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St. Maarten joins VI's Poker Run 2012

- “Bigger & Better ” Poker Run predicted for 2012, more than 120 boats expected
Participants of the poker run last year, 2011. Photo: provided
Nick Willis organizer of the Poker Run, said he strives to improve the run every year.
Nick Willis organizer of the Poker Run, said he strives to improve the run every year.
Spectators at poker run last year, waiting for the boats to arrive for their tickets.
Spectators at poker run last year, waiting for the boats to arrive for their tickets.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – As excitement builds for the 2012 Poker Run slated for May 27, for the first time, St. Maarten will be participating in the event which is expected to be highly competitive and exciting.

This is according to organiser of the annual Poker Run, Nick Willis, who told Virgin Islands News Online, in an exclusive interview that he is super excited that St. Maarten chose to join in on the fun and enjoy with them.

“The boats will be traveling 40 miles to get to the BVI,” said Mr. Willis, noting that there are three boats coming from St. Maarten, who signed up for the event since last year after hearing about it.

“Speaking to a couple from St. Maarten who loved boats as much as we do, we told them about our event held every year and they were excited to join and invited their friends as well.”

Mr. Willis stated that he explained to the couple that the event brings all power boaters in the region together not just to compete but to have fun as well.

The Poker Run event is an event he started back in 2002, where boats compete in a water poker destination game.

The run is held annually on Memorial Day and is in its 11th year.

To play the game, one must own a boat. The run will feature boat owners and drivers from all around the Virgin Islands (VI), USVI, Puerto Rico and for the first time this year, St. Maarten.

Along with the three boats from St. Maarten, Willis stated that some 40 boats will be coming from Puerto Rico, 12 coming from the USVI and 70-80 boats registered for the Virgin Islands.

Most popular boats in the Poker run over the 11 years are the ‘Big Pipin’ and ‘Never Enough’ both boats of the VI.

To participate in the poker run, each player has to buy a hand of poker. Willis stated that any boat can buy as many hands as they want. Each hand costs $250.

By participating, players have to travel to 5 different spots in the Virgin Islands and pick from a deck of face down cards. When the players return to Leverick Bay, the players with the highest poker hand wins. The route for the participants is from Leverick Bay to Scrub Island then down to Village Cay, over to Norman Island, Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour then back to Leverick Bay for the sixth and final card.

Boat owners and boat drivers will all meet at Leverick Bay on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. for registration. He stated that the least amount of boats that ever participated in the run was in the starting year, 2002 with 12 boats but last year they recorded the highest number of boats to participate in the run, which was a total of 121 boats.

A boat from Tortola was the winner of the 8,000 cash prize in 2011.

Willis told this news site that he strives to make the run different ever year. “It was a great success last year but I like to make things bigger and better every year.”

He added that the run will be offering 10 prizes this year,three cash prizes for first, second and third and the other prizes will be donated gifts.

Along with the prizes given to the winners, the Poker Run donates money every year to charity which will be revealed to the public on the day of the race.

He told this news site that from since the first race in 2002, Poker Run has donated $82,000 to local charity. Last year, $10,000 was donated to the Virgin Gorda Charitable Trust.

Willis said over the years there hasn’t been much support from the Government or the BVI Tourist Board, but this year they have pitched in, in an effort to show kind hospitality to visitors.

He encourages supporters and fans of the run to come on out and have the best party of their lives.

The Run is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning May 27 and expected to end at 3 p.m.

4 Responses to “St. Maarten joins VI's Poker Run 2012”

  • ddb (23/05/2012, 08:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Never been to the poker run when I was back home...for the past month i've been reading articles about it and I wish I was back in the VI this weekend I would definitely check it out...
  • polo (23/05/2012, 08:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I rooting for tola boats to clean up
  • persia (23/05/2012, 20:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is usually a big and popular event....good going Nick

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