LAKE CUMBERLAND POKER RUN: September 10-12, 2021
The Lake Cumberland Poker Run is back! Considered one of the top 5 Poker Runs in America. Lake Cumberland Poker Run is your ultimate HOT SPOT for fast boats and great music! We’ve got a great event planned for this year with more boats and the most unbelievable atmosphere! This will be THE Poker Run you don’t want to miss.
September 9th: Registration will start at Noon and continue all day Friday.
September 10th: Our Friday evening event will be open to the public. Purchase a $30 wristband and receive access to the legendary Lake Cumberland Poker Run Dock Party with entertainment by DJ Bill Kingery. *must be 21 or older to enter
September 11th: Saturday night will be a private party event. Eleven-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson will be performing. This concert will only be open to State Dock slip customers, Poker Run Sponsors, Drivers, and Crew. *must be 21 or older to enter
You’ll be talking about this year’s Poker Run for years! Join us and see why we’re ranked as one of the best Poker Runs in the country. We’ll have more boats, sponsors and an unforgettable exclusive concert. The only thing missing is you!
After a resurgent 2016 that saw attendance and participation grow at all Poker Runs America events, the season will wrap up on Oct. 14-15 in Cape Coral, Fla., at the Westin Resort at Marina Village.
“Every run, attendance has been up,” said Bill Taylor, president of Poker Runs America and the publisher of the magazine of the same name. It’s amazing how everything has turned around this year. We have a lot of new blood coming into the sport.”
The final of the 2016 Poker Runs America season is sure to attract a solid fleet. Photo courtesy/copyright Poker Runs America.
Taylor explained that Poker Runs America dropped the entry fees for a number of events in 2016 and introduced other new financial incentives such as wild cards at each card stop worth up to $2,500 each to entice more boaters and their friends to participate. A good example of this is the entry fees being charged for the Cape Coral season finale. Instead of the usual $750 per boat, the organization reduced the cost to enter to $400 if a boat owner paid by October 5.
Also new in 2016 was that Fiji Water sponsored the season, which obviously helped with the financial end of things and it gave the tour a more professional feel.
For the season finale, Taylor said he couldn’t think of a better host location than the Westin Resort at Marina village, which is located on the Caloosahatchee River for easy access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Taylor estimates that at least 30 boats will be participating in the Cape Coral run including some well-known veterans of the performance-boat world. From New Jersey, well-known poker runners including Bob Christie, Tom Anselmi, Nick Amelio and Anthony Sauta have entered. Jim Agles and a group of boaters from the West Coast of Florida have committed to the event as has Jason Ventura from Brand X Performance who will be bringing some of his customers.
The Velocity name will be prominent with former company general manager Kenny Hohwiesner leading a fleet of 49- and 41-foot Velocity powerboats to Cape Coral including first-time poker runner Lee Brunner who is bringing a 39-footer.
On the manufacturer’s side, Marine Technologies Inc., will run its new 34-foot cat—profiled in the latest issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine—at the event and Sunsation Powerboats is delivering a new 32-foot Poker Runs America pace boat to Taylor and his son Todd Taylor. Jay Pilini of Pilini Marine Technologes Inc., will also unveil a new 35-foot center console powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboards.
The Cape Coral Poker Run weekend will kick off with registration on Friday afternoon at the Marker 92 Waterfront Bistro Restaurant from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and then again from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday. Launch sites are at Cape Harbour next to the Resort at Marina Village, the Punta Rassa Launch Ramp and at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Boats will raft up at the Westin overnight.
On Saturday, there is a driver’s meeting at the Westin at 9 a.m. followed by the call to start engines between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. The fleet will depart the Sanibel Bridge at 11 a.m. and head to the second card stop at Burnt Store Marina. The boats then head to the lunch stop where they pick up card 3 at Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda. From there it’s back to Gasparilla Marina for card four before heading back to the Westin to complete the card hand. The poker hands will be revealed at the post event the cocktail party and dinner.
