Matt Berkey

Matt Berkey isn’t your conventional poker pro, his background forcing him to think about the game much more deeply and in different ways.

Growing up “insanely poor” might not be the best background for a man who would choose poker as a career and go on to boom and bust several times, but Pennsylvanian Matt Berkey isn’t your conventional poker pro, his background forcing him to think about the game much more deeply and in different ways from his fellow high stakes players.

Primarily a cash game player, Berkey himself stating “I won’t go so far as to say that I hate tournaments, but they’re my least favorite form of poker,” the name might not ring so much of a bell for most poker fans, but millions won online and over $3million in tournament earnings show that the tall and lean American is an adaptable and versatile character.

Growing up in Leechburg, Pittsburgh, Berkey found an out with his love of baseball – playing throughout his college years in Allegheny and then Gannon, majoring in computer science with am minor in mathematics, but when the crunch came he decided on poker as his future – a game he’d discovered in school.

“I was spending four hours each day in practice or in the gym and then another four hours grinding online,” Berkey told Julio Rodriguez of Cardplayer back in 2013. “There was an Indian casino about an hour away, which gave me my first live experience, and I just got better over time.”

That better would see him walk-off with a $1.1million score at the 2015 Super High Roller Bowl - an unexpected result which got him fully back on track after a dismal time in 2012 and for a year or two afterwards. “It’s on record, I have gone broke a number of occasions”, he told Calvin Ayre’s Lee Davy last year, 2016.

“It’s the nature of the beast for people like me who have been playing for 12-years. The very last time I went broke in 2012 I had $300,000 to my name 18-months prior, and I made horrible business decisions.”

Now he has a small core of backers who help him to play the otherwise ridiculous huge buy-ins at things like the SHRB, a tournament which he sees as good value despite being cash-game focused for the most part.

“I have been playing high stakes cash for the better part of four years. I am a poker player by trade, so we find value,” he told Davy. “Anytime a $300,000 field comes up where they are adding $300,000 and ten businessmen sign up there is no reason not to play. Even though tournament poker isn’t my strongest suit, it’s my career. I can adjust. I was one of the first players to sign up.”

His new ‘Solving for Why Academy’ takes a novel approach to poker, Berkey describing it as “very abstract”, adding the idea is, “getting away from hand histories…we want to empower the attendees to be independent in their learning process.”

Add to this his recent ‘Dead Money’ documentary, following the run-up to his SHRB appearance last year, perhaps just one of a number of ‘poker content’ ideas he has for the future, it’s clear that Berkey – who has few close friends within the game of poker itself – is an ‘outlier’; a poker pro capable of adapting to whatever life has to throw at him.

Read More
11 months ago1,992killjoy1987,

Published 11 months ago

When You Don't Know You're BLUFFING

Bryn Kenney is one of the most winningest players in poker, and plays hands in a way that most of us would never even imagine. It ...

1 year ago1,357BDJB,

Published 1 year ago

Solve for Why Chronicles VLOG #15 - Lost In NY!

The WPT heads to New York as does the Solve For Why crew which is headed by nosebleed player Matt Berkey! Follow the guys as ...

2 years ago1,492BDJB,

Published 2 years ago

Solve For Why Poker Chronicles VLOG Ep 2: Pots & Puppy Problems

The Solve For Why team are back with their 2nd VLOG! This time showing a behind the scenes look at their physical training routine...

1 year ago4,685Bellagio1,

Published 1 year ago

Solve For Why Chronicles: Poker VLOG #9 - Little One Drop Final Table!

Leader of the Solve for Why Chronicles Matt Berkey makes it to the final table of the final event of the summer: The $1,111 Little...

1 year ago1,912BDJB,

Published 1 year ago

Solve For Why Chronicles: Poker VLOG #10 - $200k Aria Cash Game

Solve For Why founder and high stakes cash game pro Matt Berkey heads to the Aria to play in a $200k sit down cash game where the ...

1 year ago1,647Bellagio1,

Published 1 year ago

Solve For Why Chronicles: High Stakes Backing Explained!

High Stakes crusher Matt Berkey finally reveals all about the world of high stakes poker staking! With $millions on the line ...

1 year ago1,954Bellagio1,

Published 1 year ago

Solve For Why Chronicles--VLOG #14: Polk vs Jungleman $250k Pot!

Berkey is back with another vlog and in this episode he takes a look back on his recent Poker After Dark appearance where he playe...

1 year ago1,799BDJB,

Published 1 year ago

Solve For Why Chronicles VLOG #14: Folding Kings in $250k pot?!

The "Solve For Why" guys have been busy... Matt Berkey plays $300/$600 at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas for the Poker After Dark TV...

1 year ago1,479BDJB,

Published 1 year ago

Solve For Why Chronicles - Seven Figure Swings at the Aria

The 'Solve For Why Chronices' video blog team tag along with Matt Berkey on a typical day as he prepares and plays the Poker After...

1 year ago1,739Bellagio1,

Published 1 year ago

Solve For Why Academy: Giveaway Special!

Matt Berkey and the Solve For Why Academy are back and this time they have 2 lucky contest winners who have come to take their gam...

Accused: Is Phil Hellmuth Ripping Off Stakers?

So far at least two people have been publicly called out and blocked by the Poker Brat.

Matt Berkey Hits Back at Doug Polk in TV Poker Row

It’s been a difficult time for high-stakes pro Matt Berkey, losing a $400k+ pot on Poker After Dark and incurring the wrath of Doug Polk for pulling out of a recent game.

Polk Slams Berkey Over Failed Live at The Bike Appearance

Doug Polk’s YouTube broadside this week against fellow highstakes pro Matt Berkey for not appearing at a big cash game has sparked a Twitter storm.

Party Poker Introduce Button Pays Ante Rule For Upcoming DTD Events

Party Poker’s live event at Dusk ‘til Dawn has introduced the ‘quick-fix’ method which sees the button responsible for the full ante.

Live Poker Events, 2 years ago

WSOP Event #42: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Championship

Players begin Event #42 the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship with 50,000 in chips and blinds starting at 100-200 and no ante.

Matt Berkey Talks New Show Dead Money & SHRB On The Poker Life Podcast

A documentary in 8 parts takes us through Matt Berkey’s run-up to his $1.1 million 5th place finish in last year’s SHRB

Bill Perkins Loses $200k Pot

It had to hurt Bill Perkins when he walked straight into a $200,000 ambush during PokerNight in America’s $100/200 high-roller cash game!