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The Future of Poker Runs ???

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Old 08-29-2003, 10:52 AM
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Default The Future of Poker Runs ???

Well folks ... the boating season is rounding third and heading for home so to speak ... here on Lake Erie anyway ... and as I look back on this past summer's poker runs I see a somewhat negative trend. Is the poker run as we know it experiencing a bit of a transition period ?

* First off, are there too many "events" around the country that the competition has "thinned the herd" and weakened the fleet that shows each weekend ?

* Are the organizers of poker runs being "worn out" trying to put together a "slew" of events every season instead of concentrating on one QUALITY event ?

* Are the organizers "slacking off" the details and planning of some runs because ... "the boats will come out anyway" or "I'm the only game in town" or "We had 80 boats last year" (resting on laurels?)

* Are the poker run participants getting "bored" with the same old thing every time they go to a run ?

* Are the participants getting pulled from too many sides for their entertainment/ leisure time and dollar ?

Maybe I'm wrong , but I've seen more "cancelled" runs and more "conflicting dates" over the last two years then ever before. If you could travel every weekend I think you'd be hard pressed to find a weekend that there wasn't at least two fairly large runs and often in relatively close locations. Further ... it seems every marina, yacht club and waterside eatery has to have their own poker run these days. And thats great ... more power to them ... but is the poker run becoming diluted ? Is the special feel wearing off ? Can the existing and upcoming powerboating communitee support all these events without loosing some of the "magic" ?

I'd like to see some changes to the typical poker run itinerary that would encourage closer running therefore limiting the "where is everybody?" ... boats all spread out by themselves thing .... (the best part is running along with a group of other boats)... I don't care who's there first ... I've been out front a "few" times ... the funs with the pack man !!!!!!!

Where do you see poker runs heading in the years to come ??? It used to be there were a handfull of events and man there was a buzz at 'em like the friggin Indy 500 ... Is that buzz still out there on every weekend at the "Second Annual Turtle Creek Reservoir Poker Run" ?
I don't know , there was even bad press from the Holy Grail of poker runs ... 1,000 Islands ????


... What do you folks think ?????
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:05 PM
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As with anything, the more you do it, the less exciting it is. If you go to fewer events and always different runs it will stay fresh and new, at least the location will be new.

People are making a living off of producing poker runs so you would think that the product would be constantly improving unless they get greedy and want to keep more of the profits.

Having only participated in one poker run (NYC this year) it seems like a poker run is a quasi race for those people who want the feel of an offshore race start without the need to run full speed for an hour. It seems to me that some of these poker runners need to try a race or two. The excitement never goes away and the compitition is what it's all about.

Tom Abrams has switched from poker runs with his boat TomCat to racing in Reliable. He found the compitition and adreniline rush that he's been looking for at offshore race sites.

From what I understand, the run to the first card stop can be fun, but after everyone gets spread out after picking up the first card, the fun is over and people just follow the leader for the rest of the day.

If I was going to do poker runs, I'd probably go to many different locations, especially in Florida.

I could be wrong about all this. I was wrong once before.
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:27 PM
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I don't think it will get watered down. It doesn't take the huge fleets to have a good time. The really big fleets make a logistical nightmare. I think as some of the really big ones start charging more and more to enter, it will bring around the birth of smaller, more affordable runs for those who can't justify the expense of the entry fee along with all the other associated costs of running in one.
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:45 PM
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I'll be watching this post closely. After getting our first poker run under our belt we are always looking for ways to improve next years.

Great info guys.

Brian
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:29 PM
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I can tell you from what I have seen entering and organizing poker runs for the last 14 or 15 years. The events are now so common that much of the hype surrounding them is long gone. Its a BTDT scenario for many of the competitors. I have seen many boaters come and go into and out of poker running over the years. It takes a great deal of effort and dedication to keep an event "fresh" every year. As a participant,thats what I want in a run,not just the same old same old route,food,prizes etc. As with any product or service,it had better get better with time or it will eventually wither and die. Sure the BillyBobs Marine annual poker run and pig roast type event will survive,but those smaller events are the grass roots, this is where poker running started type events that bring out a wholly different crowd than the heavily produced PRA type events. For fifty bucks and some gas a boater can have a great ole time boating with a bunch of like minded folks without nearly as much of the BiggusDickus syndrome that seems to have permeated the bigger poker runs over the years. Several of these "Poker Run" boats really belong on the race course IMHO,not doing poker runs. The level of entry fees has gotten rather high for many of these events and the appeal of the smaller less expensive runs is quite apparent. I have been to a few where 50 to 80 boats were entered. Maybe not all 47 foot this and that with 2000 hp and a half million dollar budget,but nice boats. These are people who want to enjoy the actual social aspect of poker runs as opposed to the ones who seem only to want to prove something. As a matter of fact,I will be participating in a small poker run this weekend . It is run by volunteers and all monies raised go to a children's wish charity. It is very popular year after year and has been running for 13 years now. Sure a few heavy hitters will be there,but I can attest to the fact that the ones who come to this particular run aren't there for the glory. They are there to play boating with friends and help a worthy cause.I myself only enter "charity" poker runs these days and what I would love to see but probably never will would be for the organizers of some of the big poker runs to hand over the profits to childrens charities. I am sure that PRA and the like make some pretty decent cash off these events. Yes I know its been taken to the point of being a profit generating business but ,and I ask rather tongue in cheek,why is that,after all,isn't boating supposed to be all about having fun?
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:51 PM
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At our Fun Run we re-group after each card, then everyone stays together. We also keep the entry fee down, but still have a great time with plenty of food and beverage. We make sure that it is for charity every year, and it seems to work. You know the old theory, KISS (keep it simple & stupid).

Anyone on the board who has been in our event knows how much fun we have, right AIRPACKER?
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:59 PM
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I pretty much agree with Airpacker. The first time I ever heard of a poker run was probably over 20 years ago. We were in Marathon in the Keys to go to a party held on an island by the locals. We didn't go on the poker run, but it was basically a bunch of fishing boats, riding from waterfront bar to waterfront bar, then having a party at the last one. They certainly weren't out to prove anything, just a bunch of buddies with the same interests getting together and having fun. That is pretty much what I look for in a poker run.
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Old 08-29-2003, 04:03 PM
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Seconded, Ron. Folks, if you want real excitement that just gets better every time, stop playing cards, start racing!

It doesn't have to be APBA or SBI. Find a nice regional club such as OPA in New Jersey.

It doesn't have to be a race boat. Augie Pensa races with his flying condo, complete with fridge and couch, and he won against World Champion Typhoon.

It doesn't have to fit strict criteria. Bracket racing sorts the boats into speed brackets, and off they go.

The competition, the fun, and the cameraderie can't be beat.

What did the old pinball machine say? It's more fun to compete.
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Old 08-29-2003, 04:23 PM
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At the other end of the spectrum is the Fun Run: No sign-up, no dues, nobody's responsible. A bunch of boats meet somewhere, go someplace, disperse. Or hang out for the rest of the day.

Some of these can get quite famous, for instance the Long Island Hot Toddie Run, held late Fall, hence the name.
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Old 08-29-2003, 07:22 PM
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Hey peconic,how u doin? Yes,the hottoddy run is a goody,any body have a date yet? Tripps
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