Matt Berkey, ‘Nik Airball’ to Battle in Heads Up Grudge Match

Berkey and Arcot will battle three days a week at $200/400 stakes with a $100,000 minimum buy-in.

Jeff Walsh
Mar 26, 2023
Matt Berkey (left) and Nikhil ‘Nik Airball’ Arcot are preparing for a high-stakes heads-up match in Las Vegas.

After a wild week full of trash talk, accusations, and “put up or shut up” rhetoric the very public war of words between Solve For Why founder Matt Berkey and Hustler Casino Live featured player Nikhil Arcot, aka ‘Nik Airball’, has resulted in a high-stakes heads-up match.

According to Berkey, the details include $200/$400 ($400) stakes, $100,000 minimum buy-in, and will last 100 hours. Provisions include either player being able to exit the match early if they are down $1,000,000 with penalties of $10,000 for early exit of a session or missing a session entirely.

For those just tuning in, this spilled into the poker public when Doug Polk had Arcot on his podcast on Thursday to address a very different piece of drama. During that conversation, the pair let it be known that, behind the scenes, they were trying to set up a heads-up match between Arcot and Berkey at Polk’s Austin cardroom The Lodge. But in revealing that, Polk and Arcot used some tough language and levied some accusations against Berkey and his poker training site Solve For Why.

Berkey responded on his own podcast, Only Friends, essentially saying he really didn’t know “Airball Rick” and had little incentive to travel to Austin to take this challenge. He showed off some direct messages between himself and Polk, basically stating that he was considering it but nothing ever came of it. At that point, he, almost flippantly, said that if Arcot really wanted a piece of him he would have to travel to Las Vegas and play off-stream. For those who were watching from the outside, this felt like it could be an end to this exchange.

Except Arcot decided to take Berkey up on it.

The duo pressed high-stakes pro Phil Galfond into the role of arbitrator so that all of the rules could be set between these two, now rivals. A host venue has not been announced but once settled the duo will battle three days a week until it’s over.

With fan interest in this HU4Rollz grudge match at a fever pitch, even though it’s not slated to be streamed, it’s very likely that updates will be made available to those looking for it.