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Poker Runs. What attracts you?...

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Old 01-15-2003, 11:12 AM
  #21
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Dockrocker I'm with ya man. Our Chesapeake Bay Poker run encompasses one long open ocean run down the resort beach ocean front and back, then into an inland body of water, back out to the inside of the Chesbay, down the Elizabeth River and back to the Little Creek Harbor. There are six stops (last card pulled at the party) and approx. 97 miles to the run. We also have a course-B in case the ocean leg is forecast ugly that day. During the captains meeting I stress IT'S NOT A RACE and that there's plenty of room for some fast running on the first two legs with plenty of room to swing wide from other more casual types. By then the adrenaline gets used up and folks settle down to enjoy the many sights we have for the rest of the run. SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT to it's success and reputation.

We're relatively cheap ($150 includes lunch stop and party entrance for two for two party's) and yes, we have two classes runnning two separate courses (cruisers or smaller family boats and the performance types). The cruisers/smaller boats runs a shorter less aggressive route more on inland waters.

Proceeds got to the St. Judes Children Research Hospital for cancer and no-one pockets funds in any way. During the day for those family/friends who choose not to ride, we have planned activities at the sight of the party where demonstrations, kids games, and other "family" type activities will keep'em interested awaiting our return. We'll have a couple of hours to kill afterwards before the official post-run party starts but there will be a Margarita tiki-bar setup with steel drums to entertain or you could just plain hang out at the docks. There are plenty of quality ramps to use in the area and a boatel/marina will be offering free lifts in/out with parking for those who choose to use it. That's also where our lunch stop will be.

If you trailer, there is a large parking lot area to park your rigs adjacent to the party grounds. There is also "cheap" slip fees at an adjacent marina for those who choose to sleep on their boats vice the hotel.

I/we feel possibly our greatest challenge is to coordinate the logistics of accomodating folks aside from the party/runs. My/our primary focus is to make for an exceptional run and very social set of party's to ensure the powerboat enthusiast comes away wanting to come back. We have prizes, but I feel that's secondary to the boating experience.

Since we're early in our planning phase for this coming event, I want to survey this board (as well as invite) for points near to our collective hearts to make this thing continue to get better.

Currently our party format is outdoors with either two different bands or DJ first night and popular band the second. Food is typically BBQ picnic style with soda's and a beer truck for beverage. The Sailboat regatta folks (did I mention a big regatta is happening at the same time?) will also be conducting silent auctions which the ladies like to participate in. We're also working on dealers/vendors to setup booths displaying their wares boatshow style to add flavor to both evenings.

Does this sound like anything remotely close to what would make for a fun event?...
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Old 01-15-2003, 11:17 AM
  #22
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Thumbs up I'm reading!

I asked for some suggestions in the Extreme Boats Press Release thread...but I'm happy that you guys are responding here. These give me more ideas for our planned poker runs this year. We are putting together a schedule.

TAZ has been to our poker runs at Havasu and tells me that we are doing it right. My biggest concern is what others are doing in different parts of the country. It seems that there isn't much difference after all.

What I'm getting out of this thread is:
1) Affordability
2) Organization
3) Safety
4) FUN FUN FUN

Not necessarily in that order. Thanks for all of the suggestions and thank you Reckless288 for starting this thread
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Old 01-15-2003, 11:20 AM
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Default Poker Run = Party on the Lake

I live in Austin, Texas and I belong to the Lake Travis Powerboat Association. We have 5 to 6 Poker Runs each summer.

The ONLY reason that I participate in the Poker Runs is for the party. To me a Poker Run is simply an excuse to party on the lake with some old friends and a chance to meet and make new friends. The big, fast boats are nice, but the PEOPLE are nicer.

The Poker Run entry fee should be low enough so people can attend, but high enough to limit the number of boaters. There is no "magic number" because each Poker Run has its own personality. The Texoma Poker Run (Labor Day weekend on Lake Texoma, Texas) has an entry fee of $500, but they always get 200+ boats!

The Lake Travis Poker Run entry fee is $50 (if you are a member), and we usually have between 30 and 60 boats. It is always well organized and has the same people attend each time. Although Sheryl and I have the smallest boat in the fleet (22-feet), we are always treated like we have a 42-foot Fountain!

Poker Runs should be safe and fun. Let's party!
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Old 01-15-2003, 11:23 AM
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Great topic!
Myself and someother OSO members are in the process of organizing a Poker run on Lake Pepin this summer. We are looking at $75 entry fee (limited to about 65 boats) that includes a shirt or two. An 80 mile run including a lunch stop. About $500 for first prize and smaller onces after that and sponcer prizes. We are very safety concious in our rules. And we are planning on having a hog roast and maybe music afterward. I personaly think this sounds like a good formula for the "average joe" like us to have a great day on the water.

Brian

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Old 01-15-2003, 11:29 AM
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I like the thrill of the run, the companionship of other boaters, the eye candy , and ole, I forgot the boats.
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Old 01-15-2003, 11:41 AM
  #26
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I've sent this post to my other committee members so they could see the various kinds of perspectives first hand so I don't have to relay them second hand.

If you're lucky enough to be involved in the planning of these great events please take note of what the OSO members (i.e. participants) are expressing here. If you walk away with these points in your pocket your own events will only be the better for it...
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Old 01-15-2003, 03:29 PM
  #27
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I think the HRPA sponsored event went very well, the long run was awesome and that kept the boats spread out, the beach goers surely loved the show.
Our waters has it all, Ocean, Bay and rivers! No topping that combination to show your stuff....
You and the other folks did a great job of organizing the event. I agree with the $150 this year vice $75, especially if lunch is included. What is the cost for my riders this year? They will want a bag with a shirt, or a shirt at a minimum?
I have a boat full of friends this year and I am encouraging more guys to bring their boats.
No complaints here, therefore no suggestions on improving it.
Well, maybe one thing, have one of the volunteers be ready with the cards when we arrive at the after run gig. I liked getting all the cards at the party, it eliminates cheating.
Bryan

5 poker runs in 2002 and didn't win a damn thing... it sure was fun though!
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Old 01-15-2003, 03:48 PM
  #28
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poker runs

what about a poker run to freeport bahamas. .65 miles .a first prize of about $4000. plus some extras what about that,fellas. some fine party and conch fritters in freeport.
 
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Old 01-15-2003, 05:06 PM
  #29
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Bahamas crossing, I love when you get half way there and look all around and see no land. Then when you get there and realize that I just conquered the Bermuda Triangle. I would love to put another Triangle feather in my cap.

Favorite part about Poker Runs is running with all the boats in formation.
 
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Old 01-15-2003, 05:24 PM
  #30
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Rick, my only suggestion about your Poker Run is an item that has already been mentioned - the "lag" time Saturday afternoon between finishing the last stop and the start of the "official" party. However, I also know that blow-boaters are involved so we always have to wait for them. If you're going to be having the steel drums that should take care of that.

I think you'd be safe with a DJ Friday and a live band Saturday. We had a live band for the first time last year and got a lot of very positive comments.

To anyone organizing one of these events - what are you doing about insurance? Who do you work with? Cost?

My final comment is about charities. Since November I've been trying to find a local charity to develop a long term relationship with. They either do not return phone calls, or they just want the "check" without putting forth any effort. Maybe I've just been working with the wrong ones, but so far it has been discouraging. I'm tracking a new "lead" now - maybe it will pan out. When I started this I thought they'd be beating down the doors to be helpful.
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