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FPC Winter Poker Run A Low-Key Prelude To Upcoming Boat-Show Run

Florida Powerboat Club head Stu Jones expected 25 to 30 boats in last weekend’s casual Winter Poker Run to the Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club in Marathon, and that’s exactly what he got. But to his pleasant surprise, “seven or eight” of the boat owners/club members who participated were first-timers to the Florida Keys event.

Florida Powerboat Club Winter Poker Run participants had plenty of photo time during the Saturday morning shoot based out of the Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club in Marathon. Photos courtesy/copyright of the Florida Powerboat Club.

“It was nice to see that much new blood in the run,” said Jones.

Another high point for the veteran poker-run organizer was Saturday’s helicopter photo shoot, which was underwritten by Bill Day of Day’s Boat Sales of Frankfort, Ky. The shoot started out of the Faro Blanco Resort Marina on Saturday morning, and with plenty of flight time thanks to Day’s support each boat in relatively small fleet had plenty of solo photo time.

“At 11:30 a.m. the helicopter showed up right on cue,” said Jones. “One by one, the boats left the harbor and they started shooting like crazy. Each boat got at least five minutes with the chopper. Helicopters are really expensive in the Keys, so normally we’d have about an hour of flight time. But thanks to Bill Day’s support, they flew for almost two hours.”

The event itself was, also as planned, low-key and intimate. After stopping for lunch at Gilbert’s Resort and Tiki Bar in Key Largo, the group reached the Faro Blanco Resort in the late afternoon. Most participants, said Jones, stayed put for the evening at the host venue. The night began with the poker hands played poolside, after which club members headed for the on-site bar and restaurant. Following Saturday’s photo shoot, the casual scene repeated itself.

Jones (center) was joined by his sons Max and Tyler for the weekend getaway in the family’s Project 1080 Cigarette.

“We had a great weekend—we couldn’t have had better weather,” said Jones. “The lows were in the 70s and the highs were in the 80s. We had no rain, blues skies and light wind all the way.”

With the Winter Poker Run behind him, Jones is now exclusively focused on next month’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run and Exhibit, February 18-21, which as previously reported will tap Gilbert’s Resort as the host venue. In addition to an impressive list of exhibitors, 60-plus club members have signed up for the run.

“I think 75 to 80 boats, which we originally planned for, will be easy to reach,” he said.

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