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Railbird Report: Matt Berkey Talks High-Stakes Poker Backing

Matt Berkey

Before we turn our attention to the digital felt, let's take a look back at the massive kings versus aces pot which Matt Berkey lost on the Poker After Dark episode "Leave it to Seiver". With the blinds at $200/$400 and a live straddle from Garrett Adelstein, Berkey ended up calling a five-bet preflop with {k-Spades}{k-Hearts} against Adelstein's {a-Spades}{a-Clubs}. All the money eventually went in on a {7-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{a-Hearts}{6-Clubs} board and Berkey found himself on the receiving end of one of the most brutal coolers in televised poker.

Berkey lost over $200,000 in that single hand and lost another $100,000 when a hero call against Christopher Kruk went awry. It's a lot of money, but these kind of swings aren't uncommon at these stakes. In this video, Berkey gives insight on how backing and bankrolls co-exist in the high-stakes world and talks about what kind of money is needed to be able to deal with the volatility that accompanies these games.

Catching Up on High Stakes Action: Three Biggest Pots Online

No stranger to swings, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom bounced right back up from biggest loser to biggest winner this week. Blom was the only player to bank more than $100K in profit, which bumped his 2017 profit further into the seven-digit territory.

Mikita "fish2013" Badziakouski won the biggest pot in big blinds this week, as he scooped up a gigantic 586 big blind pot at a 6 Max $50/$100 NL Hold'em table. "ZarubaNT" claimed the other two $50,000+ pots in this list, both at the expense of "lynx4334".

1) "ZarubaNT" Wins a $58,763 Pot (147 Big Blinds) from "lynx4334"
($200/$400 NL Hold'em 6 Max)

"lynx4334" opened in middle position for $1,400. "ZarubaNT" three-bet on the button to $3,200 with {5-Clubs}{5-Spades}, and "lynx4334" called. The flop came down {5-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}, which gave "ZarubaNT" a flopped full house. "lynx4334" checked, "ZarubaNT" continued $3,147,75, "lynx4334" check-minraised to $6,295,50 and "ZarubaNT" called in position.

The pot was already up to $19,591 as both players checked the {4-Spades} on the turn. The {4-Hearts} on the river made "ZarubaNT"'s full house weaker, as any {9-} now had him beat. "lynx4334" bet $19,586, a pot-sized bet and nearly all of his remaining $21,728.39 stack, and "ZarubaNT" called it off.

"lynx4334" couldn't muster up more than {q-Hearts}{6-Clubs} for a total airball and "ZarubaNT" collected the biggest pot of the week.

Railbird Report: Matt Berkey Talks High-Stakes Poker Backing 101
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

2) Mikita "fish2013" Badziakouski Wins a $58,579.80 Pot (586 Big Blinds) from "jayaprakashj".
($50/$100 NL Hold'em 6 Max)

A gigantic clash between Mikita "fish2013" Badziakouski and "jayaprakashj" resulted in a massive 586 big blinds pot. Jason "jakoon1985" Koon also contributed to the pot and folded before showdown.

The action started off rather innocuous with Badziakouski raising to $300 on the button. Koon called from the small blind before "jayaprakashj" three-bet to $1,400 from the big blind. Both Badziakouski and Koon came along to see a flop.

The {q-Spades}{3-Clubs}{6-Clubs} flop got checked to Badziakouski, who bet $1,100. Koon called, "jayaprakashj" check-raised to $4,747, Badziakouski called and Koon called as well.

All the action had bolstered the pot to $18,581 - 186 big blinds - before the {7-Hearts} landed on the turn. Koon checked, "jayaprakashj" bet $9,999, nearly half of his remaining $19,999 stack, Badziakouski moved all in for $46,692, Koon folded with $26,948.05 behind, and "jayaprakashj" called the rest of his stack off.

The players agreed to run it twice. "jayaprakashj" showed {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts} for an open-ended straight draw, while Badziakouski had {k-Clubs}{q-Clubs} for top pair and a flush draw.

PlayerHandRun it OnceRun it Twice 
"jayaprakashj"{9-Hearts}{8-Hearts}13,6%1,9% [23,6% chop] 
Mikita "fish2013" Badziakouski{k-Clubs}{q-Clubs}86,4%74,5% [23,6% chop] 

"jayaprakashj" needed to hit one of the non-club tens or fives to avoid losing his entire stack. Neither the {k-Diamonds} on the first run nor the {7-Spades} on the second helped "jayaprakashj" and Badziakouski claimed the entire 586 big blind pot.

