With 55 registered teams from the United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom, last weekend’s sold-out Miami Boat Show Poker Run organized by the Florida Powerboat Club was one Stu Jones, the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based club’s president and founder, is going to remember for a long time.
More than 50 boats took part in last week’s 25th Miami Boat Show Poker Run. Photos courtesy Florida Powerboat Club
Not only was the club celebrating 25 years since the Miami Boat Show Poker Run’s inception in 1996, the industry-wide show of support was extremely strong according to Jones.
“Our Miami Boat Show Poker Run always brings together the key players in the performance marine industry on the heels of the Miami International Boat Show, and this year the manufacturer representation was as strong as it’s ever been,” said Jones, pointing to a long list of companies, including Adrenaline Powerboats, Cigarette Racing Team, Deep Impact Custom Boats, Midnight Express, MTI, Mystic Powerboats, Nor-Tech Hi Performance Boats and Wright Performance. “We had a lot of cool new boats take part in the two different departure days on Thursday and Friday from Miami to Key Largo.”
Jones said windy conditions on both days made for bumpy but safe rides on Biscayne Bay and that Gilbert’s provided an awesome lunch—as always—before the participants headed to one of two sold-out hotels, the Autograph Collection Playa Largo Resort and the Hilton Curio Collection Bakers Cay Resort in Key Largo.
He added that the event culminated with a dinner and awards party on Friday night at Bakers Cay Resort ballroom, which was attended by about 200 guests. The winners of the evening’s best poker hands were—from first place to third place—Scott Rosenbach, who owns a new MTI-V 57 luxury performance center console, Jim Lee, who owns a 39-foot Cigarette, and Tom Archer, who owns a Baja Marine 38 Special that Jones recognized as the event’s “Best Paint.”
Jones handed out several other President’s Choice awards, including Best Performance Vee, which went to Steven Barker for the Cigarette 42X powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines; Best Cat, which was presented to the MTI team for its latest 390X outboard-powered model; and Best Center Console, which went to David Landsman for his five-engine 43-foot Midnight Express dubbed Game Changer. The Best Dressed Team award went to France’s Frank and Grazia Bulte, who own a 44-foot MTI, and the Most Outrageous Boat award was given to the Adrenaline team for its 47 ZRX with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines. David Carey, who owns a 37-foot Midnight Express, won the Sexiest Crew award, while Kim Collins, who owns a 38-foot Statement center console, won the Farthest Traveled award for making the trip from the UK, and the 42-foot Team Renaissance Prowler cat powered by quad Mercury Racing 450R engines earned the Best Newcomer award.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Miami Boat Show Poker Run.
Saturday was a “free day” for most attendees, according to Jones, but there was not much boating carried out due to the 30-mph winds. With both marinas having direct exposure to the north, and not a lot of protection from the swells, many of the members moved their boats to safer harbor at either Gilbert’s Resort or Mangrove Marina.
“The FPC shuttle van ran all day on Saturday, taking groups to area restaurants and tiki bars so guests could full enjoy their time in the Keys,” Jones explained. “Some club members decided to go home on trailers, while others took the choppy ride back on Sunday. Overall, everyone had fun and there were no incidents even through the windy weather certainly changed the agenda for many of us.”
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