Participants in yesterday’s Lake Erie Poker Run played peek-a-boo with the sun, as well as some hefty swells. All photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images
For the second time in as many years, participants in the Erie Poker Run faced rough water on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania. But that didn’t stop the 24 high-performance powerboats in the fleet from heading out in wind-whipped, three- to five-footers for yesterday’s run.
“We had the sun, and the water was beautiful,” said Tony Scioli of Elite Poker Runs LLC, the organizer of the event. “Most important, with just 24 boats we raised $6,200 for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Erie, our benefitting charity.
“We had a great group,” he added. “Everybody got along. A lot of new friendships were made this weekend.”
Scioli said that although 32 boats were registered for the event, the weekend weather forecast created attrition in the fleet. “They just got it so wrong,” he said then chuckled. “The forecast had a 92-percent chance of thunderstorms with rain and one- to two-foot waves. Instead, it was 83 degrees with three- to five-foot waves—a lot smaller than last year.”
“Lake Erie did not disappoint me,” said Tim Sharkey of Sharkey Images, the photographer for the event. “There were threes to fives with the occasional seven-footer. The real troopers attended this run and didn’t let a silly forecast keep their boats on their trailers. And the lower attendance gave everyone the opportunity for a lot of photo and video coverage.”
For a look at some of the action from yesterday’s Erie Poker Run, check out the slideshow above.
Most of the boats made it to the first card stop—approximately 20 miles—before heading back to the harbor, according to Scioli. Three boats made it to the lunch stop. Poker-hand cards were distributed prior to the banquet at the host venue. Despite the abbreviated run, Scioli said, everyone remained positive and encouraged him to bring back the event next year.
“I’m pretty confident we’ll do it again,” he said. “It’s a Lake Erie poker run, so you never know what’s going to happen. That’s why we did the fun run on Friday, just in case. We’ll be adding more value, and we’re contemplating different dates for next year.
“The most encouraging thing is that everybody who participated pulled me aside and said, ‘Don’t be discouraged, we love the venue. We chose to turn around (during the run),’ ” he continued. “That’s also what all our sponsors said. Mike Knoblock of American Custom Marine said, ‘I love the venue, I love the location.’ Ben Wiersum from Precision Power, another one of our sponsors, was talking to me about some ideas for next year. That’s the encouraging part, everyone wants it back. And the public came out in droves.”
Not only did Dave Weschler run his 39-foot Outerlimits in the run, he bought more than 20 hands that netted him first and third place in the poker game and donated all his winnings to the Erie Poker Run’s charity.
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