You’ve heard of poker runs for charities or as a general community event where participants run, cycle, or canoe their way along a certain route to complete their hand, and now powerboats are the newest craze for these fun community-driven runs. Powerboat clubs all over the country have been putting together these events to introduce fellow boat owners to each other, with poker runs frequently occurring in places such as Miami, Lake Lanier near Atlanta and Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, and Nashville has recently been touted as a hotbed for powerboat gatherings.
Over the years, the Tennessee capital has experienced a growth in powerboat enthusiasts, garnering attention from various organizations across the states. For the 3rd Annual Old Hickory Fun Run, Old Hickory Lake saw 107 powerboats, a major improvement from previous years’ turnouts of around 30 boats, says Tennessee Powerboat Club Director Chad Collier. The event mainly comprised of owners from Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, but the Old Hickory Fun Run also drew power boaters from further regions as well.
Festivities began on the eve of the event, with a kickoff party at The Roof at Rock Bottom Brewery as well as a downtown street party plus boat show on Lower Broadway. On Saturday, August 1, participants assembled for a powerboat-themed poker competition. There are numerous variants of the game according to industry leaders, Betfair and its poker guide, including Sit&Go, cash games, Texas Hold’em and whole lot of other games, but because of the additional race component of a poker run, the rules had to be simplified. At the beginning of the event, each powerboat was given a poker chip, which was their ticket in receiving their seven cards along the designated route. Winners were determined after everyone crossed the finish line. Numerous prizes were up for grabs, including a chance to win $50,000.
Proceeds for this year’s fun run went Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that raises funds for support programs for injured war veterans suffering from physical wounds and mental ailments like PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.