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Commentary: The Future of Tickfaw?

“Our favorite by far!” “Thank you, thank you, thank you. Had a blast—ready for next year!” “Awesome event, can’t wait til next year!” “To all the people who were involved with putting on the Tickfaw 200, thanks for a well-run event. It was great to see all of our friends and make some new ones.”

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Was the 27th annual Tickfaw 200 Poker Run the final one at Blood River Landing? Boaters everywhere sure hope not. Photo by Casey Harrison

Those are just a few of the positive reviews rolling in from last weekend’s Tickfaw 200 Poker Run in Louisiana. In fact the upbeat remarks are pouring from all over the place, including Marine Technology Inc. owner Randy Scism, who said he had a ball at the poker run thanks to a great group of people and an excellent venue, and respected performance boater John Caparell, who hauled his 32 Doug Wright Poker Run edition from California for run, which he so eloquently reviewed in his forum post on HotBoat.com.

Still, with all of the “can’t wait for next year” buzz generating momentum for next year already, one question remains—will the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run return for 2015?

Casey Harrison, one of the organizers of the event along with Blood River Landing owner Joey Fontenot, said everything is up in the air at the moment as the event is a massive undertaking and a huge responsibility for Fontenot, Harrison and everyone at Blood River Landing. Harrison reported more than 300 registered boats for the event and that local water patrol estimated that more than 800 boats joined in on the fun throughout the two-day, 200-plus-mile poker run near New Orleans.

“The talk about us keeping the event going was relentless from the day I got there to the day I left,” Harrison said. “We would love to keep it going—it’s the last real legacy of ‘Crazy Charlie.’ (Charlie Albert, the previous owner of Blood River Landing, died in a motorcycle accident in 2009). Charlie always wanted a fun poker run venue where people could come have fun and things weren’t so stuffy or elitist. That’s what this event is all about—having fun. We’ve been flip-flopping back and forth about whether we’re going to do it at Blood River again. The problem is if we tried to move it somewhere else. The sheer size of what it has turned into makes finding a new location difficult.”

Plus, what would the event be without Crazy Charlie’s Fun House and the “come stay with your friends” approach that Blood River offers by providing a place for people to park their RVs, trailers and more? Obviously the poker run across a half dozen waterways throughout Louisiana is appealing, but the main reason people come to the event is the atmosphere provided by the crew at Blood River Landing, which helps launch boats, provide directions and keep people fed and hydrated.

As one outlet for many satisfied poker runners, speedonthewater.com will make the plea: Please don’t let the Tickfaw 200 come to an end after 27 glorious years in the swamps of Louisiana.

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