For the past few weeks, everyone has been discussing Nick Airball's duel with Matt Berkey. After a loud and very public showdown, they decided to battle live at limits of $200/400. The total duration of the match is 100 hours, but there is a cap – if someone loses a million dollars, the match will stop. Last week, the opponents took a break due to Nick's illness, but returned to the tables on Saturday. The last two sessions have been in Airball's favor, with him leading the overall standings by about $100,000.
However, little is known about him. Berkey, for example, founded the Solve for Why school, spent some time there in the solver, has taught players, and played tournaments and cash games for years, but where Nick came from is a mystery. And an even bigger mystery, where did he get so much money for the game? Definitely not from freerolls!
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The last question has become even more relevant after Hustler Casino recently announced a new record buy-in game – they plan to play with a minimum buy-in of $1,000,000. One of the guests who have already confirmed to play is Nick.
Nick's real name is Nikhil Arcot. We found a person with that name in the list of ex-employees of an investment company, but we could not figure out if it was our Nick. Although, most likely, he is not named John Smith after all, it is not so easy to find a full namesake. The only video of Arcot from pre-poker times is an excerpt from a project he did in college about hedging risk in business. One thing is for sure – during those years of study, Nikhil was much slimmer and much more modest.
Despite the fact that Nick is an active Twitter warrior and often plays on streams, very little is known about his life outside of poker. His website succinctly states that he is a poker player and a family man. Nick told Jungleman that until last autumn he was working in investments, and now he is resting and playing poker. That is, today he can be considered a professional. Maybe he played on one of these sites?
Apparently, Nick was doing well with investments – a month ago he lost $750k in one session and calmly discussed unsuccessful hands in a podcast. In fact, the amount of loss could have been bigger, but Nick was saved either by vanity, superstition, or by the numbers – he decided to stop at the $950k marker. In the podcast, he talked about how the whales at the table feel when they realize that the whole table is hunting them. Seeing everyone limping premium hands before you and trying to lure you into the pot is a shame. It's even more hurtful to tilt because of this, play with VPIP 58 and 3-betting hands like T4o and 73s.
It's hard to tell how weak Airball is in terms of poker, but that session went really badly for him. Although he knows how to fold, even full houses. However, he hardly remembers this fold with pride.
On 2+2 (https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/heads-up-between-nik-airball-solve-why-matt-berkey-1820398/) Nick is also not considered a classic fish, and because of his extreme aggression (you can't tell from the previous hand, but believe me, there will be proof further), many forum experts believe that it is extremely tough to play against him. By the way, his chances of winning the duel with Berkey are getting higher according to that forum.
Recently, Nick started a channel on YouTube, where he analyzes his hands with his streaming colleagues. In this discussion, for example, he told how he defended the turn and was twice checked-raised by Jungleman.
Apparently, with this bluff, Nick took revenge on Cates for his disrespectful comments about his outfit.
One of Nick's worst enemies, at least at the poker tables, is vlogger Ethan Rampage Yau. Our hero is traditionally unlucky against him. In an ill-fated session that cost Nick -$750k, he lost several hands against his nemesis – in a 4-bet pot, he really wanted to call Ethan on the river with deuces, but could not do it. He was tilted by the end of the video.
But Nick managed to cripple the Finnish online legend Buttonclicker and win the biggest pot on Hustler streams.
We wrote about that session in detail last year.
A record pot, solid coolers and failures of a top reg online – a review of the latest stream from the Hustler casino.
Naturally, Nick's aggressive play style benefits him when he has the nuts.
However, in those cases when the opponent has the nuts, they usually manage to let Nick give them his chips – Alec Torelli checked all the streets and got the maximum value.
Due to his reputation on a recent stream, Nick was called after a 5-bet all-in for $145k by older legend Bill Klein with AQo. Nick also had AQo, so it was a really creative push.
Boldness, bravery, and Nick's unreadable ranges are sometimes well-rewarded.
But there are downsides to this play, too, like getting called light with just fourth pair.
As you know, the main thing is the result on the scoreboard. And Nick, despite all his follies, manages to make money on streams. Among Hustler's top winners, he took an honorable 18th place, right behind YouTuber Ludwig. And if it weren't for the ill-fated session at minus $750k (let's write it off as just variance), he would have ended up in second place, right behind Garrett Adelstein. By the way, he also recently spoke ill of Nick from the bottom of his heart in an interview with Doug Polk. We have already translated Adelstein's vocal jabs here.
The world-famous American live regular answered questions from Doug Polk about the scandalous hand, being excommunicated from the Hustler casino, and his future in poker.
Nick's opponent in the duel, Matt Berkey, overtook him on the list of winning players by quite a bit. True, he played at Hustler only three times.
In general, girls who traditionally choose bad guys will definitely root for Nick in the current duel (if you still don't know why they do it, watch this video). He is bold, stylish, and plays more hands than boring regulars.
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