Express your born-to-be-wild side at the Key West Poker Run, Sept.15-18. This annual event welcomes 10,000 participants to South Florida.


Even though it’s billed as a motorcycle even there’s no need to invest in a Harley.  All motorcycles, cars and trucks can participate in the picture-perfect South Florida drive on U.S. Highway 1 from Miami to Key West.

“A lot of people go in cars,” confirms Brenda Bastos, Marketing Manager of Peterson’s Harley-Davidson. The event is sponsored this year by Phil Peterson of Peterson’s Harley-Davidson of Miami/South,

As you travel the Poker Run, you’ll make five stops to pick up a card.  If you end up with the best poker hand at the end you win.  The ten best hands are eligible for a game of Texas Hold-Em, competing for a new Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Iron or $6,000.

Thirty-nine years ago, Harley-Davidson owner Phil Peterson created the event to revitalize Key West during slow tourist months and to contribute to charity.

The Poker Run benefits the Sunrise Rotary Club and the Diabetes Research Institute, raising almost $500,000 for research over the past twenty years.

Bastos says first-time participants can “expect a lot of bikers [and] a Mardi Gras style party.”

What if you’re not familiar with biker culture?  Do you need a jacket stitched with a bad-ass nickname?  First, you watch too much Sons of Anarchy.  Second, Bastos agrees that bikers are often “stereotype[d] as large, bearded people, who get drunk and cause a ruckus.”

But Bastos attests to different types of bikers—road warriors as well as “people who wear a suit and tie…and on weekends, get all bikered out.”  There are also women riders, particularly lesbians.

“The biker community is stereotyped—same as the gay and lesbian community,” observes Bastos.  She encourages participants:  “Come as you are you don’t need to be someone you’re not.”

Register for the Key West Poker Run at Peterson’s Harley-Davidson locations in Miami.  A $10 donation covers one poker hand.  However, you can play additional hands at $10 each. You can also enjoy the Duval Street Party, Custom Bike Show, the 17th Annual Blessing of the Bikes and other events.

According to Bastos, the riders and businesses are behind the success of the Key West Poker Run:  “Everyone involved has a passion for it.”

39th Key West Poker Run

September 15-18, 2011

Register at

Peterson’s Harley-Davidson of Miami

19400 NW 2nd Avenue/ US 441, Miami FL 33169


Peterson’s Harley-Davidson South

19825 S. Dixie Highway, Miami FL  33157


For a complete schedule of events visit