The 2008 BMW Poker Run presented by CFBMW.org and Angel Flight Southeast should be judged as a huge success. Well over 90 BMW’s and a few other odd make cars made their way to the Orlando Executive airport to partake in a worthwhile charity event and to have some fun causing havoc on the streets of Central Florida.
Of course a poker run isn’t a race. Instead it is a point to point drive picking up cards at each stop to put together the best poker hand. That is what decides the winner of the event. Someone forgot to tell Bottle “like you drink out of” Deliwala and Nero “Danger Zone” Deliwala. Testosterone, competition and the battle for title of fastest Indian took charge.
As soon as we got our directions to the first start it was go time. The 335i quickly made its way to 90 mph on the short access road from the parking lot. This stop was Lollicup (I think) by University and 436. Luckily for us, we weren’t the only ones flying at mach speeds through the roads of Orlando. The competition was fierce as evidenced by one competitor going over the center median in his E46 M3 and dragging some of his car while making the U-turn to get to the stop.
We noticed on the way that there was some sort of heavy object knocking around in the trunk. The plan was for me to jump out, get our first card and for Bottle to get what turned out to be a case of water out of the trunk and plan our exit strategy. He was still in the trunk as I got the card and came running out screaming at him to get his ass back in the car. First card down, next stop…Fields BMW.
Since Bottle knew the area quite well, we were sure that we could find some sort of shortcut to one up the competition but we just didn’t know where to do it. The route took us through downtown Winter Park with some agonizingly slow traffic lights and an accoutrement of traffic. We did manage to find a shortcut and get in front of a couple cars by the time we made it to Fields BMW. Although a short leg, we did almost catch some air at an intersection on 17-92 by the Winter Park Village. Second card down; on to the third stop…some random parking garage downtown.
This was the normal leg consisting of a short jaunt on I-4 and some 120+ mph speeds. Whoever was on the road probably didn’t have enough time to even see the black blur go whizzing past them. Once downtown their were cops crawling everywhere so we had to slow to normal speeds for safety and to not get a damn ticket. Someone was even unlucky enough to get popped by the cops, I think it was the same dude who hopped the center median. Oh well.
Once we got our third card it was go time. This stop would take us out in to the sticks to a vineyard and some highway driving on 408 and the turnpike. We still haven’t really seen Nero yet on our trip. We got on 408 and the pedal was mashed as we did some reasonably fast speeds on the 408. It was here that I was treated to a quote from Bottle. It started to rain, so I said I wish I had put rain-x on the windshield, then I looked up and saw that the rain was already removing itself from the windshield.
Me: “Oh you already have rain-x on there, sweet…” Bottle: “We don’t have rain-x, that’s just how fast we’re going“
Since I travel the road often I warned Bottle that the cops are pricks and often drive unmarked cars. So he took it relatively easy and I use the term relatively loosely. In hindsight he probably shouldn’t have because by the time we made it to our exit, Nero and Brian went flying past us at speed with their fingers flying out the window. (wish I had my camera out, but I was too busy white knuckling the “oh shit” handle) Turns out our plan call and “warn” them about cops was foiled because they didn’t buy it. Hey, there was no rule about playing dirty!
Now off the highway, and catching up to some of the “slow” group, we were about fourth in line on the county routes of central Florida. Since we had our destination programmed into the GPS we had a decision to make. The directions we received and the GPS we conflicting on the best way to get there. We opted to follow the GPS and it turned out to be a good decision. By the time we got to the vineyard we were easily 10-15 minutes ahead of everybody. However, we had no clue of that fact.
The last leg of the trip was pretty uneventful. We didn’t see another BMW from the group once. However I was treated to some more white knuckle moments as we picked our way through some rural twisty roads. I had to remind Bottle a couple times that I had kids and our second passenger Boost Bear even took a water bottle or two to the head in the back seat. We also passed a Porsche club out on a leisurely drive. From what I hear they weren’t too impressed with the speeds they were witnessing from the BMW drivers. Piss on them, at least the cars were being driven to their potential (the BMW’s that is).
This is where the second memorable quote from the day came.
Me: “So Bottle, IS this the ultimate driving machine?” Bottle: “ANY car I’m behind the wheel of is an ultimate driving machine…” Nice…
The only other moment we had was on 441 on the way to the finish. A pickup truck pulled out in front of us causing us to have to slow considerably. Baadal and I were cussing up a storm because the driver of the truck obviously didn’t pay attention to our closure rate on him (do any drivers?). It actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because there was a cop just on the other side of the road. Had that truck not turned out in front of us, I might have had to finish the run and then go bail Baadal out of jail.
It was clear sailing from that point, we pulled up to the finish. We got there so quickly that they were still setting up the scoring table to see what hand we had. We almost got an Ace high strait. A, K, Q, J and the last card that I personally picked from the deck…a 4 of spades…W.T.F!!
Nero and Brian would arrive about 10 minutes later and as soon as they stepped out of the car the shit talking began and the excuses were flying. “We had to get gas!”, “We stopped and got water!”, “you started before us!” etc etc. Hey, whatever they need to say to sleep at night. Wasn’t our fault they started the event with only ¾ of a tank of gas and used it all (the route was 96 miles). They ended up beating us in the poker hand with a pair of 4’s. Pricks. At least Wes Bourne stepped up and beat them with a pair of 10’s so we didn’t have to hear about how they are king.
All in all it was a very fun event that went towards a worthwhile charity. Hopefully Titan Motorsports will take part again next year, provided we weren’t banned after this years display. JMO