BILOXI Mississippi has long been home to the big names in the casino business, and three particular resorts shared the spotlight for members of the Florida Powerboat Club and participants of the Smokin’ the Sound Poker Run…Beau Rivage, IP Casino, and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. With activities that commenced on Thursday evening at the Beau Rivage, Smokin’ the Sound organizers had plenty to do for poker runners and offshore racers from the APBA-Sancioned Offshore Super Series (OSS) that were in town for their annual season opener.
Friday was mostly an arrival day, as poker run boats rolled in from all over the Southeastern States, including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana Alabama, Tennessee and of course, Florida. By the end of the day, a variety of high-performance cats and v-bottoms were scattered around various marinas….with the biggest colletion of colorful fiberglass at a popular waterfront restaurant named THE DOCK, which is located in Gulfport, just ten miles northwest of Biloxi. After some late nights at the blackjack tables, some tired but enthusiastic gamblers turned poker runners were ready to play, and the twenty boat fleet launched at about 10:30am from the DOCK, winding through the back waters of the bayou before heading out into the Gulf of Mexico for a series of island checkpoints. An area hotspot called Shaggy’s make for a great lunch stopover, as the boats rafted up and put on a great show for the locals. Later that evening, the IP Casino hosted the poker run awards party, where the the cards were played out and Texas FPC member KEN ARMSTRONG took home the $ 2,500 grand prize. But the big winners were the participants who played long and hard at the Beau Rivage blackjack tables…with some claiming winnings as high as $ 50,000. Now that’s worth comin’ back for…and we’re sure the casino’s would love to have us! Special thanks to Woody Bailey and Paul Bertucci for their efforts to get FPC on board to produce the event DVD and photos, which are now online on the FPC Photo galleris. Look for this event on the FPC roster in 2012!