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'Weeds' Writer-Producer Wins Big at World Poker Tour

Matt Salsberg Poker - P 2012
Matt Salsberg

Matt Salsberg netted $500K at the event in Paris: "It's comparable to getting a show picked up."

This story first appeared in the Oct. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

In a rare feat for a nonpro, Weeds writer-producer Matt Salsberg won the five-day World Poker Tour's Grand Prix de Paris tournament at the city's historic Aviation Club on Sept. 15, netting more than $500,000.

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Salsberg, who has Whales, a new series about the high-stakes global poker scene, in development at Showtime -- "Think Entourage meets The Big Bang Theory" -- is a longtime hobbyist card shark.

His jargon-jammed patois ("stone bubble," "gut shot") might be unintelligible to an outsider, but he's eloquent about his victory. "It's comparable to getting a show picked up," he says.

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"You put in years and years of work -- that '10,000 hours' of practice. Then, suddenly, you're an overnight success."