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Texoma Throw Down Hits New High In Year Six

Between increased payouts for the winners, more money donated to charity and a larger and more diverse group of boats, it’s safe to say last weekend’s Texoma Throw Down in Kingston, Okla., reached new heights all around. And, thanks to a rather impactful and heart-warming award presented to a local couple in a unique boat, the narrative surrounding this year’s event is sure to be one to remember.

Once again North Island on Lake Texoma was the place to be during last weekend’s Texoma Throw Down. Photos by Kevin Johns/Instant Memories Photography

Presented by Freeman Marine Sales and hosted at Marina Del Rey, the sixth annual poker run on Lake Texoma—the 140-square-mile reservoir that borders Texas and Oklahoma—included its largest number of participants with 131 registered boats. The event also raised more money than ever before.

According to Casey Moore, the performance boater and U.S. veteran behind the Texoma Powerboat Association that organizes the event, a total of $13,000 was raised for Mission 22. From its inception in 2018, the event has supported the non-profit organization that provides treatment programs to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Oh man, we had such a great time; maybe too great of a time—at least that’s how my body felt on Sunday,” Moore said on Wednesday, adding that he was still “on cloud nine” even though he was back at work on Monday and hasn’t had much time to reflect on the poker run. “I have to thank everyone who stepped up to help make this event happen. We could not do this without all of the dedicated participants and our sponsors, especially our primary ones, Freeman Marine Sales and JRJ Construction. And we continue to get more sponsors involved each year. For example, XPEL stepped up its involvement over last year to further promote their marine surface protection solutions.”

The 2023 Texoma Throw Down got started with the Thursday evening street party at Freeman Marine Sales, and on Friday participants headed to North Island for the “Cheeseburger In Paradise” lunch run and raft-up featuring free burgers and hot dogs.

“I feel like the event grew a lot from last year to this year,” said perennial Texoma Throw Down participant and sponsor, Taylor Doctorman, who owns Doc’s Enterprises, a first-class detailing and commercial and residential power washing service in Mustang, Okla. “The run always gets a good mix of boats, but there seemed to be a little of everything this year. The high-end stuff is cool but this event doesn’t discriminate, all boats are welcome. Heck we’re just out here representing the blue-collar guys—in a Baja we’ve dumped way too much money in. Hence the name, It’s Only Money.”

Oklahoma’s Taylor Doctorman didn’t hesitate to get on it in his 29-foot Baja.

Not only did Doctorman and his crew provide excellent detailing services for many clients before Thursday’s welcome party at Freeman Marine Sales and the poker run itself, he brought his two matching boats—the aforementioned Baja Marine 29 Outlaw sportboat and a Formula Boats 400SS cruiser that are both wrapped like one of his favorite Outerlimits—to the poker run. He was especially happy to have the twin-engine 29-footer, which he’s rebuilt over the last few years, running so well.

Doctorman credited Ross Ramsey and company at RP Elite Motors and Marine in Springtown, Texas, for recently re-rigging and re-powering the 29-footer with a pair of 498-cubic-inch, big-block engines with 10-71 blowers.

“The boat is running great—it is an animal right now,” Doctorman said. “I can’t thank RP Elite enough for taking the time to care about rigging everything the right way. We had a great time in the poker run. It’s hard to not to have fun at the Texoma Throw Down.

“We came out swinging that’s for sure,” he continued, in reference to his matching boats, which he’s planning to take to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri next week. “We don’t do anything lightly. We run our boats hard and we have as much fun as we can, even that means coming home under less power.”

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Check out the slideshow above for more of Kevin Johns’ images from the Texoma Throw Down.

Moore, who seemed taken aback by the event’s evolution in a few short years, said he handed out several awards, including Best Catamaran, Best Center Console, Best Pontoon and Best V-Bottom. A 38-foot Fountain Powerboats Lightning nabbed the V-bottom award and a Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats 450 Sport took home the center console honor with a Luxe Custom Crafts tri-toon earning the Best Pontoon award.

He added that the most touching award he presented was the one for Best Catamaran as a couple of local performance boaters, Steve and Julie Milton, were recognized for their stunning Nordic Boats 43 Enforcer painted by The Art Of Design and powered by a pair of 1,200-hp Sterling Performance engines.

The catamaran stood out, no doubt, but the fact that the Miltons were even able to bring Kataholic to the poker run is pretty awe-inspiring considering that Julie had endured more than 50 rounds of radiation since being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in April 2022 that was starting to spread to her bones and her brain.

The couple was not planning to attend the Texoma Throw Down this year considering everything Julie has gone through. In fact, they hadn’t used the boat at all since last year.

“We only decided to go to Texoma last Tuesday after Julie got clear scans,” Steve Milton said enthusiastically. “The Nordic was still winterized so we had to get her de-winterized and ready to hit the water. The boat ran great for the event and Julie had a fun time going to some of the stops and even getting in the water to cool off. She wasn’t 100 percent, but she powered through.

“We were honored to get an award,” he added. “Casey and his team put on one hell of a show. We’re grateful they take the time to organize the event. We had an absolute blast; our poker hands were junk, but we still had fun.”

Although the Miltons didn’t have any good poker hands, a few lucky participants walked away with some solid payouts as the event divided up $21,000 for the top three hands with the worst hand taking home $1,000.

All in all, Saturday’s poker run was a safe and fun event with Rex and Carol Thompson and the Island Bar Crew taking home the Best Theme award with “Babewatch” during the party at Barbay in Marina Del Rey.

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