- Cater to the entry-level and first-time runners. Set up a specific meeting just for them to cover the basics, make sure that they are familiar with the procedures and course, and make them feel welcome. They are the future. The veterans will know/find each other and get along without any special attention.
- Get the local populace and businesses involved. Parades and open exhibits (in-water or on-land) where non-boaters are encouraged to attend will generate more buzz.
- Make sure to coordinate with other local organizations like sailing clubs and yachting groups. I've been faced with a sudden fleet of sailboats on a couple of poker runs - it's dangerous and no fun.
- Keep the prices realistic. $50 for extra lunches is nuts.
- Make a day of it. Schedule a swim/raft-up midway through, or beach party afterwards.
Retired! Boating full-time now.
The dual routes for faster/slower boats has been in use by a few organizations in the past.
What I like is staggered starts with the slower boats getting a good head start. If given time to go ahead and get spread out they get to see the fast boats come up through them and arrive at the same stop for lunch etc.
That allows them to feel included in the event and see the headliners and not feel like they are in a completely seperate event.
It also spurs the wishlist/dream of moving up which the builders and dealers should like.
Specifically to PRA.............they never/rarely follow up with their events on social media including here.
Always very limited coverage from them which is a mistake.
As many people or more that DONT get to an event as opposed to who actually went want to hear/see all about it.
LOTO Flight Club Jacksonville Lake Cumberland Destin are always followed by huge amounts of pics from the organizers.
Go look at the activity on here from PRAs official rep POKERRUN2000........miniscual posts and never pics.
Getting your moneys worth.............should it be a surprise at 1000 Island event that there is no dinner , awards banquet as in every year past ??!!
There should always be a charity component in these events. If not arranged by the organizer , the card stops and lunch stop should have a local charity allowed to participate somehow so that the big show of power etc. should be used to generate something for the local community .
I have been to many events where a specific stop had a local charity use the event to sell hot dogs to the neighbourhood to " come see...take pics...hear the sound..watch an organized start of the next leg....to raise money.
I have also seen with communication with the organizers where the locals get to walk the docks and chat with and ask questions of the participants in an organized specific time slot .
This meet and greet allows for questions to be asked and pics taken with the boaters, rather than wandering the docks taking pics of covered boats and no pokerrunners in site.
This interaction promotes acceptance of the poorly thought of noisey boats and allows the public to discover that not everyone that owns one of these toys is a dicck.
Organized mechanical support by the local marina/dealers would be nice also.
Have been to lots of events where after their Friday night toot , a participant is still tied at the dock on Saturday because something that could have been easily fixed, isnt , because he is from out of town and couldnt arrange it.
Just a few points.
Keep them coming.
Your OSO connection to great S. Florida Real Estate.
I'm a new boat owner and I would like to do some poker runs next year, and after you brought this up, I will say for me it's price. I would like to see one amount for your boat. I know these things cost money to host but if you lower the entry fee, you get more participation in turn the same amount of money. If all else fails lower the payout. I don't imagine that anyone does this for the payout, people do it because we love boating and hanging out with people with similar interest and in some cases for a good cause. I can tell you that I feel 400-600+ entry fee is more than I think it is worth to do one. I also like the idea of a seperate meeting for first timers.
1. Having a street fair exhibit of boats/vendors/ of like and kind booths... is a must! In Havasu the Desert Storm... Street Parade/Fair is attended by thousands.
2. Prizes also need to be given to each class rather than grouped into one big lump jackpot.
A. Groups could be done by length or combination length and type of hull. For example Hi-Output Cats in one group by length and Hi-Output....A,B, C, and so forth. V-Bottoms in another also by length and Power Output.
3. Preface: No one runs all the card stops anymore. Once the first card stop is done... no one else runs the other stops. I highly suggest an incentive at each card stop so each participant feels that he/she still has a chance at a prize. I don't mean some small token something like next years registration for free or half off. Picked up only at the card stops in random envelopes...etc.
4. There is also the need to keep the event cohesive and not have fragmented groups. Photo sessions by group and nice lunches really build the social aspects of Poker Running by keeping everyone together. Breakfast for drivers meeting, lunch, and evening dinner.
5. Every effort should be made to include first timers. I considered several long distance Poker Runs but I was too apprehensive about making the journey with little to no information. So how do you solve it?....set up a seasoned local person as a host. They would then help a first time participant upon arrival docking, where to stay etc... Every paticipant matters as the bigger the draw the more clout it will have locally and with sponsors.
This would be a nice working model to begin with, but I doubt anyone is listening. The organizers are overwhelmed with bureaucratic red tape [permits] and set-up work. They get little if any appreciation... so they do what they can to get by with the limited resources they have if one or two of these ideas is adopted it's a start.
Many good points have been posted. Here are a few points of my own and just my .02.
Long ago Poker Runs were pretty much for showing off new models, and for a bunch of boaters to get together for a good time. This ideology has changed. Some of the reason is that Poker Runs became a profit generating business; therefore they cater to the big boys and guys with deep pockets. Countless time I had great vid or chopper coverage and at the end of the day, the CD had me for 5 seconds, even when I paid extra for the coverage. This suxs.
In my thoughts, Poker Runs needs to go back to it's origins. To have fun with a bunch of other boaters.
A) It is a Poker Run so if you don't pick up your cards, or make arrangements if you have a crash box etc. to be near to the pick up spot, You’re out that card. Many local companies make a point to help, and when some of the hot shots just race to the bridge or to lunch stop, the whole concept is doomed to fail and hurt the local "helpers".
