Prior to poker, Hilger graduated from University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in Finance (1989) and a Master's degree from Georgia State University in Finance in(1991). He received a second Master's in International business from Thunderbird School of Global Management (1996), then worked for Accenture (then Andersen Consulting) in numerous positions.
Hilger became an online poker professional during 2001 and made over $100,000 playing online in his first year, playing limit poker from $1/$2 to $30/$60. At the time he wrote his first book, he had played over 7,000 hours of online poker.
His writings include:
Internet Texas Hold 'em: Winning Strategies from an Internet Pro (ISBN 0-9741502-0-7)
Texas Hold 'em Odds and Probabilities: Limit, No-limit and Tournament Strategies (ISBN 0-9741502-2-3)
The Poker Mindset: Essential Attitudes for Poker Success (with Ian Taylor) (ISBN 0-9741502-3-1)
Card Player Magazine (numerous articles)
The Hendon Mob website (numerous articles)
Hilger won the 2002 New Zealand Poker Championship and went on to finish in the money in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 no limit Texas hold 'em main event in 2004 (33rd,) 2005 (332nd) and 2007 (221st.)
On Sunday, May 4th, 2008, he won the Full Tilt Poker 750k guaranteed for $132,788 besting a 3600+ player field.
As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $270,000.