Poker Run FAQ’s

Q’s and A’s

Q: What is this boat Poker Run all about?

A: A boat poker run is an event where the participants go from one designated Lake Lanier marina on the lake to another by boat. At each stop they will pick up a playing card until they have completed all of the stops and have five cards. When they return to the “Casino” at Landshark Landing the poker hands are evaluated then scored. The best poker hand wins the Grand Prize.

The poker run cards are in sealed envelopes and are not to be opened until the player returns to the Casino. Our event is “Pirate” themed, and we give out trophies to the best “Pirate” dressed boats and crews. This will be our 14th year of this event on Lake Lanier and each year gets bigger and better.

For 2023 we have added a special boat viewing of classic wooden boats from the Antique & Classic Boat Society. We expect about 20 classic wooden boats to view on Friday and Saturday on the A Dock at Landshark Landing.

The purpose of the event is to have fun while raising hundreds of thousands of charitable dollars to help local children in need. Come and join the fun, while lending a helping hand to kids in need.

Q: How do I register for the Poker Run event?

A: It’s a five-minute process to sign up for our Poker Run event. Go to and choose Menu and choose Pirates of Lanier Poker Run and then Sign up/ Registration. Choose the right Level of donation for your boat and crew, your tee shirt sizes, boat slip and any additional Ala Carte items and pay by credit card on our secure site. Corporate sponsors have a special Corporate Registration page and can pay by credit card or company check. All donations are tax deductible.

If you choose a level that comes with a boat slip, please be advised that boats under 33 feet should choose a boat slip at docks B or C. Large boats over 34 feet or wide boats should choose a slip on docks D or E. Please be considerate in leaving the largest slips for boaters that require larger slips.

Q: How can my company become a Poker Run event sponsor?

A: Choose the Menu option on the main page and choose Become Premier Sponsor and choose the sponsorship level that best fits your desires to donate and receive company exposure. Your company logo will be displayed prominently on our website, on Facebook, and you can reserve levels with a booth at our Vendor Village. We help promote your company so it becomes a household name, while your generosity reaches out to hundreds of local youth that need a helping hand. It is safe to say that an investment in today’s youth is an investment in the health of our community tomorrow.

Q: Is the Poker Run event kid friendly?

A: Absolutely. The Poker Run event is a fun-filled charity event for the whole family. There’s fun, food, a cool vendor village, boats on display, entertainment, and fireworks! If you are on a boat and the kids dress up as a “Pirate” we give out trophies for the best costumes.

Q: Is the Friday night Captains Part mandatory for every boat captain?

A: Yes, and there are three ways to attend!  Attend the Captains Party Friday night a 6:00 PM, live stream the Captains Party or watch the YouTube version of the Captains Party Safety Meeting.

Q: Do I have to run the Poker Run to attend the events?

A: No, you can purchase tickets Ala Carte to all the events of the Poker Run or just show up to Landshark Landing and join in on the fun!

Q: I am from out of town. Where can I stay?

A: We recommend you stay at the Lake Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge, Executive Villa Suites, lakeside cabins and RV Parks as well. Lanier Partners has secured a block of specially priced rooms, suites and cabins so be sure to ask for the Poker Run special rates.  Additional lodging can be found at the Hampton Inn or the Holiday Inn Express. A Google search can direct you to a myriad of other hotel options.

Q: How do I get a boat slip for the Poker Run event?

A: Go to our website menu and choose Menu and Pirates of Lanier Poker Run and then Sign up/ Registration.  Choose a level that includes a boat slip and reserve your slip.  Slips can also be obtained by signing up as a corporate sposor.

The boat slips are located at the main event location at Landshark Landing. Please note boats under 33 feet should choose a slip on docks B or C. Boats over 34 feet or wide boats should choose a slip on docks D or E. Your cooperation is appreciated so we can accommodate everybody.

Q: How do I play my poker hand?

A: Once you have collected your five or six sealed poker cards depending on how many Poker Run Stops you visited head on over to the CASINO at Landshark Landing. You can play your poker had from 4:00 to 7:00 PM.  The CASINO dealers will open your sealed poker cards and display your hand. At this point you can choose to post your Natural Hand which are the cards you were given at the Poker Run Stops. There is also an Open Hand competition where you can purchase more cards to enhance your chances of winning the Open Hand competition. You can purchase as many cards as you want in the Open Hand competition.

Q: What is the prize money for Best Poker Run Hand?

A:Both the winners of the Natural Hand and Open Hand win cash prizes. First Place winners receive $2,500. Second Place winners receive $1,700. Third Place winners receive $500

Q: Do I have to dress up as a “Pirate”?

A: No, but the theme of our event is “Pirates”. In fact, the honorable Governor Nathan Deal has proclaimed the day of our event as “Pirates Day on Lake Lanier”. We have great trophies for the best dressed “Pirate” boats and crews. Arrgh…

Q: I have a pontoon boat. Can I join the event?

