Players go “all in” at record-breaking 14th Annual Oil & Gas Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament

More than 550 guests attended YES Prep’s 14th Annual Oil & Gas Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament at The Corinthian in Downtown Houston on March 7, 2019. The record-breaking event raised an unprecedented $1.42 million to support YES Prep’s 18 campuses across Houston.

Among YES Prep’s supporters was our Board chair Mark Gregg, who shared, “YES Prep’s Poker Tournament is the premier fundraising event in our city, drawing industry professionals from our community, nationally and internationally. As YES Prep Board Chair and a beneficiary of the can-do business climate in Houston, I am passionate about the mission of YES Prep Public Schools: increasing the number of students from underserved communities in Houston who graduate from college prepared to lead. YES Prep is literally transforming the future of our great city.”

YES Prep’s Poker Tournament is the premier fundraising event in our city, drawing industry professionals from our community, nationally and internationally.

Night of the Event

Over 75 corporate, foundation and individual sponsors and their guests attended the event that raised $835,000 through sponsorships and an additional $585,000 was raised through tournament play the night of the event. Ben Marshall, Managing Partner of long-time tournament supporter Vitol, surprised attendees by announcing an additional $50,000 matching gift from the Vitol Foundation.

In a thrilling final round, tournament emcee, Bill Heuer of iHostPoker, crowned Mickey Barrett, seated at the Vitol table, the winner of the 2019 tournament.

Thanks to our supporters

Veteran educator and YES Prep CEO, Mark DiBella, was thrilled with the success of the poker event.  DiBella said, “The national college completion rate for children in the bottom economic quartile is 9%. YES Prep is leading the nation on college completion rates– more than quadrupaling the national average for children from similar demographics and proving what is possible when our brilliant students are given the access they deserve. Yet, we will not be satisfied until at least 75% of our alumni go on to graduate from college—mirroring the national average for children from the highest economic quartile.”

The Oil & Gas Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament, or the Poker Tournament, is an annual event, earmarked by the oil and gas industry of Houston. Since the first tournament in 2006, the event has raised over $12 million and is attended by individuals donning attire ranging from business casual to casino chic to rodeo-ready from various business sectors from across the world in support of YES Prep.

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