Participants take off at last year’s Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club’s Poker Run at Freeman Reservoir. This year’s fundraising event is scheduled for Saturday.

File photo

Participants take off at last year’s Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club’s Poker Run at Freeman Reservoir. This year’s fundraising event is scheduled for Saturday.

Saturday’s snowmobile Poker Run offers ‘rare’ family opportunity

If you go

What: Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club’s ninth annual Poker Run

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Freeman Reservoir trailhead

Cost: $10 for each hand and $5 for optional one-card exchange

Visitwww.northwestcolo...> www.northwestcolo...> or call Rob Albert at 846-8516.

Saturday’s snowmobile Poker Run offers a unique family sporting event in a relaxed environment, said Rob Albert, vice president of the Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club and Poker Run coordinator.

“At the Poker Run, you’ll see husbands, wives and kids all riding as a group,” Albert said. “That’s rare to see any other time of year.”

The ninth annual Poker Run begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Freeman Reservoir trailhead, 10 1/2 miles north of Craig off Colorado Highway 13. Partici­pants pay $10 for a hand and ride their snowmobiles to five stops along a 30-mile groomed-trail course to build their poker hand.

Participants can buy an unlimited number of hands and have the option to exchange one of their cards for $5 at the end of the day. The participant with the best hand wins 25 percent of the money collected at the entry gate, second place receives 15 percent and third place gets 10 percent.

Door prizes also will be offered to the youngest and oldest snowmobile drivers, the furthest distance traveled to play, the oldest snowmobile, worst stuck — photo evidence is required — and best custom paint or graphics.

Registration for the event is from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, and the Poker Run starts at 10 a.m. The last card station closes at 4 p.m.

An awards banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. with an all-you-can-eat chili and soup buffet for $7.50 a person at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way. Prizes are awarded beginning at 7 p.m., and winners must be present to receive their prizes.

Proceeds from the Poker Run are used to award scholarships to area high school graduates pursuing higher education.

Last year, the snowmobile club awarded two $750 scholarships to Moffat County High School graduates.

“The number and amount of the scholarships is based on how many participants and how many hands of cards are dealt,” Albert said. “It’s a way to promote a positive image of snowmobiling and to be an active member of the community, to let the public know that in addition to a sport group, we’re also a service organization.”

Albert said the club typically sells about 150 poker hands, but he has increased his advertising this year to draw more participants. Albert sent information packets to all of Colorado’s 33 other clubs to invite members to participate and “covered every corner of the state.” He also sent packets into Wyoming and Vernal, Utah.

Albert said he hopes to see a large local showing, as well. He said the event serves as an outdoor winter social gathering.

“Saturday will be a fun day,” Albert said. “People who ride only two or three times a year, this is one of those times they ride.

“This is one of the one or two times in a winter they get to bump into each other and catch up.”

For more information about the Poker Run, visit www.northwestcoloradosnowmobileclub.org or call Rob Albert at 846-8516.

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