Poker run is back this Saturday on the Salish Sea

Boater registrations being taken right up until the day of the Sidney Poker Run.

Dale Bachhaus

The Sidney Poker Run will take place Saturday, Aug. 15 out of the Port of Sidney Marina and organizers say they will continue to accept boater registrations right up until the day of the event.

The event is a revival of the Vancouver Island Poker Run, which had been held out of Sidney until five years ago. That event had started in approximately 2000.

The revised Sidney Poker Run welcomes all boat owners — whether they have a skiff, a runabout, a cruiser, a fishing boat or a 60-foot yacht.

“It’s not a race,” said one of the event organizers, Dale Backhaus. “We have a long and a short course so as many people who want to take part, can.”

The Sidney Poker Run is a social event for area boat owners — and it also raises money for the Sidney Lions Food Bank and the Saanich Marine Search and Rescue Society.

Following a captain’s safety meeting, the poker run starts at 9:30 a.m. off Sidney’s Bevan Pier. Backhaus said they are hoping to have a lot of vessels on the water that day.

The long course is 88 miles and the short, 30 miles, with stops at various Gulf islands. Boaters pick up playing cards at designated stops (they can also pick them up afterwards). Whoever has the best poker hand at the end of the day wins the grand prize of $1,000.

There’s a lunch stop for all vessels, no matter which course they choose to take, at Mill Bay Marina.

A dinner and dance takes place at the Mary Winspear Centre that night and organizers say there will be local owners and boaters from Washington State here for the event.

“At the end of the day,” said Backhaus, “we want to have some fun and help out those local charities.”

To register or to find out more information, visit sidneypokerrun.ca.