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Poker Runs at Lake Cumberland KY

Updated on March 11, 2016
Stacie L profile image

Stacie L has lived and traveled in many states so she likes to share her experiences with her readers.

Speeding boats add to the excitement of a Poker Run
Speeding boats add to the excitement of a Poker Run | Source

Poker Run

What do you get when you mix the game of poker and a speedboat race?

Well that's the Lake Cumberland Poker Run, of course! The first week of every September is usually when it's held. It's a speed boat race on the largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi. The object of this run involves grabbing a playing card from several dock's checkpoint and racing to the next one until you get to the finish line.They usually run in the second week of September.

The official definition from Wikipedia is:

A poker run is an organized event where participants, usually using motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, or horses, must visit five to seven checkpoints, drawing playing card at each one. The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run. The event has a time limit, however the participants are not timed—winning is purely a matter of chance.”

This has become an annual event since 2007. Music, people from all over, and beautiful, high powered speed boats are what it's all about. The race starts at the State Dock Marina in Jamestown, KY. usually on September 6-7th, beginning 10 am , which takes the boaters to several docks along the route and continues throughout the day.

2011 Lake Cumberland Poker Run Scenes

Directions to Jamestown KY Poker Run

The Jamestown KY Resort Marina is located at the end of route 92, about 8 miles south on highway 127 from the Louie B. Nunn Parkway at the Russell Springs exit. Continue through Jamestown square and on to the new bypass until you see the State Resort Park entrance on the left and follow the road 5 miles to the dock. You may also turn right onto the 127 bypass a few miles before reaching Jamestown and continue.

Anyone coming from northern locations would take interstate 75 south to Mt. Vernon exit 421 and drive to highway 80 and continue on the parkway to the Russell Springs exit. Coming from Interstate 65, one would take the parkway east near Bowling Green and exit at Russell Springs and head south to the marina. You may have a better view on the Jamestown Resort Marina side, as the two lane road down to the State Dock will be crowded.

Lake Cumberland Poker Run highlights 2010

Lake Cumberland Map

Lake cumberland Map
Lake cumberland Map

Itinerary for 2015

There is an itinerary for 2015 here. State Dock Marina is across the lake from the Jamestown Marina and about 20 miles away by car.

You will have a good viewing location if you park at Rowena Ramp by the Wolf Creek Dam, at Cumberland Point in Nancy, Ky, about 15 miles east of the marina. Other good spots are Lees Ford Marina in Nancy, Conley Bottom Marina, on the south side of the lake, where the race will end.

Lodging Locations

There are musical events and parties on most of the lake's marinas so be sure to check each website or a call. The website about the Poker Run 2011 has good information.

It's a good idea to come a little early since this has become more popular each year and the best viewing locations fill up fast. Lodging is nearby in Somerset, Jamestown, Monticello, Burnside, Nancy and Russell Springs. There are some lodges on the lake such as the State Resort Park in Jamestown,the Grider Hill Lodge and Marina, Jamestown Marina Lodges and cottages, Conley Bottom Marina. Houseboats are a good way to go to be closest to the water and action. Lees Ford Marina in Nancy, Burnside Marina in Burnside at the southern part of Somerset, numerous hotels in Somerset on highway 27, are available. Another option is camping in the parks along the lake and close by near the dam.

Poker Run summary

A Poker Run is for fun and excitement. The object is for the participants to race to each designated dock,drawing a playing card, and reaching the finish to see who has the best hand.

Sometimes they are for charity but most are for fun and profit.

The Lake Cumberland Poker Run has the finest and fastest speed boats available. Those who can safely finish the race earn the bragging rights and admiration of spectators and fellow boaters alike.

© 2011 Stacie L


Submit a Comment
  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    8 years ago

    @Seeker7; thank you for reading and commenting on my Poker Run hub. These are fairly recent and i recall seeing them start around three years ago in this area.


  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 

    8 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    This is really interesting - it's the first time I've heard of a poker run - don't think we have these in the UK, certainly not in Scotland. But they sound like great fun. I love the photographs - it looks a very beautiful place. Many thanks for sharing.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    8 years ago

    @Greenjeans; yes,there are other poker runs like the biker poker run on Sept 10 and others. This one is becoming very popular with muscle speed boats from all over.

    Thanks for your comments!:-)

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I only thought of 2-wheeled (motorcycle) Poker Runs. Now I know about speedboaters and even horse-folks getting into the action! You packed a lot into this space, I applaud your work!

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    8 years ago

    @Rene Remington ;thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments about my Lake Cumberland Poker run and Cumberland Falls. It is a beautiful place.

  • profile image

    Rene Remington (earthangel9250) 

    8 years ago

    I went on my honeymoon to Cumberland Falls. I love Ky if I were in the area, I'd make it happen but I'm out west right now. Have a great run and thanks for all the beautiful photos.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    8 years ago

    @Apostle jack; thank you for reading my Lake Cumberland Poker Run hub and commenting!:-)

  • Apostle Jack profile image

    Apostle Jack 

    8 years ago from Atlanta Ga

    A good sight.


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