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Matt Salsberg Wins 2017 California State Poker Championship

Matt Salsberg
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  • Matt Salsberg and Fredrick Arni made a deal at Commerce that saw each bank over $160,000.

After a heads-up deal, Canadian World Poker Tour champ Matt Salsberg walked away with $164,870 in prize money and a $10,000 L.A. Poker Classic seat for winning the 2017 California State Poker Championship $1,100 Main Event. Along with Fredrick Arni, Salsberg topped a field of 1,119 entrants in the Commerce Casino event, which had four starting flights.

It's the sixth score of at least $100,000 for Salsberg, who now has over $2.4 million in live cashes.

Official Final Table Results

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

*reflects heads-up deal
**reflects deal and includes $10,000 LAPC seat

Just over 50 players advanced to Day 2 of the event, which took place Sunday. David "The Dragon" Pham, Thayer Rasmussen, Mike Shariati and Billy Baxter were among those who made it through but did not advance to the final table. Baxter finished 13th, continuing an outstanding spring that saw him take part in a four-way chop of an LAPC prelim event.

According to the live updates, Eddy Sabat held the chip lead going in and kept it for most of the play on Day 2, taking it into the final table after flopping a set against an opponent's aces with 13 left.

Saya Ono also had one of the bigger stacks, but she got aggressive with a flush draw and two overcards when Arni flopped trips and went bust in ninth. Arni also landed the next elimination with ace-king over the ace-queen of John Hulett.

Salsberg's big moment came when Thomas Zanot raised it up preflop to 150,000, and Salsberg picked up the {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts} and made it 450,000. Zanot made it 950,000, and Salsberg shoved all in. Zanot called since he had {a-Spades}{a-Diamonds}, but a flop of {9-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{6-Hearts} followed by a {3-Hearts} turn delivered a brutal beat and made Salsberg the new leader.

Salsberg then won with {q-Spades}{10-Clubs} against short stack Douglas Lada's {k-Clubs}{j-Hearts}, and he had half of the chips in play five-handed.

Sabat, who won the event in 2015 for about $130,000, saw his run at another title end in fifth. He got it in ahead with {a-Hearts}{9-Hearts} against the {q-Hearts}{10-Clubs} of Thu Nguyen but saw a pair of tens hit the felt.

Arni then busted Delmero Toledo in a flip before shoving on Nguyen in a three-bet pot when {k-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{k-Diamonds} flopped. Unfortunately for Arni, Nguyen held {k-Spades}{q-Diamonds} and had him crushed. However, running diamonds hit and turned Arni's {a-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} into a winning flush.

He had a slight lead heads up against Salsberg, and the two decided to secure themselves $160,000 a piece and play for the remaining monies and the LAPC seat, good for the 2018 event. Salsberg knocked his opponent down a peg by making a flush in a big pot and then finished him off in the wee hours of Monday for the hefty trophy and the remaining prizes.

Photo courtesy of Commerce Casino

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