Raminder Singh may not be a name known in the poker echelon along the likes of Hellmuth, Negreanu, or others, but his success in his section of the poker world is unmatched. With a trophy case that contains a whopping 74 titles, just under $2,000,000 in career tournament earnings, and many other accomplishments, including a win at the RunGood Pro-Am last fall, “The Raminator” is one of the most successful players in Florida’s history. And he’s earned those accolades and money all at primarily small to mid-stakes buy-ins.
Just last week, Singh, who calls himself the “True Poker Amateur” on Twitter (@PokerTrue) won his ninth title at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Hotel and Casino in the WPT Rock ‘N Roll Poker Open $600 Deep Stack Turbo event, upping his own record for most trophies won at the property. That’s more than names like Brian Altman, Yuval Bronshtein, David Prociak, Michael Newman, and Gabe Ramos, who each hold seven titles.
The reason you may not have heard of him is that Singh is primarily a recreational player in Florida. He primarily focuses on his family life with his wife Delia, and their two kids, daughter Sonya (14) and son Shawn (11), along with his work as the CEO of a management consulting company.
Humble Poker Beginnings
Singh was introduced to the game in 2006 by his then-boss when he worked for another company. His boss taught him the how to play poker and put the rank of hands on the back of a napkin. They then went to a bar poker tournament. With what he said was beginner’s luck, Singh won the tournament with 65 offsuit, cracking pocket kings, and was hooked from there.
“I found a lot of similarities between tournament poker, business, and life in general. There are ups and downs. While I was building my business, I learned how these ups and downs worked, and I could apply these life lessons into poker and vice versa.”
While that first victory may not be recognized by the HendonMob, Singh has 332 cashes to his name since then, totaling over $1,983,000 in career earnings. With so much success on the felt, it may seem strange that Singh hasn’t taken the plunge to play poker full-time, but his commitment to his family and business keeps poker as a very successful recreational pursuit, for now.
“That thought has crossed my mind. I love the game, but coming from my background in India, to tell you the truth, my parents wouldn’t want to see me, even though I’m 48 years old, they wouldn’t want to see me as just a professional poker player,” Singh said with a laugh and a smile.
“Nothing’s wrong or negative about it, but in general when I have a successful business, I want my kids to also follow the same (path).”
Singh also said that he’s waiting for his kids to go off to college before considering going from “True Amateur” to professional. These life lessons and ideals Singh also passes along to his nephews and other young players that he coaches.
“I tell them to have a foundation, have a side income at least, and then focus on poker because poker has variance. I want my kids to go to college. I love the World Poker Tour. I rarely travel for poker, but that’s one of my goals for the long run, but for now I’d like to continue on with the same journey.”
Twice as nice! @PokerTrue won Everglades Poker Open Event #5 last night, three short days after winning Event #2! Click here to see the results of the six-handed deal: https://t.co/2rJ6qQvgFe pic.twitter.com/myOKaToi2w
— Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker (@SHRHollyPoker) September 20, 2022
The Birth of Team Singh
Community and a good collection of friends or family with whom you can discuss strategy and life in poker is key to any player’s success, and that is something Singh has well covered. ‘Slum Donkey Poker’ (a play on Slumdog Millionaire) started as a group of Singh’s close friends from when he started going to Vegas to play poker early in his career and has expanded to include several top professional poker players, including WPT and WSOP champions.
Anytime Singh is playing, you’ll see him proudly wearing a ‘Team Singh’ shirt, with a fierce lion logo designed by his nephews Harry and Jason which represents his inner circle of family and their friends who share poker discussions and strategies.
“Team Singh was born predominantly because of my nephews who play poker as well. Harry, Jason, and Sandy, and along with them, all their friends their age, they became my nephews too, so I’m a universal uncle now. There are many more who reach out to me for advice on poker and I love to help them. So, it just became Team Singh and a brand.”
#TeamSingh at Creek for 15K GTD since two of nephews made it to south FL from Tampa due to hurricane Ian (Harry. His friend TP and TP’s wife). Good to have nephews/ family visit
Hope all friends in Tampa / St Pete area are keeping safe during Hurricane Ian times 🙏🏻🤞 pic.twitter.com/5lZVa7Lnpu
— True Poker Amateur – The Raminator (@PokerTrue) September 29, 2022
Singh attributes much of his success to a great work-life balance. One of his nephews did an analytics project which focused on his uncle’s results, and they discovered that the majority of his tournament wins and successes have come toward the end of a given year, when work and client pressure and his family responsibilities are less.
“When you have nothing much in the back of your head in the last quarter of the year and you can focus, you’ve done well in the year, your kids have done well, your family is good, there’s less to worry about and you can focus more on poker.”
A great example of this came just last December, when surrounding his win at the RunGood Pro-Am, he first won three nightly tournaments in four days in Florida, then also won an Aria daily and a $450 Wynn Survivor tournament while still in Vegas after winning RunGood. An incredible six wins in eight days for just under $30,000.
Congratulations to Raminder @PokerTrue Singh for winning the inaugural RunGood Poker Series ProAM Event for $10,560! He qualified from and represented Seminole Casino Coconut Creek and now will bring home the trophy! 🏆
Full recap coming soon. pic.twitter.com/2GV8FaLgEg
— RunGoodGear.com (@RunGoodGear) December 13, 2021
While his success in Florida can be seen throughout the state, including a WSOP Circuit ring win at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in 2017, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood is where Singh has had his most success, with the nine major tournament wins, including his largest-ever score of $200,000 in August, 2019. It’s a property Singh says feels he has a true home-field advantage at.
“The property is great, one of the best. The staff here have become my good friends. I feel like it’s home here, and I feel welcomed and positive, so that really helps me with my game.”
With so many trophies to his name, just where he keeps them all was what needed to be known, and he acknowledged he does keep them in a special place but has bigger plans for his trophies that include his kids.
“In my house, the only thing that’s dedicated to me is my bar, so I have my bottle of scotch, and rum and all, and alongside, I have all my trophies sitting there for now. But I do have a very healthy competition with my son and daughter in their respective sports. My daughter is big into piano and ice skating, my son is into swimming. So, we have a trophy competition going on and down the road, we have plans to build a trophy case not just for my trophies, but also for my kids.”
Late reg into Tampa WPT series’s $600 buy in tourney, 161 runners and took it down this time (no chopping) for $22,475 and the second 🏆 of this series. GG pic.twitter.com/lSnoFHPkfU
— True Poker Amateur – The Raminator (@PokerTrue) August 30, 2022
Winning 74 tournaments and having nearly $2,000,000 in career tournament earnings at predominantly three- and low four-figure buy-ins as a recreational player is certainly impressive, but above any specific strategic tips, Singh credited mindset when asked for advice that other players at that level could take.
“There will be ups and downs, like in life, so they’ve got to keep that in mind. There will always be downturns, but then if they continue working hard on their skills, on their game, in the end they’re bound to succeed. One line I strongly believe in is, success is never ending, and failure is never final.”
Singh also echoed again the importance of having a group of friends and colleagues to discuss hands with and learn from, but when pressed about some of the specifics of in-game play, Singh admitted that he isn’t a big fan of pure GTO play and instead suggested focusing on developing your own unique style.
“I don’t believe in GTO to tell you the truth. I’m going to tell you straight up; I think GTO has destroyed a lot of people’s careers in my opinion. Ace-five suited lately by GTO is the new ace-king. That’s never in my mind. Don’t over-listen to the standard, define your own. Many times, you’ve got to do your own research. Do what your heart tells you, and what you believe in, and apply that. Come up with your own strategy in the long run. That’s the only way to succeed in this game in my mind.”
My discussion with Singh was filled with wisdom and reflection and when asked about one final thing that he’d like people to know about him, he again referred to his humble upbringing in India and loving family for where he is today.
“First of all, I never thought I’d be in the USA. Thirty years ago, when I came to this country, I never believed I’d be playing a game at this level with these great players around me, so always believe in yourself. I’ll give the credit to my father, who was an auto-rickshaw driver in India. My mom was a housewife. He always believed in himself and helped his family a lot. Even though we didn’t have birthday cakes for our birthdays, we always had books and supporting materials for our studies, so they gave us the best education possible. I give all the credit to my father and my mother obviously.”