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On the waterfront in Downtown Toronto since 1894 From novice to old salt, there is a place for everyone at National Yacht Club.
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I Play a Little Poker
August 27th, 2013 @ 05:25 PM EST by admin

2013 Poker Run

I have been known to play a little poker. Not very well, so I’m told, and so not very often. So I was intrigued when I saw the notice for the First Consecutive Annual Poker Run at NYC. The idea of being able to play a hand of poker without any skill at all being needed, I figured, would at least put me on even poker ground with the pros. I immediately signed up.

Come the day of the actual event, July 27, it was immediately obvious that it was well organized, well documented and well run. Silvio and the Contes had it all in hand and had already co-opted a considerable crew to run the event. Impressive.

So it was no problem to pick up my five cards in their heavily constructed, reinforced, opaque and strongly sealed packets from the various and scattered locations around the harbour. The skippers meeting made it all clear, except for the fact that there would be some 62 poker hands in play, some boats opting to acquire more than one hand. How that was done with a pack of 52 cards is beyond me, but then, as I said, I’m not that good at poker.

The countdown, if any existed, took place individually and at one’s own dock. An altogether more

Action at the fifth mark.

Action at the fifth mark.

civilized start to the run than practiced, so it is said, by sail race participants who regularly crowd, intimidate and frighten each other at the start of their events. Additionally we were restricted to a maximum, but modest, speed of 5 knots on the course which, in another departure from the sail racers, could be sailed in any direction with the “marks” being approached in any order with a polite stop at each. A much more genteel approach, I thought. More befitting to the operation of a “yacht”. Our chosen route was marks 4, 3, 1, 2 and then 5.

The weather was a little dicey with smatterings of rain, but all was going well up to the time my granddaughter fell, getting out of the dinghy onto the swim platform of the mother vessel, and broke her arm. After that it was more focused on first-aid and hospital and not so much fun.

Immediately stabilizing the break and getting her aboard we left the 5th Poker Boat at the West Hanlan’s Beach and headed back to the club on the way to hospital. I scrambled about, upping anchor, pulling up pants (having used my belt and a sail tie – left over from my sailboat days – to immobilize her arm and hold it to her body), and getting the boat underway and ready for docking. She was my most capable crew and had been cruising with us since she was days old, so others had to be informed and directed as to what to do in addition to keeping her stable.
On docking the heavy rains began and with minimal closing up of the boat we donned whatever jackets we could find and ventured out into the downpour to meander down the dock in the towards the car. By the time we reached it, everybody was thoroughly soaked and cold and I asked my granddaughter how it was going, something along the lines of, “Aside from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”
Being at the hospital we missed the camaraderie and cocktails that followed the run but, when all was examined and proper medical attention applied our granddaughter and friend returned home and we went back to the club to collect our winnings. We arrived just as an absolutely super Poker Run meal was provided to the players and their guests. Sumptuous roast beef with all the trimmings topped off with a fine dessert and coffee, after wine with the meal.

During dinner the boats and their poker hands were called to show their hands. One by one the captains and crews approached the counting table and their card packets were broken open. A running tally of the best of them, and the worst hand, were written on a board for all to see. As the evening progressed, the tally kept changing, but not by much. My poor poker hand was an honest but lowly pair. But the bulk of the players seemed not to be that good at poker either as the highest hand of all the hands played was only three-of-a-kind! Three eights was the best five card combination from the 310 cards being played. Go figure?

by, David George