Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s $2.1 Million Oil & Gas Texas Poker Night Raises the Stakes For YES Prep

Making the Cards Count

BY // 03.06.23

What: The 18th annual Oil & Gas Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament benefiting YES Prep

Where: The Corinthian

PC Moment: With 80 corporate sponsors signed on, the event had already raised $1 million before any of the 550 guests entered the party. As participants bought chips, bid their hands and tested their poker faces, the total take surpassed $2.1 million. The proceeds support YES Prep’s 24 campuses across Houston, serving more than  17,800 students in grades pre-K through fourth and sixth through 12th.

Vitol was instrumental to the overall success of the event, serving as VIP reception sponsor. That saw top sponsors and their guests invited to the Corinthian’s underground reception area known as The Vault. The area was decked out in stylish lounge furniture, a bar set up inside the actual vault, with several blackjack, roulette and craps tables giving guests a jump start on the fun.

Further, toward the end of the night the Vitol Foundation announced a $175,000 matching gift towards donations made by Vitol employees throughout the night.

Yes.Poker Room View 1
The Corinthian is packed with 500 guests attending the 18th annual Oil & Gas Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament benefiting YES Prep.

Bill Heuer from iHost, which organized the casino party, announced that money raised on this evening would go towards closing out YES Prep’s Leading Houston Forward campaign, a five-year plan to build YES Prep elementary schools, add 10,000 high quality seats, and strengthen student success with capacity to serve 22,000 students by 2025. Thanks to this evening, the $80 million fundraising campaign finish line was reached.

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The final table of top scoring participants returned to the Vault where around midnight cheers erupted as Kenley Steeg, who was seated at the Alta Resources/Kiwi Energy table, was crowned the tournament winner.

Mark Sanders, Jacob Boles, Matt Diffendal
Mark Sanders, Jacob Boles, Matt Diffendal at the Oil & Gas Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament benefiting YES Prep.

Applause, applause for event chairing committee members Aaron Byrd, Brian Colona, Michol Ecklund, Austin Elam, Ajay Khurana, Jenny McCarthy, Mike Miller, Steve Mohtashami, Bill Nelson, and Frank Stagg.

PC Seen: Melanie Trent, Joe Greenberg, Mark Gregg, Jenny McCarthy, Michol Ecklund, Mickey Barrett, Chris Brown, Brian Colona, Ben Marshall, Andy Calder, Dylan Seff, John Pitts, Kevin Lee, Chip Berthelot, and Steve Mohtashami.

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