Dozens of boats, motorcycles, cars and a few planes will rev their engines this weekend and head south to Key West for the First Annual Key West Air-Land-Sea Poker Run.
Created by the Florida Powerboat Club, the May 14-18, 2014 event includes an array of events that start as far north as Pompano Beach and end in Key West. Off Lease Only and Boats Direct USA are among several businesses sponsoring the 5-day event.
“Poker runs have been a platform that have created the entire growth of the power boat industry. The reason why is … when you have a power boat you want to go somewhere,” said Stu Jones, president and founder of the 500-member Florida Powerboat Club. “It takes away a lot of the factors like speed, and value and who has the biggest wallet. It levels the field so everyone can participate.”
Here’s how it works: Instead of playing poker at a card table, participants drive, boat or ride to various checkpoints that are scattered along the route to Key West, Jones explained. At each checkpoint, they get a card, and play their hands for prizes once they arrive in Key West.
Poker runs are popular among the boating set because they provide a fun-filled, action-packed venue for boaters who love to go fast and play hard in the pricey watercraft they have invested so much in. Because the events also attract motorcyclists and car buffs, there is always something fun to see or do, Jones said.
“The locations are all waterfront restaurants. It becomes a real spectator event when these sports cars, luxury cars and performance boats all get together in one location at one time,” Jones noted. “It’s a lot of fun.”
- 6 to 10 p.m., Thursday, May 15: Yacht Hop at SeaIsle Marina: Participant and sponsor yachts on display.
- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, May 16: Air-Land-Sea Poker Run. South Florida departures from Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Stopovers/checkpoints include are in Key Largo, Islamorada, Duck Key, and Marathon. Final destination is Key West.
- Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17: Key West Poker Run Village parties: Conch Republic Seafood Co. seaport. Car show, boat show, yacht show, poker run video coverage on a jumbo video screen; Saturday excursions, Boca Grande raft up party, Saturday evening dinner party featuring awards and Poker Run prizes.
Boats Direct USA is the factory outlet in Key Largo of Deep Impact Boats, and the exclusive distributor/manufacturer of Deep Impact, Blackwater Boats and Ocean Hawk. With over 100 new and used boats for sale, it’s never been a better time to schedule your sea trial. For more information, call 866-377-5403 toll-free or visit the Boats Direct USA showroom at Mile Marker 98.