Tony Scioli, who co-organizes the annual Buffalo Poker Run (read the latest story) with Steve McKie, the president of the Western New York Offshore Powerboat Association, will tackle the organization of a new go-fast powerboat event in Erie, Pa., next year. Slated for June 5-6, the first Erie Poker Run will be able to accommodate 60 boats at the Wolverine Park Marina on Presque Isle Bay. The Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, which overlooks Lake Erie, and the large nearby event center will be the host venues for the social functions of the new event, which will be run by Elite Poker Runs LLC, the newest venture for Scioli, who is a longtime performance-boat enthusiast and successful restaurateur by trade.
The Wolverine Park Marina and Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel will host the first Erie Poker Run in early June 2015. Photos courtesy Erie Sports Commission
“All we want for our first year is 60 boats, and I think we should have no problem getting that,” said Scioli. “Erie is just about an hour-and-a-half from Buffalo, and when I mentioned something about doing this in an OffshoreOnly.com thread my phone blew up. People are definitely interested.
“One of the cool things about the marina is it’s an all-transient-vessel facility,” he continued. “When I contacted the harbor master, he said ‘We’ll have no trouble accommodating 60 boats next year. You can organize it yourself or we can do it for you.’ There’s plenty of room to grow, though. Plus, with the events center right on the waterfront we could even bring boats right into our banquet on Saturday night.”
Presque Isle State Park helps form the protected bay.
Scioli said that while he is excited about the new event in Erie, he remains committed to making sure the annual Buffalo Poker Run continues to run smoothly.
“I am not going anywhere,” he said. “I’d like to be able to turn that over to others in a few years, but I’m not going anywhere.
“The Erie Waterfront is spectacular,” he added. “And the city is eager to have an event like this. They’re excited to have us there.”
Editor’s note: The new Elite Poker Runs website should be live next week. The link provided is for the organization’s current Facebook page.