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Don’t Forget About Big Cat

When it comes to poker runs in California—or the West Coast for that matter, it’s tough to beat the Big Cat Poker Run in Discovery Bay, Calif. Of course there’s the mammoth Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and the offshore powerboat enthusiast’s favorite run—the SCOPE Poker Run in September—but in terms of camaraderie, overall fun factor and enjoyable waterways, the Big Cat Poker Run is at the top of the list.

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The Big Cat Poker Run in Northern California is truly one of a kind. Photos by Erick Bryner/Fast Loud Photography

“This has to be the best poker run in the country,” said Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine—the title sponsor of the longstanding event that benefits the Discovery Bay Lions Club. “Just look around. The setting is awesome, the boats are so cool and diverse, and the people are amazing.”

I can’t disagree with Mr. Teague—a longtime friend, who was joined by his family in both his 40-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran and his brand new DCB Performance Boats M31 Widebody cat (read the story)—about any of that, well except that Big Cat is the best poker run. Why? Because I don’t think there is a “best poker run” primarily because they are all so different and there are so many incredible events to choose from in and around this great country.

But to Teague’s point, which is easy to see when you look at the slideshow below courtesy of Fast Loud Photography’s Erick Bryner, the event, which took place August 17-18 at the Discovery Bay Yacht Club, is a gem. It’s true that the camaraderie displayed by the generous folks who both organize and attend the annual poker run is one of a kind. Between the Colledge, Hoffman, Koster, Stewart, Teague and Zanger families—amongst many others—the tradition continues to grow at the Big Cat event.

For more of Bryner’s images from the Big Cat Poker Run on the California Delta, check out the slideshow above.

And it appears to be growing beyond that as well with attendees such as Southern California’s Dave and Buffie Megugorac, who brought their DCB M35 Widebody catamaran Bananas to the event for the second year in a row. Their friends, Travis and Summer Richardson of Swoop Motorsports, also enjoyed the event for the first time. The Richardsons brought their Hustler Powerboats 377 Talon and had a great time, while Summer’s parents—Don and Connie London—also attended the run in Dial 911, their Skater 388 catamaran.

This year, Glenn Hoffman, one of the primary organizers of the 80-boat event that included a lunch run on Friday preceding Saturday’s main event, said that thanks to the generosity of its sponsors and participants, the Big Cat Poker Run raised $62,000 for the Lions Club.

Another job well done by the enthusiastic Discovery Bay crew—arguably one of the biggest families of performance boaters I know. That’s why I consider this event on my must-attend list every year, even if it does bump up against the popular Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri again like it did this year.

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