Florida Charity Poker Runs

Anybody who’s spent time in Florida should already be familiar with poker runs, especially since they seem to be getting more and more popular as the days go by. With poker’s continuing rise in popularity worldwide, it looks as if it’s going to be quite impossible to sidetrack its journey to world domination. One of the more compelling reasons for which this phenomenon seems to persist is the fact that so many other variations of the game crop up, and it’s these kinds of unique takes on the card game that always keep it fresh and dynamic for both veteran and newbies in the tournament circuit alike.
Poker runs are one such variant, and for those who may as yet be unfamiliar with this one, it’s simply a combination of a poker game and a cross-country rally competition. Players, in this case, have to navigate themselves through a series of pre-determined checkpoints where they will each be asked to draw cards that will eventually form their poker hand at the end of the race course. Poker is the only constant as the vehicles that have been used for such competitions have ranged from motorcycles to powerboats to all-terrain vehicles.
Florida has always played host to these kinds of social and sporting events, the vast majority of which are, in fact, held to support the initiatives of local and even national foundations and charitable organizations. Just to mention some of recently held ones.
1. The 2nd Annual Breast Cancer Poker Run – held for its second straight year just last October, the event supports the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides” initiative that intends to spread awareness of and generate support for women’s breast cancer-related issues. (www.cancer.org/involved/index)
2. The Jacksonville River Rally Poker Run – originally thought of to benefit Florida firefighters, the event’s most recently held outing was also held to support the needs of the Camp Amigo Children’s Burn Center. (www.powerboatnation.com/general-powerboat-discussion/1581-jacksonville-poker-run)
3. The American Legion Post 129 Poker Run – a benefit run for the family of cancer-stricken 5 year-old boy, Brycen Dillinger. (http://thejacksonvilleparty.com/2011/09/03/poker-run/)
4. The 6th Annual PedsCare Poker Run – organized by the American Legion Riders, Chapter 283, the annual event remains a fundraising initiative in support of a pediatric hospice program for children with life-threatening medical conditions. (www.caringcommunity.org/helpful-resources/children-pediatrics/community-pedscare/)
Other notable recipients of charitable support from poker runs in the area are the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the Central Florida Animal Reserve, and a variety of organizations and local efforts that address the needs of the elderly and children with special needs.
High-profile, premier competitions such as the World Poker Tour (WPT) https://poker1.betfair.com/ and globally-televised events like the World Series of Poker(WSOP) http://www.wsop.com/2013/index.asp have been largely responsible for the global success of poker through the years, and it’s this same success that has led to the lingering popularity of creative mashups like poker runs. The fact that these events have been used to service the needs of those in society who are most in need of help, we can only hope that the popularity of poker and poker runs won’t be losing their steam (and high-octane juices!) anytime soon.