Called the American Poker Run Organization (APRO), a group of independent poker run organizers from around the country will hold its first conference in Nashville (Oct. 19-21). The goal of the meeting is to examine and find solutions for poker-run organizing issues and challenges from ongoing safety efforts, event insurance and securing corporate sponsors to venue selection, working with nonprofit organizations, building teams of volunteers and adding value for participants.
Independent poker-run organizers from around the country will meet in Nashville next month. Photo from the inaugural Traverse City OPA Offshore Invitational Poker Run by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Event organizers currently planning to attend the first meeting include Bob Alger of the Boyne Thunder Poker Run, Chad Collier of the Old Hickory Fun Run, Bar Crawl and Raft-Up, Casey Harrison of the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run, Justin Lucas of the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run, Jeff Morgan of the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run, Shannon Higgins-Radtke of the Four Horsemen Poker Run, Anthony Scioli of Elite Poker Runs LLC, and Matt Soper of the Traverse City OPA Invitational Offshore Poker Run. Several other organizers including Meghan Brosseau of the Performance Boat Club of Canada, Eric Belisle of Fort Myers Offshore and Chris Dekker of West Michigan Offshore have not yet committed to attend.
Speedonthewater.com co-publisher Matt Trulio will be on hand to help facilitate and moderate the event. A February 2018 commentary called “What Do You Want From A Poker Run?” actually inspired the organizers to form the group.
“It was funny, I really wrote that piece to get feedback, which I planned to pass along to organizers, from poker-run participants,” said Trulio. “I got some of that, but the biggest response came from organizers and it started a lengthy discussion on our Speedonthewater Friends Facebook page. Someone, I think it might have been Shannon Radtke of Four Horsemen, suggested that they start a group. Everyone agreed—there was a ton of positive interest and momentum around it—and within a day or so they had a logo and a Facebook page.
“The toughest part was setting a date to meet,” he added. “All of these people have day jobs, some of them more than one. But I think it will be worth it. They have synergy. That word gets tossed around a lot and it’s usually just marketing-speak, but in this case they definitely have it. Only good can come out of this.”
Editor’s note: Independent poker run organizers are still welome to join APRO through its Facebook page, as well as participate in the Oct. 19-21 meeting in Nashville.