Taylor Made Success
Poker Runs America Enjoys Strong Back to Back Weekends
Poker Runs America Releases Race Calendar
Poker Runs America magazine has compiled an offshore racing calendar for the 2002 season. Posted below in alphabetical order (by association), the calendar encompasses schedules for APBA Offshore, the
Poker Runs America magazine has compiled an offshore racing calendar for the 2002 season. Posted below in alphabetical order (by association), the calendar encompasses schedules for APBA Offshore, the Great Lakes Silver Cup Series, Northeast Divisional/New Jersey Offshore Powerboat Racing Association, Race Site Venue Partners Events and Super Boat International.
APBA Offshore Pro Series
|April 25-28||Daytona Beach, Fla.|
|May 17-19||Marathon, Fla.|
|June 7-9||Cape Cod, Mass. (tentative)|
|July 3-7||Savannah, Ga.|
|August 16-18||Mississauga, Ontario, Canada|
|September 20-22||Atlantic City, N.J.|
|October 18-20||St. Petersburg, Fla. (National Championships)|
|November 18-24||Key West, Fla. (World Championships)|
Great Lakes Silver Cup Series
|June 8-9||Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio|
|June 22-23 (tentative)||Metro Beach, Harrison Township, Mich.|
|July 6-7||Eastlake, Ohio|
|July 20-21||Fairport, Ohio|
|August 3-4||St. Clair, Mich. (St. Clair River Classic)|
|August 24-25||(tentative) South Haven, Mich.|
|September 14-15 (tentative)||Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. (Series Championships)|
NortheastDivisional/New Jersey Offshore Powerboat Racing Association
|May 17-19||Brick, N.J.|
|June 21-23||Seaside Heights, N.J.|
|August 2-4||Washington, N.C.|
|August 14-16||Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. (also SBI National)|
|September 6-8||Liberty State Park, N.J. (also SBI National)|
Race Site Venue Partners
|May 16-18||Ft. Myers, Fla.|
|June 21-23||Corpus Christi, Texas|
|July 4-7||Sarasota, Fla.|
|July 26-28||Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.|
|September 20-27||Washington, N.C.|
|October 11-12||Islamorada, Fla.|
Super Boat International
|April 19-21||12th Annual Miami Super Boat Grand Prix||Miami|
|May 17-19||Ft. Myers Super Boat Grand Prix||Ft. Myers, Fla.|
|June 14-16||Marathon Super Boat Grand Prix||Marathon, Fla.|
|July 12-14||6th Annual Deerfield Beach Super Boat Grand Prix||Deerfield Beach, Fla.|
|August 2-4||Washington||N.C. Super Boat Grand Prix Washington, N.C.|
|August 14-16||4th Annual New Jersey Super Boat Grand Prix||Point Pleasant, N.J./td>|
|September 6-8||11th Annual New York Super Boat Grand Prix||New York City|
|September 26-28||8th Annual Atlantis/Bahamas Super Boat Challenge||Atlantis Resort, Bahamas|
|November 3-6 (first race)||22nd Annual World Championship||Key West, Fla.|
|November 7-9 (second race)||22nd Annual World Championship||Key West, Fla.|
For more information on boating/poker runs and races in North America, please visit www.pokerrunsamerica.com and www.powerboating.com
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What is a Poker Run?
Decades ago, motorcycle rally organizers were looking for something to make their events more compelling for participants. The novelty of simply getting together a large group for a long ride had worn off. Organizers needed a bigger and better hook.
But what if, they surmised, the long ride had several stops and at each stop participants picked up a playing card before riding to the next one—all with the goal of coming away with best five-card stud poker hand in the group? And what if the holder of that hand—or the top three holders of the top three hands—came away with some kind of prize?
Would that add to enhance the fun of the rally? The answer was a definitive yes and the popularity of motorcycle rallies with poker-run format skyrocketed. So it was only natural they would find their way into the go-fast powerboating world, and that was exactly what happened in the early 1990s when Canadian Bill Taylor founded Poker Runs America and launched a series of events. By the end of the decade, Stu Jones, another Canadian who had immigrated to the United States, founded the Florida Powerboat Club, which launched its own series of poker runs.
