YES Prep Public Schools

Oil & Gas Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament

March 5, 2020

On Thursday, March 5, 2020, YES Prep Public Schools (YES Prep) and Houston’s leaders in the oil and gas industry and philanthropic community, including YES Prep Board Chair Mark Gregg and Chairman Emeritus Joe Greenberg, hosted the 15th Annual Oil & Gas Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament at The Corinthian in Downtown Houston. More than 550 guests attended the record-breaking event that raised over $1.65 million to support YES Prep’s 19 campuses across Houston, which serve over 14,000 students in grades 6 through 12. The funds will also support opening and operating the first ever YES Prep elementary schools.

Roughly 74 corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors and their guests attended the event that raised over $810,000 through sponsorships and an additional $840,000 through night of giving at the tournament. In a thrilling final round, tournament emcee Bill Heuer of iHostPoker crowned Kevin Lee, seated at the Vitol table, the winner of the 2020 tournament. 

The Oil & Gas Texas Hold 'Em 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 $15 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. YES Prep was founded in 1998 with the vision that every child in Houston receives equitable access to a public school that delivers an excellent, college-ready education. In August, YES Prep will open its first two of 10 elementary schools in our city. By 2024, YES Prep will serve 23,000 students adding 10,000 new seats in high-performing schools across the Houston public education ecosystem.

Veteran educator and YES Prep CEO, Mark DiBella, was thrilled with the success of the Poker event to further the mission of YES Prep to support college readiness for every student. DiBella said, “The phenomenal success of this fundraising event ensures that YES Prep will remain the highest performing public school system in Houston. Almost 97% of our students attend A & B schools—by far the highest percentage in the greater Houston area, and we are on a path to quickly become the first “A district” in the greater Houston area. 100% of our graduating seniors are accepted to at least one college or university, including the nation’s most prestigious higher education institutions, thanks in large part to the can-do business climate in Houston.  This investment is transforming the future of our great city as we strive to lead Houston forward.” To enjoy photographs from the event, click here

Thank you to our generous 2020 sponsors!

To support the Oil & Gas Texas Hold 'Em Tournament, click here

If you are interested in learning more about this event, contact Special Events Manager Caitlin Monteith at

Photos of guests and play at the 15th Annual YES Prep Oil & Gas Texas Hold 'Em Tournament 

Press from the 2020 tournament