Florida Powerboat Club’s annual Key West Poker Run is already set to exceed expectations with over 140 teams already signed up and ready to hit the water. With a record number of boaters planning to attend the festivities, lodging and dockage are more limited than ever, and according to President and Founder, Stu Jones, a complete sell­out is approaching quickly.

In recent years FCP’s Key West Poker Run has seen attendance in excess of 200 boats, but a group that size is not doable this year. The rising economy has created the perfect environment for boating enthusiasts to acquire new crafts, creating an influx in the amount of people delving into the world of true powerboating. Stretching the limits of every dock will only make room for a mere 10 more boats, causing everyone not yet signed up turn to the next best thing, the waiting list.

Although by no means guaranteeing a shot at entering the event, with over 800 people in its entirety there are sure to be last minute cancels and changes. The club is encouraging all members that want to attend to make sure to register and check the waiting list religiously. With the the club on will ­call with every hotel, motel, and marina in the region, those willing to take the chance and register will surely be accommodated with whatever becomes available. Everyone needs to to experience this phenomenal event and lack of 1st choice lodging or docking is no excuse.

This year’s Poker Run will allow boaters to take to the water from 3 points of entry on Wednesday the 11th and Thursday the 12th. The northernmost departure venue will be North Miami Beach near Haulover Inlet (180 miles from Key West), while the southern point of entry will be Grove Harbour Marina (165 miles from Key West). A smaller group of boats will also depart from TNT Custom Marine located in Miami. Haulover will have both experienced staff and a forklift to help participants launch their boats, courtesy of Stu Jones and the FPC, while those at Grove Harbour will launch boats using the facility’s dedicated Travel Lift and staff. Participants leaving from Haulover will depart 30 min before those at Grove Harbour in order to tackle the timing challenges created by 3 separate entry points. Stu Jones and the planners at FPC expect everything to go smoothly despite the hairy logistics that naturally come with an event this big.

Jones will be hosting driver’s meetings prior to the Wednesday and Thursday morning departures to Key West at each of the main host venues. Haulover departees will meet at the Doubletree in
Sunny Isles, while those at the Coconut Grove will convene at the Courtyard Marriott. A last minute group of boaters will also be leaving Friday, led by Active Thunder Boat’s Patrick Haughey.

This year’s Key West Poker Run is shaping up to be a truly phenomenal event that you’re not going to want to miss!