Florida Powerboat Club Raising the Bar for Winter Poker Run

Building off of last year’s successful Winter Poker Run to Marathon—more importantly the spanking new Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club and the accompanying Hyatt Place—the Florida Powerboat Club is busy putting together the finishing touches for the intimate Florida Keys event taking place in a couple of weeks (Jan. 29-31).

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By hosting its Winter Poker Run at the beautiful new resort in Marathon, the Florida Powerboat Club will help the Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club celebrate its first anniversary in a couple of weeks. Photos courtesy Florida Powerboat Club

According to Stu Jones, president and founder of the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based club, the atmosphere and venue is going to be enhanced considering last year’s poker run was the first event hosted at the beautiful resort, which features a first class marina with numerous slips and power and water hookups, not to mention access for a fuel truck providing 91-octane fuel directly to boats in their slips.

“The overall value of this event based on the facilities, the destination, the luxurious yet affordable accommodations and everything else Marathon has to offer is about as good as you’re going to get,” said Jones, who expressed his excitement about the club being there to celebrate the first anniversary of the resort. “We helped open the place last year, and this year we’re going to liven it up a bit by creating a ‘poker run village’ atmosphere with boats, cars, motorcycles and more on display. The resort provides a great venue to promote our sport and lifestyle to others.”

Jones added that the Winter Poker Run is one of two Air-Land-Sea events offered by FPC annually, which basically means any form of transportation is welcome. Classic cars, exotics and sports cars of all types can join the fun—same goes for anyone with a motorcycle. He said participants with private aircraft can land and overnight at the nearby Marathon Airport, with easy access to the poker run headquarters at Faro Blanco Resort.

Prizes, which Jones said are some of the best of any FPC event, will be awarded in three classes—boats, automobiles and aircraft. All participants will leave Grove Harbor Marina in Coconut Grove, rendezvous at checkpoints along the 105-mile run, and join together for the parties on Friday and Saturday at Faro Blanco. A fun run and raft-up are planned for Saturday and the rest of the time participants are free to explore the many restaurants and scenic waterways Marathon and the surrounding keys have to offer.

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Check out some more images from the Florida Powerboat Club’s 2015 Winter Poker Run.

Along with taking in the sights such as the 7-Mile Bridge and the Sombrero Key Light, Jones added that participants can enjoy a little history lesson if they’re interested as the museum at Pigeon Key documents the challenges faced by construction crews during the early 1900’s when the Overseas railroad was being built by Henry Flagler.

While Jones has been spending a lot of time on the FPC’s 21st annual Miami Boat Show Poker Run to Islamorada as well since it’s only a month away, he’s said he’s looking forward to showcasing the club’s 2016 kick-off event and what it has to offer.

“I won’t say it’s better than the Miami Boat Show Poker Run, but our Winter Poker Run has a lot to offer,” Jones said, adding that he’s asked his contacts in Marathon to determine a local environmental-focused charity to which the club can donate money. “Just ask some of the participants who are returning. There are a bunch of people who understand the value of this event and are coming back to do it again this year.”

Editor’s note: Read the follow-up story featuring a couple of returning participants, Michael Ciasulli and Luis Sotero.

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