By Joss Wood, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
The Church Team is a group of Christians who claim to have won millions playing blackjack. A new cinema documentary, “Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” tells their story.
The team was started by two young blackjack players, Ben and Collin. Word of their success spread from their families through their church communities, and soon the pair were being asked to teach other Christians how to beat the game.
Within a year they had built up a team of 25 card counting team members, including several pastors, and were making $100,000 a month. Investors from the Christian community provided them with over $1.5 million to bankroll their gambling.
One pastor member of the team said, ““I hate casinos … they just suck goodness out of the world.” The team convinced themselves that they were taking money out of the sinful casino operators’ pockets and putting it to good use within the Christian community.
The moral dilemmas of their situation are starkly exposed when their income suddenly falls and they suspect that some members of the team may be cheating. There’s a black sheep in the blackjack team. One accuser summarises his evidence against the suspected cheater, “The Holy Spirit told me!” Their relationships with family and other church members also suffered as they were accused of living off immoral earnings, and imperilling their souls.
Director Bryan Storkel has secured amazing access to the members of the team and the casinos where they played. Using actual footage recorded by the players, he is able to show how the team uses disguises and acts out roles in order to deceive the casino security systems.
Bryan has tried to go beyond what Kevin Spacey depicted in the film “21”, and provide a full and realistic account of how a card counting blackjack team works.
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