Of course it doesn’t have the flair of the club’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run or the allure of the season-ending Key West Poker Run—nor does it have the history behind it. But, according to the founder and president of the Florida Powerboat Club, Stu Jones, the Winter Poker Run from Miami to Marathon coming up in two weeks (Jan. 29-31) could be the coolest event on the club’s 2016 schedule.
Michael Ciasulli is bringing a full crew with him to the Winter Poker Run at the end of this month. Photo courtesy Florida Powerboat Club
Besides being able to extend the journey farther than Miami to Islamorada like the boat show run yet take out the unpredictable offshore aspect of making it all the way from Miami to Key West for the club’s last run in November, the trip from Miami to Marathon is an ideal distance at 105 miles from the start at Grove Harbor Marina in Coconut Grove to the host hotel which opened just in time for last year’s Winter Poker Run—the Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club in Marathon.
Jones said the Faro Blanco and the accompanying Hyatt Place hotel—along with the various restaurants and scenic waterways in Marathon and the surrounding keys—is the main reason the event was so well received last year. He’s expecting more participants for the upcoming run and wouldn’t be surprised if the event reaches 50 boats, which is about capacity, by next year. And judging by the following testimonials from two club members who did the run last year and are registered for this month’s event, Jones may end up with a waiting list for the 2017 Winter Poker Run.