Minooka Park hopes to hook riders with poker run and fishing tourney

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011

By Drew Granthum | Staff Writer

Some people enjoy a fishing trip to get away from it all for a while. Other people choose to trail ride on all terrain vehicles to free their mind of their problems. Still others like a good game of poker with friends to ease the stress of a workweek.

Those who enjoy all three are in luck this weekend.

Minooka Park in Jemison will be hosting a combination poker run and fishing tournament Saturday, May 21. Event Coordinator Gerald Arrington said that the idea to have the two back-to-back came from the positive response to previous events.

“We’ve had several poker runs and [people] enjoyed them,” he said. “We had one fishing tournament last year, and everybody enjoyed doing it.”

For those unfamiliar with what a poker run is, the concept revolves around an organized group of motorcycle riders following a course and moving from checkpoint to checkpoint collecting markers.

After the riders have collected the markers from the five stations along the trail, they return to the starting line, where the five markers are exchanged for playing cards. The rider with the best poker hand wins the event.

“It’s not a race,” stressed Arrington. “It’s open to all ages, and everyone has an equal chance of winning.”

Prizes have yet to be decided, but there might be up to three places awarded, depending on the turnout.

The gates will open at 9 a.m., and the poker run will start at 10 a.m. and will run to 2 p.m. It will also be open to four-wheelers, ATVs, and side-by-side vehicles, such as off-road golf carts. The entry fee is $10 per vehicle, and all riders are required to wear a helmet, unless the entry has a roll cage.

Following the poker run will be the fishing tournament. Its concept is a little simpler.

“Biggest fish wins,” said Arrington. “We’ll have people on both sides of the lake weighing, and then once the weight is written down, the fish gets released.”

The entry fee for the tournament is $5, and will last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Arrington said that the trails will be open till 8 p.m., and that even if someone doesn’t want to participate in the events to still come out.

“There’s plenty of area for picnic, and we’re hoping for a good crowd,” he said. “For people looking to make it a weekend, we still have plenty of room in the RV section.”

For more information, contact Arrington at 312-1376.