Event 1: Raminder Singh Adds a Trophy to His Family’s Collection, along with $200,000

2019 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 1
$600 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed
Entries:  3,229
Prize Pool:  $1,711,370
August 1-5, 2019 

Event 1 Champion Raminder Singh and TD Tony Burns
Tournament Director Tony Burns (left) and Event 1 Champion Raminder Singh

Raminder Singh is a local businessman who considers himself to be a recreational player, but don’t assume that makes him a rookie, as he has won more than two dozen poker tournaments in the past five years, including a handful right here at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. And with his victory today in Event 1 ($600 Deepstack NLH), Singh officially crosses the $1 million mark in career tournament earnings.

“Poker is my hobby,” said Singh. “This is really a great accomplishment for me, competing against some of the best players in the world in tournaments like this.”

Raminder was among the chipleaders for most of Day 2 and Day 3, and he believes the last time he was all in as the shorter stack facing elimination came early on Day 2.

“The biggest hand that made my tournament was in the second hour of Day 2,” said Singh. “I made a set of aces against Zoltan Czinkota’s set of queens. That double-up put me over a million in chips, and I never looked back.”

Jose Duarte
Jose Duarte pumps his fist after tripling up with quad sevens.

There were 12 players remaining at the end of Day 2, and recent WPT champion Craig Varnell was just behind Singh on the leaderboard. But Varnell was on the wrong end of a painful cooler with 11 players left (link to the hand), cold-four-betting all in from the button with kings, only to have chipleader Kevin Blewitt wake up in the small blind with pocket aces. Sean Remz folded pocket tens face up, and José Duarte was the third player in the hand with pocket sevens and a short stack.

Duarte flopped a set of sevens and rivered quads to triple up, but Blewitt won a huge side pot to eliminate Varnell in 11th place.

Craig Varnell
11th-Place Finisher Craig Varnell

That hand carried Blewitt to the final table with a huge lead, but Singh regained the lead with seven players left, and then knocked out Devond Marshall in seventh place to increase his lead even further. That’s when the final six players agreed to a slightly adjusted ICM chop to split the remainder of the prizepool.

The final six players seemed to have a great rapport with each other at the table. Singh called them “a good bunch of guys. Everyone was very friendly, and that made the experience way better and enjoyable.”

Event 1 - Final Six Players Chop
The final six players got along so well that they took a group photo together when it was over. Raminder Singh is seated in front, and from left to right behind him is Kayeen Ellis-Kemp, Kevin Greene, Sean Remz, Kevin Blewitt, and José Duarte.

As for Singh, he adds another trophy to his family’s collection. Singh has a friendly competition with his 11-year-old daughter, Sonya, to see who can win more trophies. Sonya has more than 30 medals and trophies for ice skating, and today’s victory brings Singh to about 25, so he has some catching up to do.

“She has a big lead in trophies, which makes me a proud father. But I’ve got to catch up with her in the coming years.”

Singh’s eight-year-old son Shawn has recently joined the friendly competition as he competes in soccer, ice hockey, and other sports.

Singh is a regular player here at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, and he had high praise for the casino and staff. He’s particularly excited for the opening of the new Guitar Tower in October. “This is a really great experience,” Singh said, “but I’m looking forward to the new Hard Rock Poker Room near the Guitar.”

Singh plans to go back to work tomorrow, and he may go to India soon to visit his parents. But if he’s still in town, he’ll be back at the end of this week for the $5,250 SHRPO Championship.

“I’m really looking forward to the championship,” said Singh. “I will try to satellite into the main, which I always do.”

Raminder Singh
Event 1 Champion Raminder Singh
Kevin Blewitt
2nd-Place Finisher Kevin Blewitt

Final Table Results:

1st:  Raminder Singh  –  $200,000 + SHRPO Trophy
2nd:  Kevin Blewitt  –  $176,335
3rd:  Kayeen Ellis-Kemp  –  $144,265
4th:  José Duarte  –  $120,110
5th:  Sean Remz  –  $109,320
6th:  Kevin Greene  –  $105,615
7th:  Devond Marshall  –  $46,995
8th:  Scott Weidema  –  $30,735
9th:  Richard Gress  –  $21,325