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Raminder Singh: MTT Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

by Craig Tapscott |  Published: Apr 19, 2023


Raminder Singh is the CEO of a management consulting company in South Florida and has been an IT and consulting professional since 1994. He came to the United States after completing dual engineering degrees in New Delhi, India.

Singh caught the poker bug back in 2006 after being introduced to the game by some coworkers, and by 2015, he was spending nearly every weekend at a tournament. Although he still considers himself an amateur because of his day job, he has had no problem competing with the top pros on the circuit.

‘The Raminator’ is a known closer, and has racked up an incredible 54 live wins over the years, along with more than 300 tournament cashes. He won a WSOP Circuit ring back in 2017, taking down the main event at Palm Beach Kennel Club for $168,995.

One of the highlights of Singh’s career came in 2018 and 2019 when he won back-to-back High Roller events at the Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, Florida. His biggest win came in 2019 when he banked $200,000 at the Hard Rock Poker Open. He won the 2021 RunGood Poker Series main event in Coconut Creek, Florida, which earned him a seat into the RunGood All-Stars ProAm. There were 64 champions in the field, and Singh outlasted them all for the title.

In total, he has career cashes totaling nearly $2 million. Card Player caught up with Singh to get some pointers and learn how he navigates his way though tournament fields.

Craig Tapscott: What are some major mistakes you see players make consistently preflop in multi-table tournaments?

Raminder Singh: Recently, min-raising preflop has become a popular trend in online poker, where players have the option to click a button and raise the minimum amount. However, I am personally not a fan of the min-raise preflop, except in very specific circumstances.

Despite this, I believe that many people in the big blind are folding to a min-raise, which is a huge mistake. If we do the simple math, the big blind is getting excellent value to call for only the minimum amount.

For example, if a player in the cutoff or hijack position min-raises to 2,000 at the 500-1,000 level, and assuming the small blind folds, you in the big blind are getting great value to call for only 1,000 with a pot size of 4,500 already. That’s a value of 4.5 to 1.0.

For instance, if you are dealt 9-7 off in the big blind and call against a hand like A-Q, where the player min-raised you, you are getting 35.5 percent equity with an investment of only 22 percent of the pot. In another scenario, if you call in the big blind with K-5 suited against a hand even as strong as Q-Q, you are getting 32 percent equity to win the hand with an investment of only 22 percent. Even if disaster strikes and you have an underpair in the big blind to an overpair, you are getting 20 percent equity with an investment of 22 percent. So, there are very few hands in the big blind that you should be folding.

Players are still playing too many hands, especially out of position. Playing in position vs out of position are two entirely different ballgames, even with the same range of hands.

Many will play hands like A-9 or K-10 offsuit the same way whether in position or out of position. Then when the flop comes ace- or king-high, they pay off their entire stack by either leading out or calling off multiple bets on flop, turn, and river.

Based on table dynamics and depending on the scenario, you need to be able to fold A-9, A-10, K-10, or K-J offsuit hands from early position in tournaments. Tournaments are way different from cash games and players who play a lot of cash games are prone to play way too many hands irrespective of their position on the table.

Craig Tapscott: Some players can get a bit frozen when they are three-bet preflop from a player who has position on them.

Raminder Singh: Many players don’t know what to do when being three-bet because they don’t think through their plan beforehand. The most common mistake when three-bet is calling when you were already out of line with the initial raise. Players try to disguise their bad raise like they are strong, hoping to just get bailed out by the flop.

For example, if a player raises in early position with an A-4 or K-9 offsuit hand and gets three-bet by a player in position almost 3x, they just call hoping to get lucky, when they are often thoroughly dominated in such scenarios.

You must think about what kind of player is three-betting you. Is the player a loose-aggressive type? What kind of holdings has he shown in the past? If you have a history together, how did he play before? Do they three-bet a lot in position? Would a four-bet work?

You can’t come across as nervous or confused under any circumstances. Your table image and confidence are something that plays a huge part in live poker, so you can’t come across as “frozen” in such scenarios.

Craig Tapscott: Many players go on autopilot when being the preflop aggressor and immediately continuation bet any flop. What mistakes do you see players make when it comes to c-betting?

Raminder Singh: The short answer to this scenario is never to go on autopilot. Period. That’s a recipe for disaster.

You might hear a GTO aficionado’s conversations regarding c-bets. They will talk about “correct” or “incorrect” decisions. But most never think about the type of opponent, or their read on the opponent.

Tournaments are not won by continuous racing scenarios where you flip for stacks non-stop. Most people don’t realize this, especially with the latest GTO style of poker where they just talk about blockers, backdoor draws, and the idea of “correct” vs “incorrect” in a mechanical fashion.

One must absolutely think through the type of player they are playing against, and what range he or she has when they called your initial raise. Many times, checking back on a 10-9-2 board with A-K offsuit with backdoor draws could be a way more profitable option. Especially if you think your opponent won’t get out of line without a hand on the turn and river, and A-K high might even be the best hand. You can comfortably see a turn card in position.

Pot control is super important in certain scenarios, such as when your ace high could be good out of position. Also, bet sizing. There is a time for a one-third pot, two-thirds pot, and full-pot bet and that too is based on the type of opponent and the board.

When you are playing against someone and have position, it’s often not even about the cards.

Craig Tapscott: You don’t play for a living, but you do have a bankroll. How do you stay on top of it?

Raminder Singh: Most players don’t have much discipline when it comes to investing in tournaments.

The first mistake is not having a backup plan or a secondary source of income. This applies to many young and upcoming poker players. Poker has a huge variance component. Bad beats are a norm for any and every player on the planet. You are bound to go on a downturn, and you must not invest your primary source of income or living expenses into poker.

The second mistake is not knowing when to stop with the rebuys. Most tournaments lately allow you a few rebuys, if not unlimited. There are very few true freezeouts in the world anymore. Rebuys are great if you get a bad beat with K-K vs A-Q early on, but a lot of players just play too aggressively early on in search of more chips with the rebuy period open. You shouldn’t invest too many bullets into a single tournament.

Often you will see younger players have a good score and then give it all back. They think another big score will happen just as easily, and will dump bullets chasing the previous result. It doesn’t work like that.

credit: Run Good Poker SeriesYou must have the mindset of, ‘I won’t give this money back easily. If I have a bad day and this event is not working out, I will go home and come back for the next one when I’m in a better state of mind.’ Not knowing when to stop causes many to lose a lot more than they can afford. That’s where many players make a ton of mistakes with bankroll management.

The third mistake I see is that players are not honest with themselves about wins and losses, and end up borrowing money to play poker. If you can’t afford it, try to find secondary sources of income first and build a bankroll to support your poker adventures. Keep your bankroll for poker completely separate from your day-to-day living expenses. That way you have full track of where you stand on your profits and losses. That way you know about your game and areas you need to concentrate on to improve or to adjust the stakes you play in.

Maybe you tend to do super well in single-day tournaments vs multi-day or multi-flight ones. Maybe you tend to do well in night events vs daytime events. But you won’t know unless you keep track and are honest about it. Pick the type of tournaments you want to play wisely. ♠