Game Over: Matt Berkey Wins $1 Million Off Nik Airball

Matt Berkey is officially the winner of the high-stakes heads-up match against Nik Airball.

Jeff Walsh
May 6, 2023
Matt Berkey takes down the high-stakes heads-up match against Nik Airball.

It’s all over.

The high-stakes grudge match between Solve For Why founder Matt Berkey and rising Hustler Casino Live star Nik ‘Airball’ Arcot is officially in the books with Berkey taking more than a cool $1,000,000 off Airball in just 58 hours of heads-up play.

The negotiated rules stated that the players promised to play the $200/$400 ($400 ante) game for 100 hours but should either party find themselves down $1 million, they could call it. And at the start of Saturday, Berkey held a massive $669,300 lead and, according to Berkey, when the pair reconvened at the Resorts World Poker Room in Las Vegas, Airball was sitting with $350,000 – effectively the case money for the challenge.

The match started at 2 pm local time and by the first break, reports had Berkey up another $145,000. Not long after Berkey tweeted that Airball called it having lost the rest of his stack. According to Berkey, speaking on a recent Twitter space with some of his backers (including Shaun Deeb) the final hand was a set-over-set situation with Berkey’s set of tens scooping Airball’s stack as the challenger held a set of threes.

Despite the bad blood, Berkey said that in the end Airball extended his hand and the pair shook on the match, perhaps not friends but putting a close to this particular chapter for the two of them.

Ultimately, it took Berkey just nine sessions to vanquish the 26-year-old Airball, winning more than $350,000 in three different sittings. For Airball, Saturday’s loss is part of a larger downswing, one that was witnessed in part by more than 17,000 people as he lost more than $200,000 on Hustler Casino Live the night before and roughly $120,000 on the live edition of PokerGO’s High Stakes Poker.

Berkey made it clear that he was open to playing Airball again. But for those that enjoy the heads-up drama, immediately after it was announced that the match was over, a new challenger stepped into the arena.