An Interview With the Weeds & Entourage Writer and Producer Matt Salsberg
To be a successful poker player you need to be a great storyteller, and nobody is going to argue with you over the storytelling abilities that Matt Salsberg possesses.
Salsberg has been a writer, and executive producer, for the hit American TV shows Weeds and Entourage. Like I said, the man knows how to tell a story. But with a scheduled writing break in full swing, Salsberg has turned his attention to his hobby; a hobby he is fast making his second profession – poker. He is tied in first place for the World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year race after winning the WPT Grand Prix de Paris and final tabling two more events over the other side of the deep blue yonder.
So how do you become so successful in both arts?
“I took a class, an extension programme in movie writing and wrote a lot of scripts for movies before moving into TV scripts.
“Weeds was my eighth show. There is no one-way to break in. You have to live in Los Angeles, you have to have the balls to go there even if you don’t know anyone. I had a portfolio and found an agent and a manager to circulate my work and based on the feedback I was able to parlay that into some jobs.”
And how about poker?
“It was definitely a hobby. But I played a lot over the years in LA both in tournaments and cash games. I played the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in 2011 and had a deep run. That gave me a bankroll to play some $5 and $10k buy-ins.
Then I was running cold until Paris, and it all turned around. Weeds had wrapped so I wanted to take a trip to Europe. I saw that Matt Savage had a $5 million guarantee in Partouche so I decided to go there and tagged on WPT Paris. I was running terribly up until that point and Will the Thrill and Micah Raskin were telling me about the need to create positive energy. Will was literally willing the cards out of the deck in Partouche – and they kept coming. I thought I would try it in Paris and hit something like 18-sets.”
Salsberg didn’t make it through the second day of WPT Barcelona, and now heads back to Florida in the search for more WPT POY points.