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HomeEvent CoverageSpartan Powerboat Club Hits The Jackpot In Atlantic City

Spartan Powerboat Club Hits The Jackpot In Atlantic City

Heading into this last weekend’s Spartan Powerboat Club Cory Molinari Memorial Atlantic City Poker Run in New Jersey, organizer Del Flores couldn’t have been more upbeat—and for good reason. Registration closed with 48 boats signed up for the event, which for the first time boasted two days with of poker run fun. And though the weather did its best to mess with Flores’ plans, the run delivered a roaring comeback for the once-great event.

Michael Ciasulli and company beat most of the last Friday’s weather for the run in his MTI 390X catamaran. Photos courtesy Kristine “Bricks” Lopez copyright of the Spartan Powerboat Club.

“It was our best event to date,” Flores said. “We did it differently than we have in the past. We dealt poker hands at our Atlantic City Golden Nugget Resort and Casino destination on Friday. On Saturday, we ran to Breezes in Tuckerton (N.J.) and dealt another poker hand as part of the Total Marine Fun Run. And Total Marine owner Tom Caruso had the best hand.”

But, just 24 hours earlier when the fleet departed Brick, N.J., it hit a wall of rain and fog that threatened to derail the entire event.

“The weather wasn’t supposed to come in until 1:30 that afternoon, but it came in earlier,” Flores explained. “It wasn’t rough or windy, but visibility was almost zero. Most of us just stayed put and wait for the weather to pass.

Last Friday’s poker run fleet included several center consoles.

“The ultimate goal is for everyone to arrive safely at the destination without consequence,” he continued. “But the rain when we got there didn’t keep the party from going.”

A well-known figure in the Northeastern go-fast boating community who know his way around Garden State waterways, Michael Ciasulli ran his colorful MTI 390X catamaran.

“The weather was a little dicey on Friday and some teams got stuck in the rain,” he said. “The cats just made it to the dock in time to avoid the downpour.

“Saturday’s weather was much better,” he added. “Overall it was a great event.”

The party began shortly after participants arrived safely at the Golden Nugget Resort and Casino.

Fellow New Jersey-based participant Thomas Anselmi caught a ride with his longtime friend, Pete Kleban, in his 35-foot Donzi V-center console. (Anselmi’s well-known Donzi 38 ZRC currently is being updated.) Like Ciasulli, he is no stranger to Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Anselmi’s Atlantic City Poker Run experience goes all the way to the days of the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club, which founded the event but no longer exists.

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Enjoy more images from the Cory Molinari Memorial Atlantic City Poker Run in the slideshow above.

“We raced some crazy storms down to Atlantic City on Friday, and most of us got wet,” he said, then laughed. “We had a great turnout and Total Marine brought a bunch of boats and there were a bunch of OGs like me, Pete Mazzo, and Tommy Toto, who made the run.

“The vibe was great,” he continued. “It reminded me of the old days with little to no drama, good clean boat running and family fun—with a touch of debauchery.”

Last weekend’s Spartan Powerboat Club run to Atlantic City started in the protected waters of Barnegat Bay before heading to the Atlantic Ocean.

Next up on the 2023 Spartan Powerboat Club schedule is the July 8 Troby’s Memorial Lane Fun Run in Belmar, N.J.

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