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Hearts Of Gold And 1,000 Islands

Noodling on a story outline for an upcoming Speed On The water digital magazine feature about last weekend’s 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run during my flight home from New York City to San Francisco, it became clear—make that obvious—why the event grew more than 40 percent this year and why I left with it on my top-two all-time poker run list. And it had nothing to do with the killer fleet, the world-class scenery surrounding the pristine St. Lawrence River between Canada and United States, the first-rate 1,000 Islands Harbor Hotel, Saturday night’s epic celebration or even the unforgettable drive up the Hudson River Valley from the Big Apple to the tiny town of Clayton.


Without the people involved, the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run would be just another go-fast boating event in a pretty place. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

Don’t get me wrong, those were very good things and my memories of them are indelible. My girlfriend, who has about as much interest in high-performance powerboats as I have in high fashion—something you know if you’ve seen how I dress—is already planning our return trip to the 2019 event.

But without the people behind it, the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run wouldn’t be the wonderful event it is. Yes, you can say that about any great event and you’ll get no argument from me. But what truly separates one poker run from another is hospitality, and the people behind this one are loaded with it.

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