Poker Runs have become a national phenomenon in recent years. Far beyond being a mere race, they’re exciting games of chance played out on the waterways and bodies of water in and surrounding America. In addition to being recreational, social and sporting events, poker run participants operate some of the fastest, exotic and hot boats on the water. Most of these fast-paced poker games are annual events aimed at raising money for local or national charities.
Poker Run Rules
Most poker runs are based on the classic game of 5-Card Stud, although 7-Card runs aren’t uncommon. Run participants meet at a pre-arranged point to register and pay the event fee. They receive printed details outlining the course charted for the run and the locations of each of five or seven designated stopping points. Depending on event rules, at each stop, participants draw a random card, are dealt one or receive one in a sealed envelope. The winner of the poker run is whoever has the best poker hand at the end of the event.
While every poker run operates per local boating regulations and any rules outlined by its organizers, here are a few general rules that most events follow.
- Safety on the water is always the first concern, so poker run participants are usually cautioned that it’s not a race and there are no prizes for speed. But any time two or more powerboat operators get together, you can bet there will be some competition.
- The winning hand is determined by standard stud poker hand rankings. The use of wild cards or being able to buy a “draw” card is up to the run organizers.
- In the case a duplicate card, such as a three of spades, is drawn, the participant will be asked to return the duplicate and draw a new card. While the organizers do try to prevent this from happening – it occasionally does.
- · Each participant is responsible for having an event organizer update his or her scorecard at each stop, if applicable.
- · Event organizers are responsible for charting safe routes and choosing each checkpoint establishment.
Poker Runs Rule!
A poker run offers speedboat owners a few days of high-speed fun, camaraderie and performance boating at its best. For participants, it’s an opportunity to renew old acquaintances, make new friendships and donate to a worthy cause. Besides, who would give up the chance to fly over the water at high speeds with a group of other speed boaters?
Poker Runs aren’t limited by age, either – they’re events for the whole family. At each checkpoint, especially those involved in off-shore runs, host communities provide entertainment, refreshments and activities unique to their locations – often connected to waterfront festivals.
Most of these events start the day before the actual poker run so participants can get together for dinner, drinks and entertainment. The schedule, rules and safety regulations are usually distributed during this time. After a day of running from one stop to another, participants will again gather for the closing festivities, which usually include dinner, entertainment and the announcement of the event winner.
Because of the enormous popularity of these events, a whole industry and many organizations have grown around the new “sport” of powerboat poker runs. While the industry already publishes countless magazines devoted to powerboating, Poker Runs America
is an online mag specifically dedicated to covering the runs, the participants, the organizers, the charities and most importantly – the boats. The magazine also publishes an annual list of scheduled poker runs across the country.
From Lake Michigan to Lake Havasu, from Massachusetts to California, this year’s poker runs are revving up and waiting for your participation.
~ Glen Community Support