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

Event 1: Raminder Singh Wins in a Six-Handed ICM Chop ($200,000)

$600 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 ante
Players Remaining:  6 of 3,229

Raminder Singh
Event 1 Champion Raminder Singh

After the elimination of Devond Marshall in seventh place, the final six players agreed to a deal to split up the remaining prizepool as a slightly modified ICM chop.

These were the official chip counts when they made the deal:

Seat 1.  Kayeen Ellis-Kemp  –  9,800,000  (25 bb)
Seat 2.  José Duarte  –  5,900,000  (15 bb)
Seat 3.  Raminder Singh  –  23,100,000  (58 bb)
Seat 4.  Kevin Greene  –  4,400,000  (11 bb)
Seat 5.  Sean Remz  –  4,500,000  (11 bb)
Seat 6.  Kevin Blewitt  –  16,900,000  (42 bb)

As chipleader, Raminder Singh is the Event 1 champion. Here are the official payouts for these final six players:

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

Stay tuned for a recap from this event.

Event 1: Devond Marshall – 7th Place ($46,995)

$600 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 ante
Players Remaining:  6 of 3,229

Devond Marshall
Devond Marshall

Devond Marshall was all in from the big blind for about 2,400,000 with Kh6d, and he needed to improve to stay alive against the KdKc of Raminder Singh in the cutoff.

The board came 8c5s5h9s3s, and the pocket kings held up for Singh to win the pot and eliminate Marshall in seventh place.

Raminder Singh  –  23,100,000  (58 bb)
Devond Marshall  –  Eliminated in 7th Place  ($46,995)

The final six players are all guaranteed at least $64,965 each.

Event 1: Official Chip Counts; Raminder Singh Leads at the Break

$600 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 ante
Players Remaining:  7 of 3,229

Raminder Singh
Raminder Singh

The blue 25K chips were colored up during the break, and the 500K plaques have been introduced into play. (Running deep enough in a big tournament to play with plaques should be on the bucket list of every poker player.)

The players return from break to begin Level 35, with increased blinds of 200,000-400,000 and a 400,000 big blind ante. With seven players remaining, the average chip stack is about 9.2 million (23 big blinds). Here are the official chip counts, followed by the remaining prizepool at stake:

Seat 1.  Kayeen Ellis-Kemp  –  8,400,000  (21 bb)
Seat 2.  José Duarte  –  6,900,000  (17 bb)
Seat 3.  Raminder Singh  –  19,700,000  (49 bb)
Seat 4.  Kevin Greene  –  4,200,000  (11 bb)
Seat 5.  Sean Remz  –  5,500,000  (14 bb)
Seat 6.  Devond Marshall  –  3,000,000  (8 bb)
Seat 7.  Kevin Blewitt  –  16,900,000  (42 bb)

1st:  $291,665 + SHRPO Trophy
2nd:  $189,380
3rd:  $123,235
4th:  $103,040
5th:  $83,360
6th:  $64,965
7th:  $46,995

Event 1: Kevin Greene Doubles Thru Raminder Singh; Scott Weidema Eliminated in 8th Place ($30,735)

$600 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 34: 150,000/300,000 with a 300,000 ante
Players Remaining:  7 of 3,229

Kevin Greene
Kevin Greene

Kevin Greene was all in from the big blind for 2,325,000 with Ah7s, and he needed his hand to hold to stay alive against the Js7d of Raminder Singh in the small blind.

The board came Ks6c4dAs2c, and Greene wins the pot with a pair of aces to double up in chips.

Kevin Greene  –  4,950,000  (17 bb)
Raminder Singh  –  10,000,000  (33 bb)

Scott Weidema
Scott Weidema

Scott Weidema raised UTG+1 to 750,000, José Duarte moved all in from middle position, and Weidema called all in for 3,600,000 with JsJh.

Duarte turned over AsKh, and Weidema needed his jacks to hold to stay alive.

The board came Ac5s4c3d9s, and Duarte paired his ace on the flop to win the pot and eliminate Weidema in eighth place.

José Duarte  –  11,750,000  (39 bb)
Scott Weidema  –  Eliminated in 8th Place  ($30,735)

The final seven players are guaranteed at least $46,995 each.