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Gossip Column: Plot Thickens as Doug Polk, Matt Berkey & Nikhil Arcot Get Into a Three-Way Feud

Doug Polk, Matt Berkey & Nikhil Arcot
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis March 24, 2023
  • 4 Minutes Read

What started with Garrett Adelstein getting uninvited from the Hustler Casino Live show quickly turned into a three-way brawl involving Doug Polk, Matt Berkey, and Nikhil “Nik Airball” Arcot. Confused? Don’t be; we’ll explain.

Hustler Casino Live co-owner Nick Vertucci dropped a bombshell by announcing on his podcast that the show will no longer entertain Adelstein, who had become a somewhat controversial personality since the infamous J4 incident involving Robbi Jade Lew. Adelstein, not one to take things lying down, lashed out at Nik Airball on Twitter, calling him a lousy poker player and a “trash” human being.

But the drama doesn’t end there! Nik Airball then appeared on Polk’s podcast to defend himself and threw some serious shade at Berkey, calling him a “scammer” and challenging him to a heads-up match. But Berkey may be avoiding the confrontation, as Nik claims he has ducked him multiple times.

Now that we are all caught up, let’s get to the juicy gossip!


Matt Berkey Fires Back on the Only Friends Podcast

After Nik Airball threw out his allegations, Berkey fired back on the Only Friends podcast, explaining that he has offered to play Airball heads up in Las Vegas and isn’t scared to play him.


Doug Polk Attacks Solve For Why Team

On Thursday, Polk posted a video on his YouTube channel analyzing a huge pot where Berkey bluffed and lost to Eric Hicks in a Live at the Bike session. In the video, the Upswing Poker founder criticized Berkey’s Solve for Why poker training academy. As a result, three prominent poker players are now engaged in a public dispute on social media for all to see.


In the Wednesday interview, Polk mentioned that he tried to arrange a one-on-one match between Berkey and Airball. However, according to Polk, Berkey refused to commit to a specific time or location.

“I don’t really care, Berkey’s a scammer,” Airball responded. “When you run a training site and you can’t beat the games, you’re a scammer. You’re selling b******t. It just is what it is, you’re a scam-artist.”

Solve for Why is one of the more well-known poker training sites, as is Upswing Poker, owned by Polk. But in a “Poker Hands” (Polker Hands?) video, Polk went hard after Berkey and the Solve for Why team.

“The action folds around to Matt Berkey in the straddle, who looks down at the jack-four. Now, when you have a hand like jack-four, it’s important you build this pot,” Polk sarcastically joked. “Jack-four off-suit is a powerhouse. It can win all kinds of pots that you might not expect, and you don’t want to wait for later — build this pot right now.”

Berkey decided to three-bet with his jack-four hand, while Hicks flat-called with pocket kings. Unfortunately for Berkey, the flop did not open in his favor. However, he continued to bet out $7,000, about half the pot’s size. This resulted in him ultimately bluffing away almost $100,000.

During the exchange, Polk took a dig at Berkey’s training site, stating, “The thing about your flops is you definitely want to spend thousands of dollars on them, like for example Matt Berkey’s training site.”

He also mocked the Solve for Why team’s “All-Star cast of characters,” pulling up their Hendon Mob results and criticizing Berkey’s lack of winning a WSOP bracelet and the cash games he’s played in.


Polk Challenges Berkey to Heads-Up Match

Polk, who won $1.2 Million in a heads-up battle against Daniel Negreanu two years ago, has expressed interest in taking up Berkey, and he’s even willing to travel outside of Texas to do so. However, Berkey would instead participate in a ring game than a heads-up challenge.


Landon Tice, a member of the Solve for Why team and a friend of Berkey’s, suggested a unique heads-up challenge between Solve for Why and Upswing Poker, where the competition would involve cage fighting instead of poker.


Dan O’Brien also chimed in, asking Polk if he believes it’s appropriate to refer to Berkey as a “scammer.”

Polk replied:


Berkey then fired an insult:


As most poker feuds go, this, too, has the makings for a possible prop bet. Let’s see how things play out in the coming days.

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