Poker Run offers fund-raising fun

When Delbert Knez mounts his '99 Harley-Davidson Fatboy and draws his first card in the Poker Run, he'll be doing so for the sake of the community's youth.

"Half the money we raise off of this year's poker run will go to the Partners mentoring group," he said.

The Poker Run is an annual event started five years ago by Knez, the owner of the OP Bar on E. Victory Way, as a way for people to show off their classic vehicles, and has always been done to benefit a local charity.

Sunday's ride should be no different than year's past, Knez said, except he expects to see a rather large turn out this year.

"The Poker Run has been going on for five years, and we haven't seen a year go by where we didn't get more participants," he said. "I figure that we'll have at least around 200 entries this year."

A Poker Run is kind of like a game of floating poker. The first card of a player's hand will be drawn at the OP. From there, participants will drive around the region to pick up their remaining cards.

The players will travel to Milner, Mad Creek, Steamboat Springs Lake and Glen Eaden to draw their four remaining cards, after which they return to the OP and are able to redraw up to three cards for a dollar apiece.

Half of the money will be split among the top three hands, with the best hand winning 50 percent of the prize money, and second and third best hands taking in 30 and 20 percent of the take.

"The winner should probably take in around $400 to $500, which isn't to bad for one hand of poker," Knez said.

Besides the classic vehicles and charity, the poker players will also be treated to entertainment from a live band at the OP, as well as to roasted pig. The band will be the Knight Rider.

"The pigs will be roasted by Richard Deakins, who usually will try to do a little fund-raising for one organization or another at the run," Knez said.

All one needs to participate in the poker run is a classic car, the $10 entry fee and a little bit of luck. The entry fee can be paid the day of the poker run. The event begins at noon Sunday at the OP.

The money raised for Moffat County Partners will go directly to its youth activities fund, which supplies the money for the children and the mentors for such activities as swimming, bowling and Rockies games. Partners is a mentoring program that pairs adults with at-risk youth.

"We don't charge a fee to anyone involved with Partners, or their families," Partners Director Debi Landoll said. "It's awesome that the OP, and everyone involved does this, since money is so vital to our organization."

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