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Florida Powerboat Club Poker Run One Of Two Hot Tickets Coming To Tampa

Every poker-run venue has its challenges and Tampa is no exception for the Florida Powerboat Club, which moved its annual Tampa Bay Poker Run in early April to the downtown area six years ago from its longtime home in nearby St. Petersburg. Since relocating the run to the booming Southwest Florida city, the club has faced challenges such as sharing the early April weekend in downtown Tampa with the International Boat Exposition trade show—known as IBEX in marine industry circles—and even a Wrestlemania event.

For Taylor Swift fans heading to the Florida Powerboat Club Tampa Bay Poker Run, April 13-16 could be the perfect weekend to be in town. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Neither of which, of course, compares to what three nights worth of Taylor Swift concerts bring to any city. And that’s exactly what’s happening at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium April 13-15, the same weekend of the Florida Powerboat Club Tampa Bay Poker Run.

So far, 50-plus club members have registered for the run, which likely will top out at 60 sign-ups according to Florida Powerboat Club head Stu Jones

“The Taylor Swift concerts obviously put a big strain on our available inventory of rooms and have jacked up the hotel rates substantially,” said Jones. “We have sold out our entire inventory of hotel rooms and available docking.

“Once again, we always have to remind our members and attendees that registering early is a big part of the process as we tend to sell out most of the events that we have planned throughout the year,” he added.

Passing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is just part of the appeal of the annual Tampa Bay Poker Run.

Despite the lodging shortage created by major events in Tampa, Jones emphasized that the venue remains a significant improvement over the poker run’s former St. Petersburg headquarters.

“The downtown Tampa venue was absolutely what this event needed to get to the next level,” he explained. “St. Pete definitely was nice, but it was very limited with almost no docking and a lot of sound ordinances and legal issues getting in and out of that marina. It was just the wrong venue.

“I’m excited to return to Tampa,” he added. “This should be a great event.”

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