A documentary film which follows one of the best funded blackjack card counting team in the US whose members are all Christian ministers.
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This week, the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival has been screening the most original, jaw dropping true-story in a documentary format that I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. The documentary, which deserves to win the top prize in its category at the Film Festival, is called “Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians.”
Bryan Storkel , the director of this gem, did a fantastic job on this beauty of a film. The documentary captures four-five year in the lives and the group dynamics of the members of one of the biggest and best funded blackjack card counting team in America. That in itself would have been a great concept for a documentary. Storkel tho hit a natural blackjack with this one. The best funded blackjack card counting team turns out to be made up of pastors and Christian church leaders from the Seattle, Washington area.
The pastors drive around the western part of the United States and play using very similar smart strategies as the world famous MIT blackjack team. Inside the casino, the blackjack team members wear disguises and pretend they don’t know each other. They sit at various blackjack tables and when one of the tables ‘gets hot’, a signal alerts other team members to get into the game and clean house with maximum bets. Casino security is obviously not amused.
The ‘Churchteam’, as the card counting team calls itself, has won millions of dollars which are sent right into their individual church coffers.
The plot thickens when a non-Christian joins the team and things start going downhill with loses and expulsions. The team gets caught and banned playing blackjack card games at almost every casino in the pacific north west and decides on a drastic course of action in order to regain their luck.
Despite what you may think, there is absolutely no Christian mssionary subtext in Holy Rollers or any moral lesson about keeping your faith. The camera faithfully follows the team for years, as it grows from developing and practicing a custom card counting system, to high stakes casino action – through thick and thin.
BlackjackChamp.com gives “Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” – 5 Stars. What the movie Rounders did for poker, Holy Rollers is sure to do for blackjack. This is one movie no casino manager wants you to see.