Matt Berkey: Crushing the Tables & Building Champions

Matt Berkey: Crushing the Tables & Building Champions

Matt Berkey is a famous poker player who has experienced and scaled through the thick and thin of the game. He moved from grinding at the pit of dangerous underground games to making millions of dollars in live cash games and tournaments. His passion and dedication to improving himself distinguished him in poker.

Today’s casino news will examine Matt Berkey’s life and career, including the challenges and controversies that have become a part of his story.

Matt Berkey, a Thinking Player, and Thinking Leader

Matt Berkey was born in the United States, Leechburg, Pennsylvania, on January 29th, 1982. Growing up, he nurtured the dream to play professional baseball. But the future could have been more bright for him as his family was broke. His parents were divorced, and he had two siblings. Later, Berkey moved in with his grandparents, who gave him a better life and sponsored him in high school.

Berkey actively participated in sports in high school because it was his passion. He also strongly desired to stay with his friends in college (Allegheny College), which led him to turn down a few scholarship opportunities. However, he later moved to Gannon University, where he continued in the school’s official athletic activities. Matt graduated from Gannon University with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, finishing with a GPA of 3.0. After graduation, he worked in the chemical industry.

Matt started playing poker in high school but didn’t take it seriously. But Chris Moneymaker’s poker boom era sparked his interest. After graduation, he began practicing hard and spending long hours studying the game, mastering the poker cheat sheet.

Poker ultimately won his desire for baseball. His first experience came from live casino games—the form of gambling he majored in today—at an Indian casino.

Berkey’s Professional Poker Career

Matt Berkey started his real-money winning journey by playing online games, such as the Joker Poker video poker. He played multi-table tournaments (MTT) on two major poker sites under the screen name “berkey11.”

In 2010, he finished second on a $200 MTT and won $102,000. His total online MTT wins are more than $976,000. After earning some cash in online casino games, Matt Berkey moved on to live games.

Live Tournaments Wins for Matt Berkey

With an increased bankroll of about $50,000, he started traveling to compete in several poker tournaments. Berkey set his foot in the professional live tournament win in 2006. He competed at the Seneca World Poker Classic at Niagara Falls in the $200 + 25 No Limit Hold ’em to cash out $3,400 session.

He recorded his first big win in 2010 at the 41st WSOP in Las Vegas, winning $206,395 in the $10,000 World Championship No Limit Hold ’em event. Matt Berkey got his biggest cash reward in 2016 at the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas, winning $1.1 million in the $300,000 No Limit Hold ’em event.

Though Berkey plays majorly cash casino games, where he has earned $4,717,157 in live tournaments.


Matt Berkey has been at the center of controversies and criticisms throughout his career. Some notable instances include:

Jonathan Little Dispute
Berkey engaged in a heated argument with fellow poker player Jonathan Little, which led to accusations of bullying and dishonesty.

$1M Grudge Match
In 2023, Berkey competed in a heads-up match against Nik Airball and won $1,029,700. The feud between the two players became a hot topic within the poker community and even attracted the attention of prominent players like Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu.

Stream Safety Concerns
Berkey voiced his concerns about the safety of poker streams, which led to a disagreement with Doug Polk. This incident further fueled the two players’ ongoing rivalry.

Despite these controversies, Berkey has remained a significant figure in the poker world, often stirring up discussions and debates within the community. His resilience and overcoming these challenges have solidified his status as a controversial yet highly respected player and have served just as our online casino guides, inspiring many who wish to follow his steps on the poker felt.

Final Thoughts

Matt Berkey’s journey in the world of professional poker has been a captivating narrative of determination, skill, and adaptability. He is an accomplished player, successful educator, and influential figure within the poker community. To be an online poker real money cash game grinder like Matt Berkey, visit Vegas Aces Casino to play all your favorite poker variants.

If you are new to the table game, check out our Jokers Wild Guide and learn a new way of playing card games. Don’t forget to share this on social media!

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