Salsberg Takes Down Famed California State Poker Championship

CSPC winner matt salsberg   Commerce Photo
Matt Salsberg courtesy of Commerce Casino.

Writer/poker player Matt Salsberg lived up to his Hollywood-billing by winning the California State Poker Championship for $174,870 this week.

Salberg, who wrote for the hit show Weeds, outlasted 1,119 to take down the title, which was his first major since winning WPT Paris for $478,415 in 2012.

Actor Ben Affleck famously won the California State Poker Championship in 2004 for $356,400.

Chip Jett, Jeff Madsen and Brent Hanks are also among the noted pros who hit pay dirt at the CSPC over the years.

Former CSPC Winner Sabat Derailed in 5th

Eddy Sabat entered the final table of the CSPC with a shot at becoming the first two-time winner.

Sabat won the tournament in 2015 for $129,240 and entered this year’s final table as the chip leader.

Eddy Sabat3
Eddy Sabat at the WSOP.

Unfortunately for Sabat he couldn’t beat Thu Nguyen’s Q T with A 9. Nguyen flopped a set of tens and that was more than enough to send him packing in fifth place.

Sabat earned $44,610, which pushes his overall lifetime live tournament to just over $3,000,000.

Nguyen, a veteran grinder in the LA poker scene didn’t make it much further, eventually finishing third for $85,720.

That set the stage for a heads-up battle between Salsberg and Fredrick Arni. The pair, who were nearly even in chips, decided to make a deal and leave just $10,000 and the title for the winner.

The final table bubble proved to be a brutal one with two stalwart poker pros just missing out on the action. Billy Baxter was eliminated in 13th place for $13k while Vinny Vinh hit the rail in 11th for $16k.

Here's a look at the complete final-table payouts:

1. Matt Salsberg - $174,870
2. Fredrick Arni - $160,000
3. Thu Nguyen - $85,720
4. Demero Toledo - $58,040
5. Eddy Sabat - $44,610
6. Douglas Lada - $37,040
7. Thomas Zanot - $31,040
8. John Hulett - $25,020
9. Saya Ono - $19,020

Salsberg Up to $2.4m in Earnings

It’s hard to argue with Matt Salsberg’s results as a poker player. He’s now up to $2.4 million in lifetime live tournament earnings and is easily one of the most successful players to transition from Hollywood to poker.

He also won WPT Player of the Year in 2012 after his big WPT Paris victory and another final table at WPT Borgata.

Salsberg even developed a series for TV that would have showcased the poker lifestyle but it's yet to receive the green light from a studio.

Here’s a mini-doc PokerListings shot with Salsberg in 2013:

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