Matt Berkey Takes Nik Airball to the Cleaners Winning $1million in Just 60 Hours

May 9, 2023
20,097 Views
Andrew Burnett

Matt Berkey took less than 60 hours to settle his Grudge Match with Nik “Airball” Arcot, pocketing a $1million profit in just 9 sessions of $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em.

The pair had been battling it out since April Fool’s Day at Resorts World in Las Vegas, although Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio saw their first real confrontation...


The entire feud came about in the wake of the Garret Adelstein-Robbi Jade Lew drama, which brought Hustler Casino Live into the spotlight.

HCL reg “Airball” soon found himself the centre of attention, challenging Adelstein and others to pretty much any stakes, and finally settling on Matt Berkey.

Berkey, accused by Airball of being a “scammer” who “runs a training site but can’t beat the games”, accepted the challenge and the duelling duo hit the tables.

With a $100k min buy-in and no maximum, the rules agreed with arbiter Phil Galfond stated that they would play for 100 hours with a $1million loss stop.

Berkey took a an early lead with a $133k opening session win, but Airball fought back and reversed that, the players almost equal after 5 sessions.

However, Berkey then pulled away with some seriously big wins, a $380k session soon followed by another $300k on day 8, taking him to $659k up.

Day

Player

Total

1

Berkey

+$133,500

2

Berkey

+$133,500

3

Berkey

+$33,500

4

Airball

+$90,200

5

Airball

+$13,500

6

Berkey

+$365,300

7

Berkey

+$306,800

8

Berkey

+$659,800

9

Berkey

+$1,029,700

Strangely, by today’s standards, the match wasn’t livestreamed and we had to rely on Landon Tice providing daily updates, and things were looking very bleak for Airball...

With day 9 costing Airball a $10k penalty for cancelling, it was left to his friend and coach, Eshaan “brownballa” Ballah, to tweet out the denouement when the session finally took place, stating: “Rip match over set over set in 3b pot for 300 something k pot.”
  
If the $1million loss hasn’t put Airball off matches for life, he has another challenger knocking at the door already – Garrett Adelstein.

Adelstein was the original target of Airball’s challenge, but had to say no as his wife had just given birth. A few months on, however, Adelstein seems keen to back up the truck...

Adelstein stated: “I would like to officially accept @nikairball challenge to play me $500/$1000+ heads up now that things have settled down a bit at home with my newborn. As he loves to say, enough talking, let’s just settle this on the felt. I will have every cent of my own action as requested.”

Airball, still licking his wounds from an embarrassing and expensive loss, has yet to respond to Adelstein’s public callout.

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