Matt Berkey is asking poker players to fill out their brackets. No, not those brackets. The poker pro is hosting and competing at anMarch 12-14 in Las Vegas with 16 skilled players, and he is asking fans to predict the winners of this four-round heads-up event.
The single-elimination heads-up no-limit hold’em tournament costs $1,000 to enter with half of the buy going to charity and the other half to the prize pool.
Each player will start with 100 big blinds and, given the rising blind structure, matches are expected to last no more than an hour.
Poker fans can watch all the action live on Twitch with Jason Somerville and Chris Soto leading the comment.
Putting Money in Good
Berkey’s “Solve for Why” poker training academy is hosting the event to benefit a favorite poker-funded charity, Raising for Effective Giving (REG), an organization which raises money for causes like helping the homeless and animal care.
Many poker players throughout the WSOP pledge to donate a proportion of their tournament winnings each summer to REG charity, which helps rate non-profits so donors can be certain their funds are not just going to a great cause, but also are being used efficiently.
“Maximize the impact of your contribution,” is the tagline on their website which explains bringing a poker mentality to philanthropy.
The heads-up tournament will raise at least $8,000 for REG charities, and Berkey is asking the poker community to chip in additional funds for an opportunity to win some exciting prizes like an autographed Joe Montana football jersey. Those who contribute to REG and send Berkey the reception will automatically be entered in the drawing.
Dan Shak, a semipro high-stakes player, has committed to matching donations up to $10,000.
Talent on Display
The tournament features 16 skilled players who all have a chance at winning. Berkey, PokerStars Team Guru Jeff Gross, and 2012 WSOP Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia, headline the event.
Sylvia, also an occasional poker commentator, has the most career live tournament winnings ($7.1 million) in the area. Gross, a former blogger here at CardsChat, has become among the most popular online poker live streamers.
Also in the area is Phil Galfond’s wife, Farah, a soap opera actress who is no slouch in the poker table.
First Round Matchups
Jesse Sylvia vs. Johnnie Moreno
Mike Del Vecchio vs. Farah Galfond
Matt Berkey vs. Russell Thomas
Christian Soto vs. Justin Young
Kitty Kuo vs. Katie Stone
Tyson vs. Hafu
Jen Shahade vs. Jordan Young
Nick Howard vs. Jeff Gross
Poker fans can go toto predict the winners in each match for an opportunity to win prizes, including a March 23 Run it Up Reno travel package.