A little rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the participants at the 16th annual Tom Maynard Memorial Poker Run held on May 17 – 18, 2013. Sponsored by the Smith Mountain Lake Boating Association, the popular event was held on beautiful Smith Mountain Lake in the region of Roanoke, VA. According to event organizers, Chuck and Pam Poss, the poker run has evolved from its humble beginnings to now being recognized as one of the most popular poker run events on the east coast.

A little rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the participants at the 16th annual Tom Maynard Memorial Poker Run held on May 17 – 18, 2013. Sponsored by the Smith Mountain Lake Boating Association, the popular event was held on beautiful Smith Mountain Lake in the region of Roanoke, VA. According to event organizers, Chuck and Pam Poss, the poker run has evolved from its humble beginnings to now being recognized as one of the most popular poker run events on the east coast.

This year, the event attracted nearly 60 boats with 255 players and guests, representing eight states and coming from as far away as New York and Texas.

The players enjoying the excellent food and live entertainment.
The players enjoying the excellent food and live entertainment.

The event kicked-off with a “Fun Run” Friday morning at the five-star resort of Mariner’s Landing for those who arrived early. Everybody participating was allowed to draw as many cards as they wanted at $10 each. At the luncheon and at the end of the run, a $500 prize was eligible to be won for the highest card played. The money collected for this portion of the event was part of an overall contribution and was distributed to lake-area charities, including The Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Department.

On Friday evening, all the players went to Mango’s via a shuttle bus on the other side of the lake to attend a barbeque and beer dinner with entertainment provided by two recording groups, “The Kings” and “Cimmaron.”

On Saturday, the day of the poker run, a light breakfast was served prior to the mandatory captain’s meeting. At precisely 11:30 a.m., the magnificent array of boats idled out to open water. Once the water cannons were set off from the fire patrol boats, the players pushed their hammers down. As the water churned white and the helicopter shot by overhead, the sound of performance was everywhere and the pack began to make their way to the first of seven card stops of their choice.

The stops included: Magnum Boating, Bayside Marina, Crystal Shores Marina, Portside Grill and Bar, The Landing at Bernard’s, Mexico Viejo, and Gills Creek Marina.

With nearly 60 boats, the event attracted performance enthusiasts, as well as family boaters – a trend that seems to grow every year.
With nearly 60 boats, the event attracted performance enthusiasts, as well as family boaters – a trend that seems to grow every year.

When the crews returned to Mariner’s Landing, they were welcomed by a beer truck with four taps flowing and a DJ from Philadelphia spinning tunes in the beer garden. At 6:30 p.m., everyone joined together for dinner, which was followed by the awards presentation. The evening rounded out with live entertainment provided by The Breeze Brothers Band.

Since nobody drew four aces, which paid the top prize of $5000, the winning prize for highest hand was $1500, which went to Dana Kuhn who rode a 27’ Baja. Ironically, Dana’s son, Jason who was riding with his father, claimed the prize for worst hand, which paid $200. In second place was David Street in his 42’ Baja, earning $500 while third place was won by Tom Branch in his 34 Baja, winning $250.

Sonny Bannister, with his 36’ Spectre received The Tony Burrage Award for best looking boat, winning $200. The crew of David Sult’s 31’ Carver won $200 for best appearing crew, while Alan Hasty, of Houston, Texas won $200 for the most miles traveled.

For more information on the event visit www.smlba.com

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