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Buffalo Poker Run Is Popular Organizer’s Swan Song

With 45 boats signed up and registration closed, participants in this Saturday’s Buffalo Poker Run in Western New York will have plenty of space to move around at Templeton Landing, its longtime home. In 2014, the venue accommodated 110 entries without a major issue. It’s a beautiful, self-contained and multi-level facility with plenty of dockage, a lovely waterfront restaurant and excellent amenities.

The Buffalo Poker Run on Lake Erie is well known for heavy hardware and sporty water. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Much has happened since the record-setting event in 2014, including the death of Western New York Offshore Powerboat Association member Ray Nuchereno. So beloved was the longtime club member that following his passing, the event, then organized by Anthony Scioli of Elite Poker Runs LLC, was renamed the Ray Nuchereno Memorial Poker Run.

Scioli, who is shuttering his poker-run production business after the Buffalo happening, is returning as the organizer one last time. Though Scioli’s events never drew the participation he had hoped for early on, they attracted a loyal group of poker-run fans in the Northeast. They appreciated Scioli not just for his organizing skills but his commitment to hospitality.

“Since day one of Elite Poker Runs, Tony has been at the apex of quality for poker-run presentations,” said Peter Roberts of Double R Performance, a full-service Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats dealer in the Toronto, Canada, and longtime returning sponsor of the Buffalo event. “Buffalo was my favorite run for years, and probably still is.

“I’m really bummed I can’t attend this year,” he added.

For Scioli, the departure from his organizing role will be bittersweet. Thanks in large part to the 2014 run, which saw the likes of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats founder Mike Fiore and famed offshore racer Steve Curtis participate, the event always will have a place in his heart. But Scioli’s family has grown and his restaurant business needs him.

The 2023 event is returning to Lake Erie with a 45-boat fleet.

“From late-night drinks with powerboating legends to the incredible friends I have, the Buffalo event always has been about the people, and this year’s event has some amazing people as usual,” Scioli said. “But most of my memories are around Ray and the first time I talked to Mike Fiore in 2014. This is my last run as organizer for a very long time, if not forever.”

Scioli doesn’t, however, plan to completely disappear from the high-performance boating scene. He plans to return as an avid participant.

“Hopefully, in a few years I can get a nice outboard catamaran, run the whole poker-run circuit and visit all the friends I have made around the country,” he said.

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