Houston Oil Executives Up the Ante at YES Prep Poker TournamentFebruary 19, 2010, 11:48 AM EST
By Edward Klump
Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Houston, the energy capital of the world, seemed more like the Las Vegas Strip last night.
About 600 employees from oil and natural-gas companies gathered downtown for more than five hours of Texas Hold ‘Em as YES Prep Public Schools held its sold-out fifth annual oil and gas poker fundraiser.
Companies such as Marathon Oil Corp. paid $5,000 to $25,000 per table. Individuals could buy a seat for $600 each.
YES Prep, a charter-school system that requires students to be accepted to a four-year college before graduating, said it raised about $800,000 before expenses on the tournament, which has swelled from 180 people its first year.
“I’ve been in the oil and gas business for 26 years and basically you’re either playing golf, shooting skeet or going to some gala,” said Joe Greenberg, president of Alta Resources LLC and chairman of YES Prep’s board. “This is by far the most fun event, in my opinion, in the oil and gas business every year.”
Workers in casino attire dealt cards and counted chips in the Corinthian, a neoclassical building with columns rising 35 feet (11 meters). The event included door prizes such as round- trip airfare and a set of King Cobra SZ irons.
The tournament winner, David Baggett, founder and managing partner of Opportune LLP, only received congratulations because of Texas gambling restrictions.
“Essentially, you’re playing against your peers for bragging rights and the winner gets basically their picture in Oil and Gas Investor magazine,” said Ryan Dolibois, chief development officer at YES Prep.
The YES Prep system, chartered in 1998, said it receives about 80 percent of its funding from state and federal sources, with the rest from donors such as foundations and corporations.
The board of trustees includes energy executives such as Greenberg, as well as Douglas Selman, who is retired from Exxon Mobil Chemical Co., Janet Clark, chief financial officer at Marathon, and Alan Harris, chief development officer at Spectra Energy Corp.
Friday, February 19, 2010
"Houston Oil Executives Up the Ante at YES Prep Poker Tournament"
Hedge fund managers and banksters fund NYC charters; the Daley political machine and his cronies run Chicago charters; and one of the biggest charter chains in Houston is funded by oil and energy execs looking for tax breaks.
From Business Week: