Raminder Singh is the newest WSOP Circuit Main Event Champion, outlasting a field of 524 entries at the Palm Beach Kennel Club to notch a breakthrough victory. He collected his first gold ring, the top prize of $168,995, and a seat in the 2017 WSOP Global Casino Championship courtesy of a dominant final table performance.

Singh is a 42-year-old IT management consultant who was born in New Delhi, India. He comes from a Sikh family, a religious background that entails a large amount of social service and charity work. He’s lived in the United States for his entire adult life, and he now makes his home in nearby Delray Beach, Florida. He’s been married to his wife, Delia, for 10 years, and the couple has two children, daughter Sonya (age 8) and son Shawn (age 5).

Singh advanced through Day 1B of this $1,675 Main Event with 116,500 chips, slightly above the average. By the time Day 2 concluded, he was essentially tied for the chip lead with 10 players remaining, just a couple big blinds behind Sam Panzica. After the initial feeling-out period on Day 3, Singh charged to the top and led nearly wire to wire thereafter.

“I got really lucky in a sense,” Singh said. “Well, poker players call it lucky, but I just started getting good hands at the right time. It was a good run.” A good run, indeed. Singh got run over by the deck, as they say, showing down a myriad of huge hands over the course of the six-hour final table.

He ran good, too. Singh won consecutive coin flips early in the day, eliminating Daniel Letts and Eric Bunch within the span of just a couple minutes in eighth and seventh places, respectively. He eliminated William Kopp in fourth place with ace-queen against king-queen, and he found pocket kings against ace-queen to send Jesus Cabrera off in third.

Steven Stout was the other player who had his hands on the chip lead briefly, and he and Singh ended up heads-up for the ring at the end of the day. Singh began the duel with a big lead that he never relinquished, and although Stout battled valiantly, he could not stop the seemingly inevitable.

A little less than an hour into the match, the final hand played out with Stout shoving king-six and Singh calling with jack-ten. It was one last case of run-good for the day, as Singh flopped one ten and turned another to lock up the win one card early.

Singh’s career keeps him occupied from nine to five, so poker is still just a hobby. For now, at least. “I consider myself an amateur poker player,” he said. “But in Florida, the poker action is so good, you leave work at 6 p.m., and there’s a tournament gong on.”

Although he’s not a professional poker player by definition, Singh’s results underscore plenty of talent on the felt. He had two six-figure scores early in 2016, and he’s started off 2017 with another one to further bolster his resume. Both of the previous results were runner-up finishes, but this one comes with a victory, a career-best payday, and a piece of jewelry to mark the accomplishment. “Feels terrific,” he smiled broadly as he admired the ring. “Feels great.”

Singh said he integrates the game into his business, too, often entertaining clients from the opposite side of a poker table. One of those clients, Jack Sumner, was on the rail for the duration of Singh’s final table run, and it was he who helped Singh find poker initially. Sumner was part of a bar league game in Boca Raton in 2006, as Singh tells it: “He calls me one day and he’s like, ‘Come over, play poker, I registered you.’ I knew nothing about poker. Not even the ABCs.”

That was in 2006. Sumner showed Singh the ropes with a quick pregame coaching session, and it turned out to be quite a profitable lesson in the long term. In the last three years, Singh has won a handful of significant tournaments and amassed nearly $700,000 in total earnings. He and Sumner are part of a local poker community called Slum Donkey Poker, and the champ credits that group for supporting him throughout his recent poker conquest.

Final Table Results

1st: Raminder Singh - $168,995
2nd: Steven Stout - $104,483
3rd: Jesus Cabrera - $76,328
4th: William Kopp - $56,584
5th: Sam Panzica - $42,554
6th: David Berman - $32,462
7th: Eric Bunch - $25,113
8th: Daniel Letts - $19,705
9th: Peter Vitantonio - $15,681