Railbird Report: Matt Berkey Talks High-Stakes Poker Backing 102
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

3) "ZarubaNT" Wins a $53,768,52 Pot (134 Big Blinds) from "lynx4334"
($200/$400 NL Hold'em 6 Max

"ZarubaNT" and "lynx4334" weren't done with each other yet, as the two clashed in another big pot that left the latter empty-handed. "Scarface.VLT" opened the action with a raise to $1,000 from the cutoff and Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov called on the button. "lynx4334" three-bet to $2,800 in the small blind, "ZarubaNT" four-bet to $6,800 in the big blind, "Scarface.VLT" and Kuznetsov folded their hands but "lynx4334" came along with the call.

Both players checked the {3-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{k-Spades} flop. On the {5-Spades} turn, "lynx4334" bet $5,200 and "ZarubaNT" called. The river was the {j-Clubs} and "lynx4334" shoved for $13,884.26. "ZarubaNT" had an easy call with {k-Clubs}{k-Hearts} and bested "lynx4334"'s lower full house with {5-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}.

Railbird Report: Matt Berkey Talks High-Stakes Poker Backing 103
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

This Week's Online High-Stakes Biggest Winners and Losers

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom is back on top this week, becoming the only player to profit more than six figures. Blom won $119,763 in 5,281 hands, which bumped his 2017 total profit to $1,255,540. The biggest loss this week was for Carlo "Ravenswood13" van Ravenswoud, who had to part with $178,646 over 4,486 hands. Blom took most of it directly from Van Ravenswoud in a session at the $1k/$2k Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tables, where Blom ended up winning $65,000 from the Dutchman residing in Malta. Van Ravenswoud could take the loss and is still up $984,269 for the year.

"lynx4334" lost the aforementioned two big pots against "ZarubaNT" and noted the second biggest loss of the week with -$57,719, behind Van Ravenswoud. Even with both big pots, "ZarubaNT" wasn't able to book a winning session at the high stakes and dropped $45,287 in total.

 (user)namehandsprofit/loss 11/16-11/23profit/loss 2017profit/loss all time
 Winning Players    
1Viktor "Isildur1" Blom5,281+$119,736+$1,255,540+$2,766,711
2Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov423+$88,284+$1,716,051+$3,606,818
4Mikita "fish2013" Badziakouski618+$77,118-$143,701+$192,763
5Jordi "prot0" Urlings2,103+$63,165+$568,158+$496,049
6BERRI SWEET2,055+$56,558+$1,565,473+$2,126,392
 Losing Players    
1Carlo "Ravenswood13" van Ravenswoud4,486-$178,646+$984,269+$201,990
4Jason "jakoon1985" Koon465-$50,057-$27,416-$2,523
6Jonas "OtB_RedBaron" Mols1,506-$43,709+$142,551+$2,399,837

The 2017 Leaderboard

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom is back in the Top 3 of biggest winners online in 2017, swapping places again with Carlo "Ravenswood13" van Ravenswoud who took his spot last week. With his winning sessions, Blom is up to $1,255,540 for the year. Van Ravenswoud slipped back into six-figure territory and now sits in fourth with $984,269 in winnings. Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov added $88,284 this week and remains the biggest winner with $1,716,051 profit.

The Top 3 of biggest losing players still consists of Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro, Dani "supernova9" Stern and "8superpoker". "8superpoker" was the only one to clock any hands and won $2,998.

 (user)namehands 2017profit/loss 2017profit/loss per hand 2017profit/loss all time↑/↓most played game 2017
 Winning Players      
1Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov53,473+$1,716,051+$32.09+$3,606,818PLO
2BERRI SWEET50,834+$1,565,473+$30.80+$2,126,392PLO
3Viktor "Isildur1" Blom172,396+$1,255,540$23.89+$2,766,7118-Game
 Losing Players      
1Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro53,987-$1,249,136-$23.13-$1,952,299-PLO
2Dani "supernova9" Stern10,039-$777,373-$77.43-$1,439,781-PLO

The above top winning and losing players in online poker for 2017 only takes PokerStars accounts into consideration. All public data courtesy of If you want to opt out of being listed in this PokerNews update on the high-stakes action, send an email with your username to [email protected]

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  • Matt Berkey talks about high stakes backing

  • Viktor "Isildur1" Blom swings back on top, becomes biggest winner online this week

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