Mark Your Calendars for the Emerald Coast Poker Run in Destin, FL

Destin, Florida, is known for many things. Visitors come here from all over the country to enjoy the white sand beaches, mouthwatering seafood, and fascinating attractions about every corner. But when it comes to Destin events, perhaps the most popular is the Emerald Coast Poker Run!

This exciting tournament is a great way to make the most of your Destin vacation. Just be sure you book one of our Destin condos, so you don’t miss a minute of the action!

About the Event

The Emerald Coast Poker Run invites you to the water and enjoy some good, old-fashioned poker while you want your vacation. This event has been going on for more than 25 years, making it a true Destin staple. 

But what is a poker run in the first place? Essentially, you’ll get to explore some of the best things to do in Destin while you try to get the best poker hand of them all. There are 12 stops throughout the run, of which you’ll need to visit five to seven. At each stop, you’ll get a playing card. You’ll have amassed a poker hand by the end of your run. Bring your cards and build your hand at the evening’s Poker Run Party. 10 people will be awarded seats at the final table, where they’ll play for the grand prize. 

Of course, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some great poker, but this event offers more than that. There’s a Captain’s Party on the evening before the stops open; after the stops are done, you can enjoy the fantastic Poker Run Party! In addition to the grand prize game, you’ll also have the chance to participate in a silent auction, play blackjack and roulette, and enjoy some fantastic music throughout the event.

When you come out to The Emerald Poker Run, you can rest assured knowing you’re supporting a great cause. All the proceeds collected from this event will go toward the children’s charities that are designed recipients of the Emerald Coast Foundation. So far, the Foundation has raised more than $2.5 million for these charities!

The next Emerald Coast Poker Run will occur on Friday, August 12, and Saturday, August 13, 2022. 

The Stops

The stops in this poker run will be open on August 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You’ll find a dozen stops throughout the area, allowing you to enjoy a wide range of establishments throughout Destin and perhaps even make some new friends along the way! 

If you want to stay near the water, there are stops at several area marinas. Hanging out at one of these spots is an excellent way to take advantage of the beautiful weather in Destin, Florida! Consider stops like Legendary Marine/Marina, Adventure Marina, or Two Georges Marina. You can even enjoy a stop at Joe’s Bayou for an incredible view of the water from the boat ramp. Marine Max and Gregg Orr Marine are two more popular stops on this list. 

You might also visit AJ’s on the Bayou, where the Captain’s Party and on-site registration will be held on the 12th. Opened in 2016, AJ’s is a beloved island staple that’s always got something fun going on, including the Emerald Coast Poker Run! You can also grab a bite to eat at the Ricks on the Island stop, offering mouthwatering meals and a fantastic water view. 

people enjoying drinks and a poker game
Photo from Shutterstock

Registration Options

To attend the Emerald Coast Poker Run, you have three unique registration options: JR, Standard, and VIP.

Remember that those who opt for the JR registration package are not eligible to play for the grand prize, so keep that in mind before you book! With this package, you’ll receive an entry for two people to attend the buffet at the Poker Run Party, and each person will be allotted two drinks. You’ll also get an entry for two, access to the buffet at the Captain’s Party, and two event t-shirts.

If you’d like to play for the grand prize, you can get one hand with the Standard registration package. You’ll also receive everything included with the JR package, as well as a one-night stay at the IP Casino in nearby Biloxi, Mississippi.

Finally, opt for the VIP package if you want to treat yourself. Of course, you’ll get everything we’ve already discussed with the JR and Standard packages, but that’s not all! Instead of just one hand eligible to play for the grand prize, the VIP package gives you two hands. You’ll also have access to the Preferred VIP area at the Poker Run Party, where you can enjoy a buffet and open bar. You’ll also have access to the open bar at the Captain’s Party! Finally, instead of receiving a one-night stay at the IP Casino, you’ll be able to stay for an entire weekend. It’s like getting two vacations in one!

Parking and Other FAQs

As with any big events in Destin, FL, there are a few things to remember before you arrive. These tips will help you make the most of your experience and enjoy yourself fully! 

Most people participating in the Emerald Coast Poker Run do so by boat. Any boat can join in, so take advantage of Destin, Florida, boat rentals! If you don’t have a boat, you can either register and ride with a family member or friend or purchase individual tickets to join in at the Poker Run Party. 

Boat trailer parking is available at three convenient locations: Two Georges Marina in Shalimar, Legendary Marina in Destin, and Freedom Self Storage in Fort Walton Beach. Contact your preferred marina to set up arrangements for boat trailer parking. 

Plan Your Visit

On top of it all, you’ll have our dedicated staff by your side to ensure your stay is nothing less than perfect. The team at The Islander Resort is dedicated to your comfort and safety, and we’re always easy to reach should you have any questions during your stay. Come experience why The Islander Resort is the best Destin, Florida, resort you could ask for!

Book Your Destin Condo

Once the Emerald Coast Poker Run is done, there’s still so much more to discover throughout Destin. That’s why it’s important that you find the perfect Destin condos to host your party. Look no further than The Islander Resort! We are your premier destination for Destin beach condos, offering options big and small to accommodate groups of all sizes.

Our Destin beachfront condos have all the amenities and features you may need for an incredible stay, all without any resort fees! Take advantage of complimentary WiFi, spacious living rooms and dining areas, fully stocked kitchens, and stunning views of the Destin area. We also offer on-site amenities such as complimentary beach equipment, hot tubs, and swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, and on-site laundry.