It’s almost time for Emerald Coast Boat Week and Poker Run!

Posted on Jul 07, 2017 | Posted in News

The Emerald Coast Foundation is proud to announce it’s 25th annual Poker Run and Boat Week, August 9-13, 2017. Power boats, fishing boats, family boats, and jet skis alike will fill the waterways for one of the largest boat poker runs in the USA.

Emerald Coast Boat Week and Poker Run have raised funds, totaling over $2.5 million, in the past 24 years, for our local children’s charities. This years recipient charities are Children in Crisis, The Eleanor Johnson Youth Center, All Sports Association, and The Arc of the Emerald Coast.

“Emerald Coast Boat Week and Poker Run has come a long way since its’ first year, when local business leaders, Alan Laird, John Reinhold and friends gathered on Noriega Point with and idea, and just a few boats”, said ECF President LA Woodall.

“From partnering with the Florida Power Boat Club, who bring in the big go fast boats, the huge support of the local boating community, getting a title sponsor like IP Casino Resort and Spa – Biloxi, additional sponsors like Hub City Ford, Emerald Coast Harley Davidson, and Miller Lite, we are able to put on Emerald Coast Boat Week and Poker Run.” Woodall added. 

The EC Poker Run has 2 distinct classes, Emerald and Ruby. The Emerald Class is for the big “go fast” boats. The grand prize winner from the Emerald Class, wins a brand new Ford F150 truck donated by Hub City Ford. There is also a Ruby Class for all types of boats, fishing boats, deck boats, pontoon boats, jet skis, etc… The grand prize for Ruby Class participants is a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle, donated by Emerald Coast Harley Davidson. Additional local sponsors include AJ’s, Resort Quest, Ramada, Mojo’s, many more.

“This event’s success can be attributed to these great business’s, but especially to the hard working individuals that make up the Emerald Coast Foundation Board of Directors”, said Woodall. “They work all year long on this event. There are no paid employees. It is all volunteer driven. Every penny raised from EC Boat Week goes straight to our local charities. We are very proud of that.”

“Every EC Poker Run participant, whether it’s Emerald or Ruby Class, leaves the weekend festivities with a two night stay at the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi, all they can eat and drink at the poker party, and the famous poker run cooler.” It’s an unbeatable value.” Woodall added.

     Emerald Coast Boat week begins Tuesday, August 9th with the Harborwalk Village boat parade. Wednesday night is the official kickoff party, a “Blues, Brews, and BBQ party at AJ’s on the Bayou. Thursday night boasts the annual Miss Boat Week Bikini Contest at The Block. AJ’s on the Harbor “Rocks the Docks” on Friday, August 11th with the Captains Party. Saturday, August 12th, is “The Big One” the famous Emerald Coast Poker Run. Stops are open from 10 to 4. Emerald and Ruby Class participants will travel all over Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties stopping at designated locations to pick up cards for their poker hands. All participants will bring their poker hands to the Emerald Coast Convention Center Saturday night at 6 pm, for an all you can eat AND drink party. After dinner it’s time to play poker! The Emerald Class winner will win a brand new Ford F150 truck, and the Ruby class winner wins a brand new Harley Davidson. 

ECF’s four local children’s charities will go home with $150K or more between them, because, after all, “It’s all about the kids.”

For more information on the Emerald Coast Foundation, Emerald Coast Boat Week and Poker Run, and to register your boat go to

The Emerald Coast Foundation is a non-profit 501C corporation.

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