On Saturday, August 13, 2022, the Emerald Coast Foundation will be holding The Original EMERALD COAST POKER RUN. Enjoy a fun day out on the water in Destin, FL, with The Emerald Coast Foundation, then play poker for prizes at AJ’s on the Bayou. A Captain’s Party and registration will be held Friday, August 12, 2022 at AJ’s. 

What is a Poker Run?

Poker Run

Fondly called “The Big One,” this Destin, Florida, poker run is one of the largest and most popular charity poker runs in the USA. Do you know what a poker run is? It is an organized event in which participants, using different forms of transportation, such as motorcycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, horses or on foot, must visit checkpoints, drawing a card at each stop. Typically poker runs end with a party where the participants play their cards (hand) they acquired and the rider with the best hand is the winner and the proceeds benefit a charity.

2022 Emerald Coast Poker Run

Power Boats for Poker Run

For more than 25 years, Powerboats, fishing boats, pleasure boats, and all in between, have filled the beautiful waterways in and around Destin for The Emerald Coast Poker Run which usually rounds out the end of “Boat Week.” Boat Week includes an array of different events from Wednesday through Saturday night. If you are familiar with poker runs, this is like none you’ll see anywhere else!

The Emerald Coast Foundation proudly highlights on their website that “all proceeds from Emerald Coast Boat Week and Poker Run go to the recipient children’s charities of the Emerald Coast Foundation. This event was started over 25 years ago to help the youth of our local area have a chance at a brighter future. Without the Emerald Coast Foundation, these kids would go without, and that is not acceptable to us.” They continue to mention, “As of Boat Week last year, the Emerald Coast Foundation has raised over $2.5 million dollars for our local kids in need. What an impact! This is a volunteer run event. There are no paid employees. Every penny goes to the kids. We do it out of love and dedication to our community and our kids. Please join us for the one and only ORIGINAL Emerald Coast Poker Run! Help us help the kids who need it most.”

Give and Get:

By your entry fee you will be donating (giving) to the Emerald Coast Foundation’s cause of helping kids in the community and with that all entrants get all sorts of awesome swag/goodies.

With VIP registration ($349), you receive:

  • Boat Entry for the Emerald Coast Poker Run
  • 2 hands to play for the grand prize
  • 2 Tickets to the Captain’s Party with buffet and open bar
  • 2 Tickets to the Poker Run Party with buffet and open bar
  • A Complimentary Weekend Stay at the IP Casino
  • 2 Emerald Coast Poker Run T-Shirts

This tremendous event, hosted by The Emerald Coast Foundation, is one of the largest boat poker runs in the country. The Emerald Coast Foundation is the only not-for-profit organization that puts forth such effort, for the sole purpose of expanding its charitable reward and helping our most precious resource: the children of our community.

This year’s lively schedule is geared for fun:

10 poker run stops, open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
*fee includes one poker hand. Additional cards and hands will be available for sale.

Destin Harbor Poker Run

$274 Standard package available:

Poker Runners and guests that make a $274 donation, will receive complimentary drinks at the Poker Run Party at AJ’s on the Bayou in addition to a complimentary one-night stay at the IP Casino Resort Biloxi, and other VIP swag. This package only includes one hand to play for the grand prize.

$99 Junior package: 

This package includes entry into the JR only raffle, entry for two for the Poker Run party with buffet and two drinks, entry for two including the buffet at the Captain’s Party, and two event t-shirts. 

Poker Run Party:

The Block: Saturday, August 13 at 6PM

There will be live music, black jack and a silent auction. Fabulous prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place in poker including a first place prize package valued at over $5000! Poker run merchandise, food, and beverages will be offered for sale.

Captain’s Party:

AJ’s on the Bayou: Friday, August 12 from 5:30PM to 8:30PM

There will be live music by Flash Flood, complimentary buffet, and open bar for VIP registrants. 

Poker run registration, check-in and safety meetings:

Date: Friday, August 12
Time: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Location: AJ’s on the bayou
Merchandise, food and beverage available for sale

Destin Condo Rentals

Destin Florida Condo Rentals

Find the best condo rentals in Destin. Tickets can be bought separately, so you don’t need a boat to join the fun. But another idea is to rent a boat or jet ski to include every detail. There are so many other things to do in Destin, so let our experienced Destin travel experts help you make the best of memories for you and your friends or family.

Event Summary
Annual Emerald Coast Poker Run
AJ's on the Bayou, 200 Eglin Pkwy NE,Fort Walton Beach,FL-32547
Start Date
August 12, 2022
End Date
August 13, 2022
The 2022 Emerald Coast Poker Run is a charity boating event (not a boat race) that features stops from Miramar Beach, by Destin, nearly to Pensacola.