Neither the Buffalo Poker Run in Western New York nor the Erie Poker Run in Pennsylvania happened in 2022. At the heart of the cancelations were limited venue availability and skyrocketing lodging rates as summer travel surged in the post-pandemic year.
Both events are coming back this year—the Erie Poker Run May 26-27 and the Buffalo Poker Run August 11-12. And with solid early registrations numbers, organizer Anthony Scioli of Elite Poker Runs LLC likes the odds of success for both events this time around. According to Scioli, approximately 30 boats have registered for the Buffalo run, which is half of his desired number.
The 2023 Buffalo Poker Run already has 30 boats registered. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“That number, 60 boats, is just a really nice amount of boats and people to work with,” he explained. “I feel like we can really deliver a high-quality experience at that number. I’m not saying we will ‘cap it’ at 60 boats, but I’ll be happy with that boat count.”
In 2014, the Buffalo Poker Run, then produced by the Western New York Offshore Powerboat Association, attracted an event-record-setting 118 boats to its longtime Templeton Landing venue. The event will return to the popular venue in this year.
As for the Erie Poker Run, Scioli said that 18 to 20 participants have registered so far for what he hopes will be a 30- to 40-boat fleet.
The Erie Poker Run is coming back during Memorial Day Weekend. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
“One year we had 60 boats at Erie, which always been a bit of challenge because of last-minute registration,” said Scioli. “But I’m feeling really positive about Erie and Buffalo this year. We’re off to a good start.”