Two words are really all that is needed—thank you. Thank you Joey Fontenot, thank you Casey Harrison and thank you to everyone at Blood River Landing and all of the supporting establishments around Louisiana for opening their waterways, marinas, bars and restaurants to performance boaters for the 28th annual Tickfaw 200 Poker Run.
Blood River Landing in Springfield, La., hosted the 28th annual Tickfaw 200 Poker Run. Photo courtesy Yvonne Aleman.
Why thank you? Because the event nearly came to a screeching halt after the 2014 poker run. Fortunately for the thousands of boaters who ascended on the swamps of Louisiana for the two-day, 200-plus-mile poker run this year, Fontenot, who owns Blood River Landing in Springfield, La., decided to embrace the event again. And judging by the response and rally cry displayed by the performance boat community, Fontenot and company made the right call as the event set records for attendance and poker hands purchased.
“It’s been a crazy few days around here,” Harrison said early Sunday morning while closing up the Fun House. “We just shut this place down—now it’s time to go back to our day jobs. We don’t have any official numbers yet but I can safely say we had at least 250 boats in the poker run and we sold more than 400 poker hands, which includes people who don’t have a boat but want to get in on the action.
“The amount of new people we had here was unreal,” he continued. “I had more people this year tell me that this is the best poker run they go to. That’s very flattering because I know there are a lot of good ones out there.”
Harrison added that everyone had a fun, safe time with weather conditions that were the best they’ve seen in several years.
A special thanks to the lovely Yvonne Aleman for sending many of the photos in the slideshow above.
So strong has the appeal of the Tickfaw 200 become that it attracts participants from the East and West Coast. As he did last year, Southern California’s John Caparell trailered his exquisite 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran from San Diego to the event. New Jersey-based Bob Christie and Tom Anselmi brought their V-bottoms—a Cigarette Racing 42X and Donzi Marine 38 ZR Comp—all the way from the Garden State to run on the bayou.
“We made six stops on Friday and had four to go on Saturday,” said Christie after running more than 100 miles on Friday in his 42-footer with twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines. “I love the open format—we’re doing this every year. The people here are so friendly and helpful—they treat everyone like they’re aces. It’s a ‘must run’ for everyone.”
Not only did the run entertain thousands of people, but it also a raised several thousand dollars for local waterway organizations—an official amount has not been determined. For that reason, as well as the substantial local economic impact from the event, the locals say thank you as well to both the organizers and the participants.
Finally, as a thank you from speedonthewater.com and anyone who ever got the chance to meet Charlie Albert, aka Crazy Charlie, kudos for keeping the event going strong in his honor.
Tickfaw 200 Officially Returning for 2015