Bilzerian was born in Tampa, Florida, the son of corporate takeover specialist Paul Bilzerian and Terri Steffen. He is the brother of fellow poker player Adam Bilzerian. He is of Armenian descent through his father and has said that half of the Bilzerian family was killed during the Armenian Genocide. His father was a corporate raider on Wall Street who set up trust funds for both of his sons. Bilzerian entered the Navy SEAL training program in 2000; however, after several attempts, he did not graduate. He was reportedly dropped from the program for a "safety violation on the shooting range. " Bilzerian attended Tampa Preparatory school and later enrolled at the University of Florida, majoring in Business and Criminology.