A: Yes, we welcome all powerboats, fast, slow, and in between. However, we don’t allow sailboats or PWC to join.

Q: Where can I park my boat trailer?

A: We have a large secure and patrolled parking lot dedicated to Poker Run boat trailers. It is located at the top of the hill from the Lanier Islands boat ramp. See the map for details.

Q: Is there room to park my big truck at Lanier Islands or my hotel?

A: Yes. There are large parking lots, and secure outlying parking a four-minute drive away. Shuttle service is provided.

Q: Is there ice available at Lanier Islands?

A: Yes. There is ice for sale, as well as a full bar and full menu.

Q: Is there power and water at Landshark Landing?

A: No. However there are 15 large padded houseboat slips at Harbor Landing. It’s a short walk through the tunnel under the road to the main event location. Call Harbor Landing at (770) 932-7254. They also have a large parking lot.

Q: Can I carry alcoholic beverages from the boat off the dock or from the parking lot to the boat docks?

A: No!  For legal reasons PLEASE LOAD ALL ADULT BEVERAGES ONTO YOUR BOAT FOR THE WEEKEND PRIOR TO LAUNCHING THE BOAT AT THE RAMP. Also, remember it is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol. For everyone’s safety, boat captains please don’t drink alcohol while operating your boat.

Q: What fuel is available on the lake, and should I fuel up before launching?

A: There are several gas stations on Lanier Islands Parkway and on the water. Holiday Marina has 93 octane boat fuel. All the Poker Run card stop marinas offer fuel service.

Q: Is the Poker Run a race?

A: No, boats are free to go as fast or slow as they are comfortable within the limits of the law.

Q: What if my boat breaks down and I don’t have all five of my poker cards?

A: No problem, just head to the Casino at Landshark Landing and they will give you all your cards.

Q:  Can I get more than five cards?

A: Yes, if you go to all six card stops you will have six cards to play your best five at the Casino. If you are not satisfied with your hand you can join a separate “open hand” group and buy additional cards for $50 each.

Q: Can I get a boat slip without purchasing a Poker Run package:

A: No, a Poker Run Level 2 – 4 must be purchased to get a boat slip.

Q: Where is the Captains Party located and what time?

A: The Captains Party is at the Harbor Pavilion which is a short walk from Landshark Landing under the bridge and to the left. The Captains Party is Friday night at 6:00 until 10:00.

Q: Where is the Cheeseburger in Paradise located and what time?

A: Cheeseburger in Paradise is located beachside at Landshark Landing on Friday and goes from 11:30 to 2:00.

Q: What are the Poker Run card stops where poker cards are picked up and what are the hours?

A: Holiday Marina, Port Royale Marina, Aqualand Marina, Gainesville Marina (card stop closes at 2 PM), Habersham Pointe (located next to Habersham Marina).  Card stops are Saturday open from 9:00 to 3:00.

Q: Where are the lunch stops on Lake Lanier?

A: Pig Tales at Aqualand Marina, Fish Tales at Hideaway Bay Marina, Pelican Pete’s at Port Royale Marina,Twisted Oar at Holiday Marina and Skogies at Gainesville Marina!

Q: Where and when is registration?

A: Registration is located next to the Harbor Pavilion which is a short walk from Landshark Landing under the bridge and to the left. Registration is open Friday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Site Maps

2023 Card Stops

Stop Name

1. Gainesville Marine

2. Port Royale Marina

3. Safe Harbor Aqualand Marina

4. Holiday Marina

5. Lazy Days Marina

6. Habersham Pointe

7. Pirate Headquarters

GPS Coordinates

Lat: 34.3168797 Long: -83.8743673

Lat: 34.2447817 Long: -83.9624185

Lat: 34.2034673 Long: -83.9685638

Lat: 34.1754390 Long: -84.0003560

Lat: 34.1673620 Long: -83.9962870

Lat: 34.1930330 Long: -84.1012930

Lat: 34.1739510 Long: -84.0293450

Lunch Stops

1. Pelican Pete’s 

2. Pig Tales 

3. Fish Tales 

4. Twisted Oar 

5. Skogies 

Lat: 34.243894 Long: -83.961456

Lat: 34.203546 Long: -83.970420

Lat: 34.184067 Long: -83.939156

Lat: 34.172599 Long: -84.002885

Lat: 34.3168797 Long: -83.8743673

The “Normal Run” will start from a location of your choice. You proceed to any of the card stops in the order you wish. It is important that you understand that there will be many fast boats going up and down the lake during the day, as well as spectators on the lake. You should plan on a minimum of five (5) card stops to pick up your cards. You may choose to also visit the Coast Guard Auxiliary dock at Port Royale Marina and have them inspect your boat. In exchange for the free inspection, they will also give you an extra card for each hand played.

Vendor Village Map