Two things are clear: Matt Berkey is passionate about the game of poker, and he seems to regularly find himself involved in social media flame wars with his peers. But has the Solve for Why founder’s recent actions on X gone too far, or do the people he’s trashed have it coming?
That’s not for us to decide, so we’ll instead share the opinions of those who’ve chimed in on poker X, and the answer to the question appears to be yes, but also no.
Before getting to the poker community’s response, here’s a brief summation of the events that have led to Berkey taking some heat on social media: Berkey criticized his poker coaching competitor, Jonathan Little, over poker strategy.
He’s gone after Little, who runs PokerCoaching.com, a few times in recent months. Daniel Negreanu then stepped in to defend Little and bash Berkey, and then it all just sort of spiraled out of control with seemingly everyone on poker X taking sides.
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Negreanu Has Some Advice for Berkey
Negreanu had a bit of advice for Berkey on how to handle the dispute with Little, who is a PokerNews Strategy contributor. He said the Only Friends podcast host should have treated Little with “respect” and “build a bridge that could help his own business flourish since Jonathan is incredibly successful in the coaching space.”
The GGPoker ambassador then referred to Berkey’s behavior as “obvious jealousy” and argues that Berkey is “in no position to be an authority on what is good or bad for poker coaching” because “he does not have the resume.”
Berkey, as expected, wasn’t just going to ignore the comment from a poker player with over 550,000 X followers. He defended his criticisms of Little by writing, “I’m never one to bite my tongue, but I’m also not one to attack someone’s character (undeserving),” and then went on to explain that he hasn’t taken personal shots at Little, but simply disagrees with his messaging at times.
“This is just Daniel’s bruised ego lashing out,” Berkey argues.
Negreanu didn’t stop at ripping on Berkey. He took what appears to be a sarcastic approach in a response to Landon Tice, a friend of Berkey’s and a fellow Only Friends podcast host, by encouraging the young poker pro to “break free of the handcuffs” from Berkey and get some poker coaching from Alex Foxen and Chance Kornuth, the two biggest names involved with Chip Leader Coaching.
Tice, who is still in his early 20’s, does have some impressive tournament results, however. With nearly $800,000 in cashes recorded by The Hendon Mob, he’s certainly on track to having a stellar career.
Mixed Bag from Poker X
Immediately after Negreanu posted his critical tweet, poker X began to take sides. Many came to the defense of Berkey, while others agreed with the critique.
Poker writer Jennifer Newell argued that “Berkey is very clear when he is needling vs. insulting. And when he’s wrong, he admits it. DN, on the other hand, he’s the police of all things he claims shouldn’t be policed (And he’s never wrong. Ask him).”
Patrick Leonard also came to Berkey’s defense, and referred to the “hate” on Berkey as “so bizarre,” and said in a short video about the dispute that he doesn’t see his fellow poker pro as a bully.
Not everyone, however, appreciates Berkey’s social media behavior. Some believe he’s gone a bit too far, and they aren’t just talking about his attacks on Little.
“It’s your tone. ‘You don’t do it in a, ‘I’m disagreeing and here’s why’ type way, you do it in a ‘look how stupid Jonathan is, let’s mock him relentlessly’ despite the fact that, marketing or not, he’s clearly been such a positive driver of our game,” @1T_Poker tweeted at Berkey.
“Are you being serious? Nearly ever retweet you’ve made about Jonathans content appears to attempt to make him look bad or dumb. Own it, apologize and then you can move on. But again even this post attempts to deflect taking ownership and put it on someone else,” @GamesNRoses85 had to say.
“I’m starting to ponder the fact that you are actually a bully… you chose a verbal path and it was ugly, you come across as a know it all… these characteristics also point to narcissistic behavior. But then again if you don’t consistently see the line you take,” @nycPokerBum directed at Berkey.
Now let’s see what you have to say about Matt Berkey. Vote in the poll below to share your voice.