Whether you’re enjoying a powerboat poker run in Key West, Fla., or in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. there’s an excellent chance—as in fast-approaching 100 percent—a pair of Mercury Racing outboard or sterndrive engines power your ride. So in a way, you could say that the Fond du Lac, Wis., company already is in the poker-run business.

But come 2024, the high-performance marine propulsion and accessories giant will have a poker run of its own.

Boat Race - Poker Run

Mercury Racing is planning its own poker run on Lake Winnebago for June 2024. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.


The first Mercury Racing Owners Poker Run is tentatively set for June 20-23, 2024, on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, which is just up the road from the company’s home. According to a press release distributed this morning, the four-day event will be organized with support of the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau and veteran event planner Shannon Radtke.

“We could not be more excited to work with Mercury Racing, the City of Oshkosh and Shannon Radtke,” said Jodi Jensema, Discover Oshkosh sales and services manager, in the release. “Mercury Racing has a long history in Oshkosh, and we love that they want to share this with the Oshkosh community. Lake Winnebago and the Fox River will be a great place to showcase these amazing boats, and we can’t wait to be a part of this first time event.”

In addition to the multi-day poker run, the event plan includes a live sandbar concert, a street parade of powerboats, a street dance and Mercury Racing factory tours. The family friendly event is “intended to be inclusive of all boats and boaters—powered by Mercury Racing,” according to the release.

Radtke comes with a solid track record in the poker-run production world. Under her direction in 2019, the Four Horsemen Poker Run in Lake Winnebago celebrated its 10th anniversary with an 86-boat event-record turnout. The year prior, the event attracted 75 boats.

Despite taking a few years off from event organizing, Radtke is as ambitious as ever.

“My goal with this new event is 100 boats,” she said. “When Andrea Jansen of Mercury Racing approached me last July and asked me if I was interested in getting back in the game, I told her I was very interested.”

Poker Run

Radtke (center) knows how to produce a great event.

Added Mercury Racing general manager Stuart Halley, “We are looking forward to welcoming Mercury Racing owners and the performance boat community to Oshkosh for this event. The 50-year history of Mercury Racing started right in Oshkosh on the banks of the Fox River, so this seems like the perfect place for the Wide Open crowd to gather for an event that will offer something for the entire family.”

Look for more information on the event on speedonthewater.com as the June 2024 event approaches.