Almost everyone’s getting catching the March Madness Fever. The annual series of tournaments for NCAA men’s basketball is one of the most-watched sporting events on TV, as well as one of the most successful gambling opportunities. Now, poker has caught the bug as well, and is in the midst of its first March Madness poker tournament.
Matt Berkey, who operates poker training website SolveForWhyAcademy, is currently hosting a single-elimination heads-up poker tournament in Vegas. The tournament began March 12 and runs through 14, bringing together 16 highly skilled pros to face off toward the ultimate showdown. Proceeds from the event will be split, with 50% going to the Raising for Effective Giving (REG) charity, and 50% to the prize pool.
The tournament has brought together some well-known faces in the poker world. Among others, Mike Del Vecchio, Jordan Young, Katie Stone and Jess Sylvia are participating in the $1,000-entry event. The playoffs will have commentary provided by Chris Soto and Jason Somerville on Twitch.
In addition to the heads-up battles, the public can also get involved. On Berkey’s website, players can enter their predictions for the winners in each match. Prizes are available, including a travel package for the upcoming March 23 Run it Up Reno tournament. Additionally, anyone who donates to REG during March Madness will take part in a drawing for additional prizes, one of which is a football jersey signed by Joe Montana.
Berkey expects to raise a minimum of $8,000 for REG, and is taking advantage of the basketball’s NCAA tournament series to push his campaign. All money raised for REG will be matched, up to $10,000, by Dan Shak, a semi-pro high-stakes poker player.
Solve For Why is a poker coaching site that takes a unique approach to helping poker players improve their game. It is the only advanced training camp that teaches live poker strategy with real-time analytics. The site also covers topics such as bankroll management, variance, accounting and game techniques to help improve players’ concentration.
Berkey is a professional poker player who has pocketed almost $4 million in live action. His best cash came in May of 2016 when he finished fifth in the $300,000 NLHE Super High Roller Bowl in Vegas. The Pennsylvania resident has 30 WSOP cashes, eight WPT cashes and one EPT cash.