Coming back from a less-than-stellar, Miami-centric showing in 2018, the Florida Powerboat Club’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run (Feb. 21-24) already has sold 43 of its available 50 slots. The dual-venue event, which has participants lodging at the Marriott Autograph Collection Playa Largo Resort and the Hilton Curio Collection Bakers Cay Resort in the upper Florida Keys, represents a solid return to form for the annual happening, which attracted 90-plus high-performance boats in its heyday.
Returning to Key Largo, the Florida Powerboat Club’s 2019 Miami Boat Show Poker Run is almost sold out. Photo from the 2017 Miami Boat Show Poker Run courtesy/copyright Florida Powerboat Club.
“The Miami Boat Show run will never get back to that size,” said Stu Jones, the president of the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based club. “We had a much larger, single venue back then and it still felt overstuffed and uncomfortable. We are at 43 boats right now, and though we can handle 50, I’ll be happy with 45.”
In addition to the traditional Friday night banquet and the Saturday night card-playing-and-cocktail party, the FPC will hold a Saturday afternoon raft-up and beach party/barbecue. Thanks to one of Jones’ business associates, the club will have access to a posh waterfront home just a short swim or tender ride—Jones plans use a center console as a shuttle boat—from the raft-up fleet.
“The raft-up will start at around noon and go to 4 or 5 before we have to head back to the cocktail party where we’ll play the poker run hands,” said Jones. “That way, club members who want to make a lunch run to Marathon will have plenty of time to do that and then come back for the raft-up. I know a lot of our members will want to do both.
“The bay for the raft-up is in the southern part of Key Largo,” he added. “It’s has a sand bottom, so when the sun is out it has this incredible azur water color that will be perfect for photography.”
Jones said that in addition to returning longtime event sponsors including Blackwater Boats, Deep Impact Custom Boats and Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats, Performance Boat Center has signed up to back the event and will campaign its new Wright Performance 420 catamaran in the run.
“That will be the 420’s first poker run,” said Jones. “Midnight Express also is bringing its new 60-footer, which will be the biggest boat in the event, and it also will be that boat’s first poker run. And Seakeeper is bringing its Boston Whaler demo boat so they can showcase their gyroscopic stabilization system that’s become so popular in the performance-oriented center console segment.”
Attendees to the Miami International Boat Show—a week prior to the poker run—can stop by booth F-606 to receive more information on additional upcoming FPC events and membership.