As a restaurant owner, Elite Poker Runs, LLC, founder Anthony Scioli of Buffalo, N.Y., has adapted to daily changes in his business for months. His popular My Tomato Pie eatery has gone, like restaurants around the country, from an in-housing hotspot with a sold take-out following to a take-out-only establishment. As restaurants/bars and beauty salons—Scioli’s wife, Sara, owns one of those—are in the third phase of New York’s novel coronavirus reopening plan and the Empire State currently is in phase one, he doesn’t anticipate seating diners in his place until August.
Photo from the 2018 Erie Poker Run by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos/speedonthewater.com.
The current situation with his restaurant has informed Scioli’s plans for his 2020 poker runs in Mentor, Ohio, Erie, Pa., and Buffalo, N.Y. And that’s why he’s rescheduling the Erie Poker Run, the first event of the Elite Poker Runs season, from June 26-27 to August 21-22.
The goal, he said, is to give everyone involved, from the Erie Sports Commission to the event’s participants and sponsors, “more breathing room.”
“I am changing the dates now because I think Erie is a great event and I want the city and everyone else to be comfortable with it happening,” he said.
Scioli also said there are ancillary benefits to the date change. Conditions on Lake Erie are “usually better” in August than June, he said. Plus, with the event pushed back to August he’ll be able to hold the Saturday night dinner celebration within the Erie Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel host venue rather than in a banquet room in the adjacent convention center.
“Even in August, there’s a good chance we will have to follow some social distancing guidelines,” he said. “But just as we already have, we will adapt.”