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News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the North Iowa Region
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Memorial Day Poker Run in Loess Hills – An Early Preview


This news story was published on December 3, 2018.
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Iowa residents who like motorcycles and poker need to mark Memorial Day in their diaries and prepare for an amazing event next year in May. The Midway Tavern puts on a poker run every year to mark the momentous occasion of remembering the country’s armed forces, and the event is getting busier by the year. If you don’t know what a poker run is but you like getting together with fellow bikers and ripping it up on the open road, you may be interested in this. Here is all the information you need about the poker run in Loess Hills, along with a look at different kinds of poker run in various other areas of the States.

A Look at Iowa’s Past Poker Runs

The Midway Tavern is a hugely popular spot for bikers to frequent, as it has regular events throughout the year to encourage socialising between members of the community. Situated on 206 1st Street, Soldier, the tavern is in a perfect spot to access the beautiful Loess Hills. Most Iowa residents will be familiar with the hill formation which runs along the west of Iowa and Missouri along the Missouri River, but to really take in this breathtaking site and appreciate it to the full it has to be visited on motorcycle.

There are various biking events which take place in the Hills, but the poker run held on Memorial Day is the one which attracts the most riders. These rides usually take place during major events in the American calendar, and the last one was the Annual Soldier Valley Run over Labor Day weekend. Some other poker runs in Iowa that you may have heard of include the Western Iowa Wine Trail Event, Holiday Poker Run, which also takes place in Loess Hills. Participants stop at six wineries along the trail and sample various drops from the region. It is an all-vehicle poker run with prizes for the best hand at the end.

What is a Poker Run?

Most people know about poker thanks to the poker boom and the major surge in popularity the game has enjoyed over the last twenty years, but poker runs are a lesser known phenomenon. Poker runs feature certain elements of poker at their core, but are more to do with getting a big bunch of people together to travel to a number of different locations.

Put simply, a poker run is an organized event in which a large group of participants travel to different locations on a map and draw a playing card at each stop. Players usually use motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, or horses, and visit between five and seven places on the trail. At the end, whoever has the best poker hand wins. There is no skill involved with the poker element of the game here, and the hand you end up with is down to pure chance. However, there are sometimes time limits and certain challenges that need to be completed before players can draw.

Because there are so many potential hands in poker, it can be hard at first to determine who the winner is out of a large group of players. Poker sites like 888poker, where there are numerous poker promotions, have handy charts to show players the order of hand value. In most variants of poker including Texas Hold’em, Omaha and 7 card stud, the card rankings are the same. A royal flush is the best possible hand and a pair is the worst. If no player has a hand, the winner is determined by whoever has the highest card.

Players normally need to pay an entry fee to be able to participate in a poker run, and they can sometimes pay more to get additional hands and increase their chances of winning. Aside from meeting up with other revellers and drawing a card at each location, there are usually other things to do. For instance, the stops often have entertainment in the form of live bands or games, and this makes the poker run a hugely enjoyable occasion.

Do Any Other Areas Host Poker Runs?

While Iowa and Loess Hills, in particular, have the perfect landscape for poker runs, there are numerous other spots across the country which host their own events throughout the year. Poker runs have been going on for more than twenty years, and the largest one ever recorded was in 2009, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It was held to benefit the Fallen Firefighter Survivors Foundation and involved 2,136 motorcyclists. The largest single venue event was held in 2012, and this featured 586 motorcyclists who were raising money for a prostate cancer charity in Ottawa.

Some of the most popular poker runs across America are done using speedboats in various lakes and bays. These normally occur in the summer, with the Alexandria Bay poker run being one of the most famous events. It’s the host venue for the Poker Runs America THUNDER ON THE BAY Hall of Fame poker run which has been going on every year for more than 26 years. People who wish to take part in the annual event can join up and receive a number of things for the cost of entry. These include the Friday night poker run participant welcome party which is a great opportunity to meet the other players, breakfast and lunch for two on the Saturday, and tickets for two to the Saturday night banquet dinner and awards ceremony.

If you haven’t yet taken part in a poker run but enjoy getting out and seeing the beautiful Iowa countryside on your motorcycle, you should definitely consider joining up to the Memorial Day poker run over Loess Hills next year. The fact that the event also gives participants the chance to win at poker is an added bonus. Always remember to drive carefully, though.

 

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