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Society / The Seen

Houston’s $1.3 Million Oil and Gas Poker Night

High-Stakes Game Means Big Bucks for a Vital School

BY // 03.08.18
photography Lexy Arroyo of Lexy's Lens

Who needs Las Vegas when there’s a serious poker match up going on right here in Houston, one with a charitable bent that means money lost a the gaming tables and spent on the night’s fun is revenue gained for one of the city’s most prominent charter school operations.

The 13th annual Oil & Gas Texas Hold “Em Tournament, held at The Corinthian Houston, brought in record proceeds of $1.3 million for YES Prep. Even before the first hand was dealt, 60 corporate, foundation and individual sponsorships had contribute $850,000 for YES Prep’s 17 schools that serve 12,500 students. Once the cards started flying, the dollars soared another $450,000.

In the final round, card ace Rick White, seated at the Merrill Lynch table, was pronounced tournament winner by emcee Bill Heuer of iHostPoker.

Applause, applause for all 500 oil and gas industry participants, including YES Prep board chair Mark Gregg and chairman emeritus Joe Greenberg. As poker steering committee member Gregg noted that players came from across the country to try their luck and test their poker faces against their brethren in the energy industry.

Bringing home the importance of the YES Prep mission, CEO Mark DiBella noted, that the program is “leading the nation in college completion rates, more than quintupling the national average for children from similar demographics and proving what is possible when our brilliant students are given the access they deserve.”

Who: Marty Griffith, Ann Ziker, Matt Williams, Jenny McCarthy, Rachel Steely, Chip Bethelot, Mandy Bush, Danny David, Luis Elizondo-Thomson, John Curtin, Debi Rhodes, Mickey Barrett, Kenley Steeg, Sarah Staub, and Joe Greenberg.

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