however Aoki, who stated he started enjoying playing cards again in 2004, says that the social media playboy has sport. As for Aoki’s hobby for this business, that did not come when the WPT hired him last month. He is been competing at the felt for a few years.
“One in every of my very shut buddies in 2004 was once an avid poker participant,” the WPT ambassador stated. “He was once more or less a DJ guru, and I appeared as much as him so much so far as steering. He was once more or less my giant brother, and he performed poker at all times. So, he were given me into the arena.”
“We’d DJ in combination after which after our units, we might move to Trade On line casino and play.”
Aoki is the son of Rocky Aoki, a rich restaurateur who based the preferred Jap delicacies eating place chain Benihana. Regardless of coming from wealth, cash wasn’t simply passed over to the musical genius. In his early DJ’ing days, Aoki would take his day-to-day pay to Commerce Casino in Los Angeles to grind some low-stakes money video games.
“I might grind it out on the $1/$2 desk and $2/$5, that was once my sport on the very starting as a result of again then when I used to be DJ’ing in 2004/2005, it was once like a pair hundred dollars.”
Musicians Steve Aoki Enjoys Taking part With
Aoki’s moved up in stakes thank you largely to his profession skyrocketing within the overdue 2000s. Identified for his acrobatic crowd stunts and signature cake throwing at enthusiasts, the American DJ has toured all over the place the arena, carried out in the freshest nightclubs in Las Vegas, and collaborated with world superstars similar to BTS and Snoop Dogg. Who would he like to paintings with one day?
“It was once a dream to paintings with Chester, I would like to paintings with Linkin Park, within the 2000s I used to be speaking about it, and I stopped up no longer simplest doing one however two songs with them,” Aoki responded. “So far as singers now, to paintings with Submit Malone, simply love what he is doing. To paintings with Drake, The Weeknd, love what they are doing. To paintings with Thom Yorke can be unbelievable.”
“There is simply such a lot of within the hip-hop international, I already made a document with Snoop, however I might love to proceed making some bangers with him. It is not simplest about new names, it is about development on with those I have already got a really perfect friendship with and a fluid courting with.”
Aoki persisted to mention that he’d like to collaborate with Korean pop sensation BTS once more. The 2 icons of the song business have produced 3 songs in combination and extra may well be in retailer within the close to long term. In 2017, the duo launched the hit unmarried “Mic Drop,” which now has over 1.1 billion views on YouTube.
Song is greater than only a profession for the poker fanatic — it is a way of life. Aoki stated he knew that song would lead him to an entire life of delight and wealth through age 14.
“Song grabbed me through my soul, and it pulled me in and it by no means let move, like no funny story,” Aoki defined. “When I discovered punk and hardcore, which was once the primary more or less song the place it was my way of life. After I say way of life, I imply the whole lot. The meals I ate was once round what everybody in that scene ate, to how I dressed, the garments I wore, the buddies I selected, the actions I did.”
Respecting the Grind
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Aoki’s spent numerous hours over greater than 25 years doing what he calls “contributing to the scene,” which means he places in the effort and time to support the song business.
“That is the place you get your social issues and that’s the reason the place you get your appreciate,” Aoki stated of the laborious paintings he put into song at a tender age. “And that’s the reason all I cared about as a child.
Rising up, all he may just take into consideration was once song. Each and every nice musician has anyone or a bunch of proficient people who supply their inspiration. When Aoki started finding out the ropes, he discovered inspiration from a novel supply.
“Probably the most greatest inspirations have been youngsters my age doing the similar factor.”
He fell in love with song as a formative years and witnessed his first live performance at 8 years outdated. Who’d he see? None as opposed to the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson.
“I appeared up from the nosebleed seats and stated, ‘someday I’ll be there someday.’”
He is now enjoying “there” in venues all over the place the arena and steadily in Las Vegas.
*Photographs courtesy of WPT/Joe Giron.