The 2015 California State Poker Championship $1,650 Main Event attracted 462 entries to Commerce Casino and created a prize pool of $693,000. Turnout was actually down a bit from 2013 when Jeff Madsen topped a field of 584 entries to win the title, which at the time was a part of the Heartland Poker Tour.
However, it was still up considerably from 2013, which is when Brent Hanks defeated Gavin Griffin in heads-up play to top a field of 258 entrants to win $117,760. The event has a long history with notable winners, including back in 2004 when Hollywood actor Ben Affleck outlasted 89 other players to win the then $10,000 buy-in event for $356,400.
Now, after three days of intense play, poker pro Eddy Sabat has added his name to the list of Cal State winners. The victory, which banked Sabat $121,711, brought his total live earnings up to $2,647,540.
"Woohoo! I won the 2015 California State Poker Championship Main Event and the coveted Grizzly Bear Trophy that comes with the title," Sabat said on social media after the win.
Sabat managed to work a three-handed deal that saw him take home the full first-place prize. Holding 80% of the chips in play, Sabat agreed to let Steve Vargas and Joel Tushnet, who were both down to less than 10 big blinds, to chop the second and third-place prizes. As a result Sabat became the latest Cal State champion.
Final Table Results
|1||Eddy Sabat||$129,240 + $10,000 LAPC Main Event Seat*|
*Denotes three-handed deal
Notable Finishes: Doug Lee (14th - $8,320), Jesse Yaginuma (25th - $4,920), Tony Ma (34th - $4,300), Steve Firestone (37th - $3,740), Kevin Kung (53rd - $3,190)
According to updates from the event, Behtaj Amiri was the first elimination of the final table, which happened after Tommy San opened for 60,000 under the gun and Diana Young called. Amiri then moved all in for 80,000 on the button, Sabat called from the big blind, and the other two players came along to make it four-way action to the flop.
Three checks led to the turn, and at that point Sabat bet 100,000, which prompted two folds. Sabat tabled the for the nuts, which was ahead of Amiri's two pair. The river was no help to Amiri, and he exited in 10th place for $10,190.
From there, Quynam Nguyen fell when his failed to overcome the of Yang, and Prahbo Mogulla followed him out the door when his fell to the of Tushnet when an ace spiked on the river.
Not long after, Bobby Poe got his short stack all in with the only to run into the of Vargas. An ace-high flop was a dagger through Poe's heart, and he was eliminated in seventh place for $23,280 after both the turn and river blanked.
After Yang bowed out in sixth place, Hyong Kim fell in fifth place. It happened after he moved all in for his last 275,000, San called, and Tushnet came along to see an flop. San bet 100,000, Tushnet folded, and the cards were turned up.
San was way out in front with bottom set, but Kim could still win with a ten. It didn't materialize though as both the turn and river blanked to send Kim out the door for fifth place for $34,860.
Given the deal, San was technically the last elimination of the tournament. It happened when Tushnet raised to 125,000 and Sabat three-bet to 275,000. San then moved all in for roughly 500,000, Tushnet got out of the way, and Sabat called.
San was primed to double, and he held strong on the flop. Unfortunately for him, the dealer burned and turned the to pair Sabat. The river was no help to San, and he had to settle for fourth place and $46,430 in prize money.
The next big poker series at Commerce Casino will come in September with the Commerce Poker Series. For more information head on over to commercecasino.com.
*Lead photo courtesy of lapcnews.com.