At present, there are more than 180 high-performance powerboats signed up for the 25th annual Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run. Anyway you look at it—for example, if each boat averages 40 feet long that translates to more than a mile of fiberglass, carbon fiber and such—that’s a lot of catamarans, V-bottom sportboats and performance center consoles to get from Miami’s Biscayne Bay to the city at the end of the road. Think four people per boat, a reasonable number, and you’re talking about more than 700 people, most of whom will head down on Thursday with the club.
I don’t know how this sounds to you from an organizational standpoint, but to me it sounds like a nightmare. I’d rather stick hot needles in my eyes than have to organize an event of this scale. OK, that’s a tad dramatic, but you get my point.
Fortunately, however, Stu Jones of the Florida Powerboat Club doesn’t have a violent aversion to such things. In fact, he’s pretty damn good at it. Sure, he’s had his issues—he’s been punched more than once and cussed out a lot more than that by unhappy customers during the years—but you don’t run a successful for-profit poker-run organizing business for a quarter of a century without being good at it while learning things along the way.