Matt Berkey Offers Emotional Support Puppy to Poker Rival “Nik Airball”
Matt Berkey and his new bitter rival Nikhil “Nik Airball” Arcot have both said they want to play some heads-up poker. But they can’t seem to finalize the details.
At this point, it’s really anyone’s guess as to if these two high-stakes poker players will ever square off mono e mono. They did, however, compete against each other in a ring game at Bellagio in Las Vegas on Thursday.
It went about as well as you could have expected with Berkey seemingly confronting Nik Airball, who gave a little shove.
As you can tell from the above video shared by Markus Gonsalves, there’s more to this feud than a disagreement on who is better at poker. They don’t like each other. Airball referred to Berkey on Doug Polk’s podcast as a “scammer” and claims Berkey’s Solve for Why poker training academy isn’t worth the money.
Doug Polk, Matt Berkey, “Nik Airball” Entangled in Bitter Three-Way Poker Feud
What’s Holding the Poker Match Up?
As to be expected, Berkey wasn’t just going to sit back and let someone he barely knows attack his business and his credibility. The long-time poker pro fought back and that led to both agreeing on social media to playing some heads-up poker, but they’ve been at odds as to certain details for the match.
That’s where Phil Galfond has been hired to step in and arbitrate the negotiations. Both players did agree on playing three days per week at $200/$400 no-limit hold’em stakes in Las Vegas, although the casino of choice hasn’t yet been determined.
Nik Airball wants to live-stream the match, but Berkey is adamant about playing without the cameras rolling. The Solve for Why founder also is not okay with either player having a coach, a friend, or anyone by their side during the poker sessions. Airball, however, requested that his poker-playing friend could sit in on the action.
This appears to be Berkey’s biggest hold up for getting the match started. Galfond shared a Telegram three-way conversation with the two feuding poker players in regards to the dispute. (NOTE: the following text log is NSFW)
Within that chat log, Berkey made it clear he won’t budge on having another poker player or friend seated near his opponent during the match.
“I’ll get you a puppy if you need emotional support,” Berkey joked.
Polk Steps In
Doug Polk offered a $100,000 freeroll to the winner of the heads-up battle if the two sides agreed to play on Poker at the Lodge, the live-stream show Polk runs at the card room he co-owns, The Lodge Card Club in Round Rock, Texas.
Berkey, however, doesn’t want anything to do with a live-stream, especially run by a poker player he despises. The feeling of hate between the two is mutual. As such, Polk is now offering up his heads-up no-limit hold’em expertise to Airball so that he can “beat this idiot.”
I dont really have time to be spending endless hours on this but I will help him with anything he needs to try and beat this idiot.
Polk is no stranger to heads-up feuds. In his most famous battle of all, against Daniel Negreanu, he backed the truck up like he predicted to the tune of a $1.2 million profit.
The long-time bitter rivals settled their dispute on the felt and have since become cordial. Perhaps that is what will happen one day between Berkey and Airball. Well, if they ever actually play.
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