Though Poker Runs America still exists and produces events, their popularity and attraction have faded. The Florida Powerboat Club is still thriving, though—as you’d guess from the name of the outfit—all of its poker runs are in the Sunshine State. But the larger poker-run growth segment of the last 20 years by far has come from local, volunteer organizers who produce events to raise money for worthy causes. From the three-year-old 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in Upstate New York to the Boyne Thunder Poker Run, which will celebrate its 17th anniversary, one-off events are the hottest tickets in the poker-run world.
Poker-run newbies come with plenty of questions, as they should. What follows are the five most common queries from poker run novices—and the most simple and basic answers.
Explore Go-Fast High Performance Boats
Poker Runs: Frequently Asked Questions
Is my boat big enough for a poker run?
A quick review of a website covering the high-performance powerboating world (such a speedonthewater.com, as a good example), would lead you to believe that if your boat isn’t at least 30 feet long it has no business in a poker run. And while there are a lot of the boats much bigger than that at most poker runs, smaller vessels are more than welcome at most events.
That said, shorter runs in protected water are a better fit for smaller-boat owners. The Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run, for example, covers 200 miles, a portion of which is in the open Atlantic Ocean. For a 20-foot sportboat, that likely would be much too tall of an order. But the relatively short Old Hickory Poker Run, which is moving from Nashville to Chattanooga this year, on the Tennessee River would be ideal.
Is my boat fast enough for a poker run?
No matter what kind of powerboat you own, the answer is yes because poker runs are not races and were never intended to be. The more you get into the events, the more you’ll hear organizers emphasize this. Historically speaking, bad things happen when people start racing in poker runs. If you want to race, buy an offshore raceboat built for the job and join a circuit with the requisite safety assets for racing. Poker runs are social events on open public waterways. They are not races.
How much does it cost to enter a poker run?
Poker-run entry fees vary greatly from event to event depending on location, amenities and more. But expect to pay anything from $100 to $800 to enter. If you participate in a destination poker run where the fleet travels to a location and stays there overnight (or multiple nights) lodging and dock fees will be separate from your entry fee.
Is drinking allowed during a poker run?
All reputable poker run organizers strictly prohibit captains from consuming alcoholic beverages while the run is underway. That means captains are not allow to drink at lunch or fuel stops—“just one beer” is one too many, and if the offending party is caught in the act he or she will be booted from the event, and likely all future events, by the organizer.
As for passengers, they are generally allowed to consume alcoholic beverages outside of their vessels, meaning at the lunch stop. But as a captain, you absolutely have the right to tell your passengers not to drink—and it’s a solid strategy in the event something goes wrong during the day—during the event. As the person at the helm and responsible for the safety of everyone on board, the last thing you need is an inebriated passenger when it comes time to dock, much less respond to an on-water incident if needed.
Something else worth noting? Reputable poker-run organizers will require you to show your title and your current insurance policy when you register for their events. And while that can seem like “a hassle,” you should far and fast away from any organizer who does not ask for these documents, as that organizer likely is running an insured event.
Just one more thing: Wearing personal flotation deviceswhile underway is mandatory for all captains and passengers at all properly insured poker runs. If a poker run you’re considering has no such requirement, find another event to support.
Finding a Poker Run Near Me
At present, there is no master list of domestic poker runs. Here again, a search on an online portal such as speedonthewater.com or offshoreonly.com would prove useful. But here’s a quick list of 10 of the most popular poker runs in the United States:
- Miami Boat Show, Miami-Key Largo, February 20-23
- Desert Storm, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., April 22-26
- Tickfaw 200, Spring Field, La., May 1-3
- Four Horsemen, Oshkosh, Wis., June 12-13
- Support Our Troops, Osage Beach, Mo., June 25-26
- Boyne Thunder, Boyne City, Mich., July 10-11
- 1000 Islands Charity Poker Run, Clayton, N.Y., July 16-18
- Chattanooga Poker Run, Chattanooga, Tenn., July 31-August 1
- Lake Cumberland, Jamestown, Ky., Sept. 4-6
- Key West, Miami-Key West, November 11-16
Read Next: Go-Fast Boats: Beginner's Guide to the World of Speed
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Editor's Note: All photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
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