• Pier 33 Poker Run, 1996

    by SeriousOffshore

    Being a transfer from the West Coast to the “North Coast” was quite a shock when it first happened. Luckily, shortly after arriving, I met some people who had a lot of the same interests I did. To put it shortly, Fast Cars, Fast Boats, and Beautiful Women. (I won’t ever say Fast Women, but I was single when I moved here).

    Well, after getting to know the boating group around West Michigan somewhat, in 1996 there was a Poker Run hosted by Pier 33, a large dealership in St. Joe.

    42 Comanche

    Attendance at the run was what would now be an unheard-of number of 124 boats. 124 boats. Not in Florida, but in Michigan. Times have certainly changed.
    Some of the boats that attended were;
    Smokin’Joe’s, a 43 foot Wellcraft Larry Smith Scarab owned by Jack Horisk and powered by three 1,110Hp, 702 CuIn Innovation engines.
    Team Prime, a 42 foot Comanche Apache owned by Gary Montano of Cobra Power. Randy Garcia was also along. It was powered by three Cobra SC’s at 1,000HP each.
    Lisa II, a 47 foot Fountain with triple 500HP’s and owned by Ray Weigel.
    The Professional, a 47 foot Fountain also with triple HP’s and owned by Red Reynolds.
    Hasta La Veesta, a 32 foot Active Thunder cat owned by Keith Holmes and powered by twin 650HP, 557CuIn engines.
    Kevin Heirdes, President of Powerquest was there with a new 340 Viper.
    Steve Smith was there with his 38 foot Cigarette Top Gun powered by 500HP’s.
    Team Scarab, owned by Julie Frounde and powered by 900HP, 583CuIn engines was also there.

    And 116 more high-performance boating enthusiasts who all came together to have a good time and raise money for Make-a-Wish.
    I’m sure many of you remember some of these boats, and some of you may have participated. It’s hard to believe that 15 years ago 124 boats ran in a Poker Run here in Western Michigan. The most disappointing aspect of this is if you were to attempt to put this run on today in this same venue, to benefit what is the most deserving of charities, the barriers would be insurmountable. Maybe someday… I’m just glad to have been there “back then”.

    For those of you who may have participated, hope you have fond memories and maybe have some pictures and stories to share with us.
    For those who wish another would happen every year, I’m with you. So, best case in the meantime, see all of you at Boyne Thunder this upcoming summer.