FIND US ON...
For Puerto Rico & USVI participants
For all BVI participants
Nick Willis, the Man Behind the Leverick Bay Annual Poker Run
In the year 2001, Nick Willis, manager of the Leverick Bay Resort and Marina, thought it would be a wonderful idea to create an event in which local boats would navigate around the BVI's and pick-up playing cards at designated stops in order to formulate a poker hand; best hand winning the competition. He then sat down with his wife Monica, put it all down on paper, and started contacting everyone they knew who could possibly be interested. He called up Jimmy Bou to discuss with him the possibility of bringing in boats from Puerto Rico and Bou then proceeded to invite various boating enthusiasts from the island.
That first year, only 12 boats showed up for the 2002 Leverick Bay Poker Run, but for Nick Willis the event was a huge success. Afterwards, as the event grew in popularity and it's reputation was spread through word-of-mouth and various promotional efforts; the Poker Run eventually became a sort of national holiday in the BVI. Last year's Poker Run was the largest ever, with over 120 boats participating. Boats came in from far and wide, including 45 from Puerto Rico and one from as far as Miami: Bob Barnhart traveled down especially for the event and is a poker run aficionado who competes in poker runs world-wide. After the event, Barnhart said that he had never entered such an enjoyable poker run and that he intended to bring some friends from the US for this year's event. When asked about the 2012 Leverick Bay 10th Anniversary Poker Run, Willis simply exclaimed: "I just think it's going to be absolutely fantastic!"
Because of the success of the event, Nick has been able to donate a large part of the participant-entry money to local charities. Last year, the Poker Run raised more than $10,000 for the Virgin Gorda Charitable Trust, a charity raising money to build a swimming pool for the Bregado Flax School. "As of now we're out of the ground but it's come to a stop because we need more money. Every bit counts!" says Poker Run creator Nick Willis. The Virgin Gorda Animal Rescue also benefits from the Poker Run proceeds, receiving roughly $1000 in aid.
1st Annual Leverick Bay Poker Run