When it comes to high-performance boat events, turning 21 isn’t quite the same as hitting the magic number for an adult, but it’s still a remarkable milestone. And that’s exactly how old the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is going to be when the annual event rolls into town in April this year.
Louisiana’s Michael Pierce, who owns the stunning Pure Platinum Skater 388, is returning to the poker run this year, and he’s bringing friends from Louisiana with him—the Branton family who owns VOODOO another Skater 388. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos
Scheduled for April 24-28, the event is coming off a landmark year in which it celebrated its 20th anniversary, moved to a new host venue and underwent a leadership change that saw the husband-and-wife team of Christina and Jimmy Nichols of Phantom Productions take over the organizational duties from Jimmy’s father, Jim, who ran it for 19 years—it was originally called the HeatWave Poker Run when Nichols and friends started it in 1999 under the Arizona Hot Boat Association.
This year, Christina Nichols said she is expecting much of the same with a few modifications, which is what the event tries to incorporate on an annual basis, as well as some special surprises that she plans to announce in the coming weeks.
“We have some exciting changes happening,” said Nichols, who has been involved with the event, which includes Thursday’s Street Party, Friday’s Poker Run and Saturday’s Shootout, for many years. “We’re going to extend the Street Party about a quarter of a mile south and we’re organizing it a little differently by spreading out the vendors and food trucks to get more participants and sponsors involved.”
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