One of the highlights of the BVI social calendar is the Leverick Bay Poker Run – every year in May, speedboats of all shapes and sizes from around the Caribbean convene in the North Sound for some of the hottest cards in town. The first leg of the Caribbean Poker Run Triple Crown.
Lining the docks the brightly coloured boats and coordinating crews jostle for space – the engines throb and thrum – coolers are filled – drinks are poured – teeny swimsuits are donned and the crew get ready to run the length and breadth of the Territory.
The premise is simple – a trip around the islands picking up a card at each designated spot – the winning hand takes home the dollars – $8,000 of them (this year), to be exact.
Players leave Leverick Bay and head for Trellis Bay, Beef Island – continuing on to Foxy’s Taboo, Jost Van Dyke – Scaramouche Restaurant, Soper’s Hole Tortola – Pirate’s Bite, Norman Island and finally, Tortola Pier Park before heading back to Leverick Bay to collect a final card and complete their hand. The best 5 cards are selected.
Once back at Leverick the party can start!! Traditionally this kicks off with a bikini fashion show (which this blogger used to model in), before the winning hands are announced and everyone gets down to some serious partying – BVI style. Even without the bikini runway show there is still an impressive display of different swimwear and beach outfits at the party. Beach apparel on fleek! Fire dancers, dance-offs, models and partying, there’s no shortage of entertainment for the afternoon.
This year we weren’t out on the water as we were assisting the organizers, but we still made sure to get a good spot to watch the start. Regular readers might notice that I mention Hog Heaven a lot for their unparalleled views of the outer islands and they provided the perfect spot for a crowd of us to grab a cold drink and watch the boats speeding out of Leverick Bay – streaks of colour with their trails of white cutting through the cerulean blue of the North Sound.
Finally the sun sets, the winners are announced, the confetti canons are fired and the prizes are given out. Thousands of dollars are raised for charity every year. Next week the celebrations continue with the Poker Run in St. Maarten and we wait to do it all again next year… will you join me there?