Lots of us raced before poker runs. Would I ever race again, possibly but would I give up poker runs to do it, no way. I personally got tired of the politics that's involved.
I use to hate going to a race and having 3 or 4 boats in your class. This Sunday there were 14 boats in the entire race. I guess everyone went home with a win. I use to think it was embarrassing to get a 1st place trophy with only one other boat in the class. The best thing that happened to racing in a long time was when all the organizations decided to join together for the worlds a few years ago. The pits were packed full, there were thousands of spectators. 20+ boats in many of the classes. probably the best world championship in 15 year if not ever. The next year everyone decides to do the worlds in other places to give us what we have today, 2 boat classes. I don't think you will get too many people to cross over to racing right now unless the organizations do something different.
This year is all around a bad year for performance boating. Between the economy and the conflicting dates, it's not the best year for poker runs. Look at it this way, Poker runs are still more popular then ever. Thanks to Stu Jones they are televised. Thanks to Bill Taylor there is a magazine covering them on the book store shelves. This is the first year MAJOR-WORLDWIDE sponsors are sponsoring Poker run boats. Bud Light was the first and right after that I got Mercedes to become my sponsor. This should open the door to many others. If any of you guys have connections or friends in big companies you should be seeing if they can get you to the right person for a sponsorship. The Poker runs are on TV at least 10 times a month. That is a lot of airtime. Major companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a 30 second commercial. This alone is a great selling point.
Racing is very exciting but I think the future of the sport is headed to poker runs. But then again, what do I know??
I don't have a boat that they would want to sponsor. Nor can i affoard a bigger one. Wish i could, actually rather just have be able to have it on my own..but still. might be nice having someone pay for gas and fees. But at what point does that sponsorship turn into more hassle than it is worth?
Part of the problem i see, is the last one i went on, it was like just going to point a to b pretty much by yourself. The big guys were gone, and almost done with lunch when the rest showed up... The first one I did, it was a big group of people out having fun on the water together. Then they started becoming a group of people all spread out not seeing each other....It was like any other day on the water for me..out running my boat with a friend or two, and passing by other boats...why do i want to pay soo much for that. I can do that any weekend i want, and not have to pay entrance fees.
Last edited by ZBODaytona; 04-16-2008 at 08:48 AM.
I remember when Poker Runs were for the fun of it.
With the advent of sponsored boats those days are gone.
Why should an average person shell big bucks out
of pocket when someone else plays on their sponsors
Now that I've found this out (either didn't know, or
didn't notice it) this years Desert Storm will be my
last Poker Run.
It's bad enough that I foot my own bill to run the
Catalina Ski Race (which I fully intend to keep doing).
VERY GOOD POINTS HERE...Ill be honest with ya'll, I was very disappointed in the races in Biloxi. Not enough boats to run, and almost an hour between events...we went by boat and left early...Even the announcers were buying time with their ridicules talking..Nothing like Key west, especially the finals...I just expected more..
As to the poker runs...I believe it's a combination of many issue's...The cost to do these runs have increased to the promoters due to insurance and issues around these events causing fee's to go up. Gas cost in your boat as well as in vehicles to get you there have increased. Then you have to pay for a room, entertainment, and if you have kids back home, a sitter. It all adds up, and with the economy at an all time low, I believe people are holding back somewhat and watching their finances...Just my take on it. Jeff
I love boating and poker runs. I am not worried about how much they cost because boating is the only vice I have. I do not drink, smoke, hang out in strip clubs, do drugs and because of my other half do not chase women. So boating is my only guilty pleasure.
However, being old school and having nothing when I was a child and working hard all of my life, you are always comparing to get the most bang for your buck. Considering what it costs in fees, fuel, hotels, hauling, extra people etc, and time for a poker run, I can take a weeks cruise in a premium state room with all meals etc included. But let's get something straight, I don't do cruises, this is just a comparison.
Fuel prices has pushed the joy of boating into a higher level of luxury. The price of admission has gone up and out of reach for many. As we move into this period of expensive fuel everybody has to reassess their allocations of available funds.
More people will become special event and destination boaters. The days of going out and running around for most will be a luxury of the past.
In Summers gone by I used to boat almost everyday. With todays fuel prices a ride to get a burger will be $400.00 in fuel. I can ride a ferry to the islands for 12 bucks to the same destination. The later is what a lot of people will be doing this year.
For those of you who think boating is expensive. I paid $5.71 a gallon for 100LL for the plane the other day.
My point is, although I will still boat and fly, a lot of the enjoyment is gone. I have a lot fo friends, even though they can afford it, who have said they will cut back tremendously on their boating.
It is just the times.
Last edited by The Menace; 04-16-2008 at 12:44 PM.
Unless, of course, it makes you MORE likely to drink, smoke, hang out in strip clubs and chase skirts...
With a new-to-me boat, I'm planning my summer around a couple of reasonable-cost poker runs, and mixing in a few other trips in-between. The wife will go on some...maybe not others...but it's a planned expense that I think I can handle. And the cost of gas will be a big factor.
Those who have been in this longer have more perspective, and the views are interesting to hear. As far as sponsorships, if somebody wants to get one and can--good for them. If the sponsor thinks they are getting their money's worth--okay then. But if sponsored boats are a reason why entry fees and costs seem to be climbing, then I can see why some people might have a beef. Is that what people are saying?
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