B) Include as much as local participation is a big plus. Make plans for "non boaters" to see or be around the hardware.
C) I have mixed feeling with the slow VS fast starts. If the slower guys start first, I can see some safety issues when the fast guys "blow" by. Some runs starts the faster group first. Then the chopper chases the fast group and never gets back to the "other" group. It's a run not a race. I suggest keep the group together, at least to the lunch stop and after lunch or after the last stop if they want to hit it, then if seas and circumstance allow, the by all means go for it. This will allow for vid and pix coverage and everyone "runs" together for a while, and no "group" separation. I always thought running together was a great thing, but many Poker Runs the groups separate and of course a lot of the smaller or slower guys don't even want to attend.
D) Raft up. Absofrakinglutely. IE: Destin, the day before, a great venue to meet and have fun. Par of the event. A must.
E) Funding/sponsors. Let's face it the PR circuit is diminishing. Sponsors need a reason to spend (whatever they spend) to market their products. If the attendance is low, sponsors will go. Attendance need to be increased; I guess this the 64K question, but if the runs are more fun and less bottom line $ driven boaters will run. Charity stuff is great, but when charities get screwed, (which is a total different topic) then attendance will suffer. And it does now.
F) It's not a race, it's a run or an event. Well we heard this a thousand times, but let's face it. We all have a little Arranow, Mario Andreti, or Richard Patty gene in our blood so yup, competition is a good and fun thing. I will be the first to admit that I always scope out a few boat before the run. See whom I can run with, who might be a tad faster with in the same length and HP, etc. It's part of the fun and the adrenalin rush for the next day. I "brief" my crew what boat to look for, what boat we will try to pass, run against, run with, etc. It's a fun and competitive thing. I now my place, and I won't try to run with Gold Rush or Ginos Merc Boat, but with a bunch of others, the game is on. So be it, it's for fun. However, The Runs getting pretty boring, when the Poker playing is all deep pocket related and not chance or the fun of "gambling". It is after all a "POKER RUN". so let's make it more interesting. You don't go to the card stop, you don't get a card. But... if you want to "show off what you brung and hit it"? great, after lunch or after the last card stop... the fastest boat forfeit a card and gets a card from a deck that's all 2's and 3's with one Ace. The last or slowest boat forfeit a card and gets a card from a deck that's all face card and one deuce. Just for the hell of it. Make these things more fun.
G) Entry fees. I don't think the fees are a big issue. You run a bunch of events, of course. But we need new attendees, but with the fee, you better get what you pay for. Pix, vid coverage and a good time. Countless times I see the same boats/people on the CD's so the newbie’s are gone.
In a nut shell... the organizers have to make these events fun oriented again.
Last edited by PARADOX; 10-18-2011 at 06:15 PM. Reason: sp
I saw this event was happening and thought of crashing as well but came down with something after a long night Thursday.
I hoped to gain some insite on how the industry/organizers may look at it from a "poor man that was definitely affected by the economy (ok, maybe more affected by the 2 women that took everything I owned over a 4 year period) but clawing his way back up" standpoint.
I walked the docks at the FPC run in St Pete again this year and saw some beautiful equipment. Went down to the Skyway fishing pier after the start in time to catch the extremely fast coming back from Egmont then the really fast soon behind. Paradox makes a good point with running together, perhaps behind a pace boat for the first part of the run. Another option may be a poker run that everyone feels comfortable running in followed by a shootout of some sorts for those who want to participate. I for one would enjoy sitting back as a spectator for something like that.
I spoke with Stu some at the Tampa Boat Show and I know he is considering options for cruisers, cc's and more affordable boats.
I know West Central Florida has many options to make an event similar to Destin. I have yet to attend Destin but from the pics and posts I have read it is definitely one event I'm giving serious consideration to once I rebuild my empire!!!
My biggest gripe is the actual poker playing. When i first got into this type of stuff we got cards at each stop in a brown envelope, it was pure luck, and alot of fun to sit around and open cards... now its a matter of who wants to spend the most money.. You get to play 4 hands, during each hand you can buy up to 4 extra cards, 5$, 10$, 15$, 20$. So each hand to be competive i need to spend an extra 50$, x 4 hands, were talking about $200.00 more. On top of that, at Emerald coast, after you spend the extra 200$, all it does is put you in the winners table with 10 other guys (assuming you beat out the other 150 people) who spent 200$ to buy the best cards, and now you have to do it all over again and spend 3x as much at the winners table
it just isnt fun anymore, its expensive... fun was drawing cards at each stop, not having a clue what i had, and sitting around a table with a bunch of guys who had no financial advantage, just luck, drinking a beer, and watching everyone open
paying 75-100$ for each extra person also pisses me off. i usually have a crew of 6-8 people, who all came from out of town, on planes, stay in hotels, etc... paying 100$ per extra person, for a buffet is crap
Alum Metal Fab
Custom Marine Sales
Dave's Custom Boats
Diamond Performance Parts
Double R Performance
Elton Porter Insurance
Fastboats Marine Group
GGB Exhaust Technologies
Grand Sports Center
Ilmor High Performance Marine
Lake Cumberland Marine
Lake Havasu Boat Show
Marine Technology Inc
McLeod Design Group
Performance Boat Center
Performance Marine Trading
Potter Performance Engines
Ron Sporl Performance
Speed and Custom Marine
Total Dollar Insurance
Teague Custom Marine
Wake Zone Marine Insurance
Young Performance Marine