By raw boat-count numbers, this year’s Boyne Thunder Poker Run was no different than it’s been for years. Dock space in Boyne City, Mich., a tiny city with a giant heart, is limited. The event is capped at 120 boats. Unless new docks fall from the sky onto Lake Charlevoix and drift to Boyne City Municipal Marina, that’s likely the maximum amount of boats the event will ever host.
Canceled in 2020 and modified in 2021, the 2022 Boyne Thunder Poker Run may have been the best one yet. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But what an affair the 19th annual gathering was. From Thursday night’s welcome party to the Friday evening street exhibit and celebration that took over Main Street in Boyne City to the poker run itself, the 2022 version simply felt bigger.
“I think this is the biggest one ever and I’ve been coming here for more than 15 years,” said Ron Szolack, who ran his Cigarette 42 Huntress GTO with friends during the weekend. “This is the most people I’ve seen here. Such beautiful scenery with the waterfront homes— it’s an awesome event, like no other in the country.”
So how did a poker run with a fixed number of entries feel so much bigger than it was?