Berkey Builds $300K Lead Over Airball in High Stakes Grudge Match

Berkey and Airball are close to the halfway point of their heads-up grudge match with Berkey taking the lead.

Jeff Walsh
Apr 25, 2023
Matt Berkey and Nik Arcot (aka ‘Nik Airball’) are nearly halfway finished with their high-stakes heads-up grudge match.

Another weekend of the high-stakes heads-up battle between Matt Berkey and Nik Arcot (aka “Nik Airball”) is in the books. And after the trash talk and Twitter drama died down, Berkey emerged with a lead of just over $300,000 at nearly the halfway mark.

The Solve For Why founder and Hustler Casino Live star met at the Resorts World Poker Room for three days straight with Airball holding a $90,200 lead headed into a weekend of $200/$400 ($400 ante) action. Despite Airball having the momentum, the tide seemed to quickly turn with an early report of a six-figure swing in Berkey’s favor by the first break of the day. The updates coming out of the room on Saturday painted a picture of Berkey in control for the majority of the day, eventually finishing up $76,500 on the day and cutting Airball’s overall lead to just $13,700.

Headed into Day 5 (Sunday), the pair found themselves virtually even on the scoreboard once again.

Like the day before, by the first break, Berkey found himself on an upswing. According to updates provided by OnlyFriends podcast cast member Landon Tice, Berkey had a $70,000 lead at the first break which swelled into a nearly $350,000 lead shortly thereafter.

Unlike the first weekend when Berkey held large six-figure leads only to give much of it back, he held on to his advantage over Airball throughout the day. Berkey was seen putting Airball in tough positions and ultimately he finished the day up $379,000, resulting in a $365,300 overall lead – the first significant lead of the match.

The aftermath of the Saturday night session brought a new round of Twitter trash talk and bravado from both sides including Airball promising to buy in deep on Monday. And when it was time for the pair to get back at it, Airball did not disappoint putting an impressive $1.2 million in chips on the table.

The final session of this week was reported as a back-and-forth battle around the break-even line with Tice’s having both Berkey and Airball up small, during the 6.5-hour session. There were fewer updates on Monday from all parties but it was reported that Airball finished the day up $58,500. In the end, Berkey heads into the week holding on to a $306,800 overall lead with the duo having played 48.5 hours of the 100-hour match.

The pair is scheduled to resume the heads-up battle on Sunday, April 30 (taking next Saturday off). However, that won’t be the next time they are scheduled to meet on the felt. Both Matt Berkey and Nik Airball are slated to be a part of the first-ever live episode of PokerGO’s High Stakes Poker on Thursday, April 27. The game is slated to also feature Doug Polk, Eric Persson, Jennifer Tilly, Rob Yong, and Bill Klein.