Thanks in no smart part to its founder Bill Taylor, Poker Runs America had a solid summer. Photo courtesy/copyright Rodney Olson/Full Speed Photography
Back in the late 1990s, I covered my first poker run for Powerboat magazine. And for a first poker run assignment, I couldn’t have drawn a better gig. That much became immediately obvious to me when photographer Tom Newby and I climbed aboard a Jet Ranger helicopter—our ride for the event—to chronicle Poker Runs America’s 1,000 Islands Poker Run. To this day, I’ve never seen a more beautiful waterway from a better perch.
Wide-eyed as I was with all the go-fast powerboat hardware at the event as a newcomer to the magazine, it was almost incidental to me. The 1,000 Islands area took my breath away and became the waterway by which I would measure all boating environments. When it comes to natural scenery, it still is.
I’ve been a little bummed in recent years to see the event’s decline. Everything changes, I know—Newby is gone, as is Powerboat magazine, but that doesn’t mean you don’t mourn the loss of people, places and things you take to heart. In my memory, the 1,000 Islands Poker Run has become a mix of all three. It’s special.
So when I heard that the event attracted 91 boats this year, up from 56 last year, I was delighted.