Episode 85 – Matt Berkey on The Evolution Of Poker Training

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In this episode, we are joined by high stakes poker pro, coach, and blogger, Matt Berkey. Elliot and Matt discuss the problems with playing based on theory alone, and analyze why creative thinking gives players an edge against their opponents. Listen in to hear a live and online poker coach explain what his academy, Solve for Why, offers students and why there will always be a “wild card” in the world of poker.

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Time Stamped Show Notes:

[01:00] – Matt’s summer started with a massive loss but he ended up breaking even; what this does to the mind

[01:30] – He views playing cash as his bread and butter; as running a business without the results impacting him daily

[02:05] – He has hope every day and sees it as a legitimate return on his investments; it was frustrating to start but had plenty of opportunities to make it up

[02:55] – The difference for locals in Vegas playing high stakes cash games in the summer

[03:05] – It’s a huge impact for mid-stakes; for high stakes, it’s a revolving door and caters to VIPs throughout the year and keeps Matt out

[03:55] – In the summer, the games run more frequently so there’s a mix between VIPs and guys like Matt; the games are different with more tough spots, which he likes

[05:00] – He barely has any downtime in the summer; the process is fun, but when you’re in it, you’re in it

[06:26] – The story of Nick Manion; he offered to give Matt and his friend, Jordan Young, Matt’s partner and roommate, exposure and offered to wear their Solve for Why gear

[07:00] – They obliged and they got their brand out there, but there was a misunderstanding in that they didn’t get a piece of the winnings

[07:30] – Poker News ran a story about Nick’s play and win, and rolled that story with the fact that he’s friends with Jordan so was wearing Solve for Why gear

[08:20] – What’s going on with the Solve for Why Academy; they had 18 players (at least half part-time) and about $400,000 of cash for the summer

[09:15] – They are launching a sub-site August 13 that will be live-focused and focused on implementing and not just building strategies

[09:30] – The game evolves so quickly; it’s natural that their material would as well

[10:10] – The online academy is for anyone passionate about poker; it’s tiered depending on level

[10:50] – A big piece of content is “Poker Out Loud”; he’s happy about how it came out and how unique the teaching methods are

[11:30] – They are doing a docu-series and a podcast as well

[12:48] – It gets daunting for others, but Matt is used to breaking down his plays; tilt and emotions are normal and are used in the game in an exploitative way

[14:30] – They are doing a lot of work on strategy and foundational knowledge in live game theory; they do the heavy lifting and come back with a base strategy and deviations

[15:30] – When playing online, you don’t have all that extra information; live can be contrarian to what theory would dictate

[16:10] – People don’t know how to process new information if they just focus on theory

[17:15] – How Matt sees the company evolving

[17:28] – The academy is the icing on the cake; the new products are follow-up/primer products

[18:48] – Being online allows them to work with people all over the world; they can provide value and entertainment to their community

[20:35] – There are some things he wouldn’t divulge because it’s a liability to apply those nuances and it’s difficult to teach

[21:20] – He teaches what can be deployed and encourages self-learning and independent thinking

[22:10] – No two strategies look the same; largely speaking, people will apply strategy differently

[22:45] – Outliers within the community do things differently by challenging notions that he sees in the collective

[23:30] – We’ll never reach a stage where plays are standardized because we are human and imperfect

[24:04] – Application processes will always be different, so there will always be a “wild card” and “sore spots” in the strategy

3 Key Points

  1. No two strategies look the same because people will always apply strategy differently.
  2. The game evolves quickly so it’s natural that poker teaching materials would, too.
  3. You can learn strategy and implementation, but the way it is comprehended and executed will never be standardized.



  • Podcast Production (Editing, Show Notes, and Transcript) by Podcastily

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About the Author Elliot Roe

Hi, I'm Elliot Roe... And I Help Poker Players Squeeze Every Ounce Of EV From Their Poker Skills and Abilities. Over 7500 poker players have downloaded my Mindset MP3s to boost their focus on the table and to relax and recover post-session. I have personally worked with hundreds more on mastering their emotions and the tabling and developing the “Pro-Athlete Mindset” needed to be successful into today’s games. Creating a strong poker mindset has been the “secret weapon” of the high stakes elite for years now, and I started this site to bring that edge to any player willing to work on that area of their game.

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