What is a Poker Run

What is a Poker Run?

A Poker Run is a game of chance and only the boat with the best poker hand wins. It s all in the cards. Whether your boat exceeds 120 mph or 200 mph, speed has no bearing on the winner.

Even before the event, you can sense the burning fever of anticipation as the gladiators of the sea are itching to head out on the open water.

A poker run is fun on the water with power to burn. It s a few glorious days of performance boating at its finest and a chance to renew old acquaintances and make new friends. Each participating boat navigates a carefully charted course, stopping at five checkpoints along the route to pick up a sealed envelope containing a single playing card. At the final checkpoint, the envelopes are opened and the crew holding the best poker hand is declared the winner!

There s an unquantifiable joy in feeling the wind against your face at 75+mph speeds on the open water and experiencing a roller-coaster-like ride over wakes and waves.
Signing on for a poker run also means being part of a well-organized, activity-oriented, fun-filled and safe event. Naturally, it helps to have a great body of water, but equally as important are the card stops and special hosts that cater to poker runners throughout the run.

Poker runs are events for the entire family. At each of the five checkpoints, host communities provide unique and entertaining activities, sometimes linked with waterfront festivals.

Follow the excitement of the Poker Runs America Tour at

What about a Rendezvous Poker Run?

A rendezvous poker run has been recently created by Power Boating Canada where the doors are wide open to all family boaters to feel the thrill of a poker run. It s a sanctioned event by the APRA and follows the same safety guidelines as a poker run.

Poker run rendezvous are events for the whole family and open to all boaters whether you own a 17-foot aluminum boat, 20-foot runabout, 30-foot day cruiser or even a PWC. Fun is provided for all members of the family with activities on and off the water and at the checkpoints/card stops don t miss the excitement!

Boat Poker Run 2021

The Boat Poker Run is an annual event held on Lake Decatur. Boats go from dock to dock playing different games at each dock as well as having food and/or refreshments. The run is not only a great time, but also helps raise money for our partners. All proceeds will be distributed to the following charities: Good Samaritan Inn, Stone Thrown Forward, 217 WB Classic, PawPrint Ministries, Special Olympics of Decatur, and the Tyler Youndt Foundation.

Thank you to all of our Sponsors for chipping in this years 7th annual Boat Poker Run:



This year we will have live entertainment "The Banned" on a barge in Basin 2 directly after the Poker Run. Please come join us for the after party.

* Do I need to bring cash? Yes, each dock has a charity on it that you are welcome to donate to. There are also extra games that do charge and take cash. We also accept any donations on our website under the "donate" button.

* Do I need a ticket for each person in the boat? Yes, each person playing will need their own ticket. Should someone decide not to play, no biggie, they just wont get entered to win all the goodies and enjoy the games, food and drinks.

*Does the band cost if I don't want to play the game? Not at all! Grab some friends and enjoy a free night show on the lake.

*Where do we get our tickets? The day of the event you need to have someone from your boat check in at the Beach House for Score Cards. Checkin from 10:30am-12noon

*What if I can't make it until after the event? No biggie, you can purchase late score cards on any of the 7 docks.

*When does the price go up in ticket sales? That's a secret ;) We recommend purchasing the early bird priced tickets as far in advance.

Commentary: Small-Boat Poker Runs Are Simple

My father is a semi-retired physicist who founded a think-tank in Los Angeles. He s one of those guys who is so gifted on one level that he is challenged on many others, such as basic communication with his fellow earthlings.

The blackboard in my father s conference room was filled with equations that only people like, well, my father could possibly understand. Those equations were written and erased daily. The only constant on that blackboard was something my father wrote when he first started his company.

There are two types of ideas: 1. Simple. 2. Confused.

A small-boat poker run such as the Black Jack Poker Run the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club will host Sept. 5 is one of those simple yet ultimately brilliant ideas. And it makes sense on many levels.

First, it includes would-be poker-run participants who are either intimidated by the bigger boats or excluded from poker runs with minimum boat-size lengths. If growth is a goal, inclusion is a good thing.

Second, it expands the market for poker-run organizers. Let s face it, there are a lot more owners of single-engine V-bottoms in the 20- to 30-foot range than there are folks who own twin-engine, 40-plus foot catamarans and V-bottoms.

Third and for me this is the big one it expands the performance boat market. It s no secret that the go-fast boat market is shrinking on both the manufacturer and consumer sides. It s also no secret that the consumer side controls the destiny of the manufacturer side.

The No. 1 complaint I hear from manufacturers? New buyers are tough to find. And while all boatbuilders value or should value their repeat customers, they need new blood to grow. Same goes for poker-run organizers.

So if I were a go-fast boatbuilder I d be stumbling all over myself to sponsor any small-boat poker run (put on by a reputable organizer) I could find. Because despite what will surely be a low conversion rate, not every small-boat owner will be a small-boat owner forever. Ask around and you ll find that most folks who own a big Cigarette or Skater started with something a whole lot smaller.

And for poker-run organizers, who have seen a major decline in attendance in the last few years, the small-boat contingent is an instant market. Would registration fees have to be lower? Absolutely. Would fleets eventually, if not immediately, be larger? Definitely.

To me, small-boat poker runs are the best idea I ve heard for growing the performance-boat world in a long time. Best of all, they re simple.

Offshore Race and Poker Run To Highlight New Jersey Speed Fest

Forces are gathering for summer performance events off the Jersey shore.

As the annual kick-off event for the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club s season, the Atlantic City Poker Run will have a little company this year thanks to the New Jersey Offshore Powerboat Racing Association.

In conjunction with a well-known poker run and a day of boat rides for injured veterans, offshore powerboat racing will return to New Jersey this summer. Photo by Tim Sharkey.

The run, which usually attracts 50-plus high-performance boats and goes from Toms River to Atlantic City, will happen as usual on a Friday, meaning June 21 this year. And on Sunday, June 23, raceboats from the Offshore Powerboat Association will take to the waters off Atlantic City to battle it out in what organizers are calling the New Jersey Offshore Grand Prix.

The race is the brainchild of Dave Patnaude, the director of the New Jersey Offshore Powerboat Racing Association and president of the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club; Ed Smitty Smith, the president of the Offshore Powerboat Association, and Tom Pohlman, the executive vice president of and general manager of the recently remodeled and refurbished Atlantic City Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino.

This whole thing kind of started when we took Tom Pohlman of the Golden Nugget on last year s Atlantic City Poker Run, said Patnaude. Tom is a powerboat enthusiast and an avid offshore racing fan, and he rode with Gary Goodell in the Miss GEICO Cigarette. We talked about bringing offshore racing back to Atlantic City, worked on it for a while with Smitty at OPA, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The last offshore race scheduled to happen in the area was in summer 2010. Dangerous conditions that included 20-foot seas forced officials to cancel the event.

Between the poker run on Friday and the offshore race on Saturday, the NJPPC will host a day of high-performance powerboat rides for Wounded Warriors, meaning injured veterans in the area who are interested in getting out on the water in a go-fast boat.

This is not unlike the Shore Dreams for Kids program that the NJPPC is involved with every summer, said Patnaude. It s one of the ways the club gives back to the community, and we re really looking forward to incorporating the rides for wounded warriors into our event.

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