A free ride aboard the WPT Voyage: ClubWPT Passport winner Robert Singley shares his story

Robert Singley won a ticket aboard WPT Voyage with ClubWPT
Author Adam Hampton
Adam Hampton
Posted on: March 19, 2024 23:09 PDT

"Every poker table I sit at, I always hear the same statement: 'Has anyone ever told you, you look like the Captain on Star Trek?' And of course I have to play along and say, 'No, but I have been told I look like the guy in the wheelchair in X Men!'”

Robert Singley of Arizona may not have Professor X's ability to read minds, but he obviously has the talent to read his opponents' hands at the virtual poker tables. And thanks to that talent he's been able to win a free ticket aboard the upcoming WPT Voyage, courtesy of the subscription-based online poker platform ClubWPT.

With just a couple of weeks until this floating poker game weighs anchor, PokerOrg caught up with Robert to learn more about him and how he won his once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Congratulations on winning your WPT Voyage package! Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Robert Singley: I am a proud USAF Veteran. After I was discharged, I worked in the nuclear industry for 10 years. Not liking having a boss, I studied to become a farrier. After 27 years of hard work keeping horses sound, I had to retire due to injuries.

Five years ago, after my injury, I decided to use my brain and not muscles to make an income. I became a realtor (no jokes please!). Lately, I have slowed that down to care for my wife, so now I'm kind of semi-retired or an at-home caregiver.

How did you win your way onto the WPT Voyage?

RS: I was the first winner of the cruise package on June 4. I was lucky that there were only about 1,100 players. I have been on three other final tables for another package but fell short of winning another cruise. I do like the new Saturday satellites, I've already made a final table there.

Could you tell us a bit about your poker background?

RS: I started young, on New Year's Eve, 1969. Dad let us stay up to watch the ball drop and we played Five-card Draw with pennies. I think I was hooked at that time - I bought lots of candy pitching quarters and playing cards at school.

In the Air Force, my Sergeant noticed I saved most of my pay as an Airman. One weekend I was invited to the Sergeant's poker game - they obviously thought I was an easy cash cow. Well, after two weekends of me cleaning them out, my invitations were canceled.

I have played many Indian casino tournaments, as well as cash games quite often. My very first tournament was a 7-card Stud game at Cliff Castle Indian Casino in Camp Verde, Arizona. I took first place and was hooked, of course.

Cliff Castle Casino in Arizona

Are you more experienced playing live or online?

RS: In the 80s and 90s I would make twice-monthly trips from Phoenix to Laughlin and Vegas for cash games. They were fun and profitable for a single man. In 2003 I got married to my beautiful wife and had to become responsible. It took me a while, but she started to like gambling also, so we would go every three months or so. About the same time I started playing online, since my trips slowed down. I was doing well until Black Friday.

After that I found the WPT and have been with them ever since - especially since Covid-19 and the shutdown of most of the Indian casino poker rooms. With this cruise win I'll be in the black for another three years or so, when it comes to monthly dues compared to wins, so I do play for free.

Are you doing anything in particular to prepare for the tournaments you’ll be playing on board the ship?

RS: I'm just playing online. Last time I had coaching for a big tournament it really screwed up my game, so I'll just stay the same and play my best.

What are you most looking forward to on the WPT Voyage?

RS: I'm looking forward to winning this tournament! And spending time with my wife. She has stage 4 undifferentiated anaplastic thyroid cancer. The week before the cruise she has immunotherapy and 11 days after she will be admitted into the hospital for clinical trials. So this cruise is the calm before the storm. I know she will be playing in the Ladies' tournament and the player swap game.

Do you have a favorite player? If so, what would be your dream encounter with them?

RS: I have no real professional favorite. I have watched them all and admire them. What would make my day would be to set Phil Hellmuth off; just watching him blow up because of a ‘donkey play’ I made (in his eyes)!

Phil Hellmuth ponders a play at the WPT poker tables

If you won, or made a big score, what would you do with the money?

RS: If I take it all down and win, my wife and I will be going on a 30-day cruise around Australia. If I don’t win, but make the money for a decent cash out, it will be just a shorter cruise. I can take my wife for the trip she deserves for putting up with me.

WPT Voyage sets sail on March 31 from Miami, Florida, taking in Grand Cayman and Bimini Bahamas before returning on April 6. Tournament highlights include the $1,100 WPT Prime event with $500k GTD, the $5k Main Event with $1m GTD, as well as a $10k High Roller, $25k Super High Roller, $1,100 PLO and much more.

Full details, including the voyage itinerary and tournament schedule, can be found at the WPT Voyage site.

Images courtesy of the WPT/Joe Giron/Robert Singley/Cliff Castle Casino