How to Organize a Fun River Poker Run
One exciting fundraiser we might look to do in the future could bring together our love of paddlesports, with the enjoyment of poker.
Yes, that's right. Poker.
Elsewhere in Texas, one method of raising money for good causes is a river poker run. They are hugely popular amongst the boating community, and the Texas Outlaw Challenge helps numerous good causes, from Seabrook Rotary Club to the Clear Creek Environmental Foundation. It could be an exciting event we utilize in the future on the Trinity River, or on the lakes along the trail.
There are many poker runs across wider America, from the Miami Boat Show to the 1000 Islands Charity Poker Run in Clayton, NY. Whilst they do seem very popular with fast boats made for speedy runs, there is plenty of fun and excitement to be had by paddling from checkpoint to checkpoint. Who knows, the somewhat more sedate version of the poker run might one day be a key fundraising feature for the Trinity River, enhancing the enjoyment of the area in a serene and environmentally conscious manner.
There are a few core principles for a poker run. Firstly, you must understand the poker hand ranking system, the basic concept of poker. The event will see you collecting cards and seeking to create your poker hand, aiming to get a better hand than that of the other competitors, so before you take to the water, brush up on your poker knowledge.
Once you understand which hands are better, the fun part starts. You will need a few people taking part, three as a minimum, and of course a boat to get down the river. Someone will need to operate the checkpoints too, even if you have one person travelling along the footpaths at the side of the river getting to each checkpoint. We would advise using waterproof cards too, although that goes without saying!
A poker run typically takes part across five stages, or when heading down a river passes through five checkpoints. Some of the poker runs across the state see competitors using motorized boats, but on Trinity River, you would be paddling from one checkpoint to the next. You make your way to the first checkpoint, where you are handed a card from the start point. Pop that somewhere safe on your person, take to the water and off you go again. Once you have reached the final checkpoint, you should have five cards from which to make a poker hand. If you compare those with other competitors, one of you will be the winner of the poker run.
Perhaps a more obvious location would be Lake Lewisville, where a paddle trail expansion is planned. Once that is complete, you could be testing your paddling skills whilst hoping to see an ace complete your three-of-a-kind at the next checkpoint! That's the beauty of a poker run as an event, they're easy to organize and can fit on any river or lake you choose. There are very few that use boats powered purely by the human hand, but that could make our potential event hugely unique. Who knows, we might even start a new genre of poker run!