In response to participant demand, the Buffalo Poker Run on Lake Erie in Western New York shortened its course for the 2014 event, which attracted a 118-boat field. Among the record-setting fleet was the largest number of 40-plus-foot high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms the run had ever drawn, and for many of the owners of those boats the course was too short.
The 2014 Buffalo Poker Run attracted a record-setting 118 boats for the event. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images
That led Tony Scioli, the organizer for the annual event hosted by the Western New York Powerboat Association to a clever solution for the 2015 Buffalo Poker Run, which will be held August 7-8 and opened registration February. 1. A restaurant owner by trade, Scioli knows that to please more than one group of customers you need to offer more than one option.
“We will have three separate distances,” he said. “We’ve added a lunch stop and three stops on the lake. But for the last card stop, we will have three separate locations depending on how far the people on each boat want to go.
“We changed the course last year because people wanted a shorter run,” he added. “And that’s still an option. But we also drew higher-caliber boats with owners who thought the run was too short. We want to accommodate them without losing or pushing out the local boats.”
For a look at some of action and faces from the 2014 Buffalo Poker run, check out the slideshow above.
With a final stop in Angola, the shortest course—and the course for last year’s event—is 87 miles. With a final stop in Irving—the run’s final stop two years ago—the course distance is 101 miles. Participants who opt to make their final stop in Dunkirk will travel 118 miles.
Scioli said that while local powerboat owners prefer to raft-up in front of Templeton Landing, others—especially those who aren’t familiar with the marina—prefer to have their own slip. Slip selection has not been opened yet to the 22 participants who have registered so far, but when it does each participant will receive an email with a site address and password for slip registration. The emails for slip registration will be sent out in the order participants registered for the run.
“Just like we did last year, we are capping the run at 100 boats,” said Scioli. “We know we’ll have a few more boats with our sponsors such as Double R Performance, which also just stepped up as the title sponsor for the new Erie Poker Run. We’re looking forward to another successful event.”