Elite Poker Runs LLC will offer two events in 2016. That’s the word from Tony Scioli, the Buffalo, N.Y.-based restaurateur who founded and owns the fledgling performance-boat-event-organizing outfit.
On June 10-11, Elite Poker Runs will head back to Erie, Pa., for its second Erie Poker Run based out of the Sheraton Erie Bayfront hotel and adjacent Wolverine Park Marina. Held at the Buffalo Launch Club on Grand Island in the upper Niagara River in Western New York, the organization’s Grand Island Poker Run is slated for Sept. 9-10.
Elite Poker Runs LLC is headed back to Erie, Pa., in 2016. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images
Scioli said he is limiting entries to 60 boats per event. Registration for the Erie Poker Run will open the first week in January. Registration for the Grand Island Poker Run will open in March. Pricing has yet to be finalized.
“Those are the only runs I have secured for 2016, but I am looking for other venues,” said Scioli, who has stepped down as the organizer for the annual Buffalo Poker Run hosted by the Western New York Offshore Powerboat Association. “To do what I want to on a weekend with a really nice meal, where everything is self-contained in the same venue, I am competing with weddings. If you have a waterfront venue and you are not already booked for next summer, you have some major issues.”
Scioli said he opted out of his Buffalo Poker Run organizing role to build his Elite Poker Runs LLC business, as well as focus on another restaurant he’s opening in the Buffalo area.
“I did that for six years and now it’s time to step away—I’ve done my time—but I’ll be on the sidelines helping out with Buffalo,” he said. “Steve McKie is staying as president of WYNOPA, and they are in the process of finding someone to take over my position. I’m not leaving the club, just the position, and there are a couple of young guys who are interested in taking over.
“Doing two runs of my own will be enough,” he added, then laughed.