Faith, God, High-Stakes Gambling: Award-Winning Documentary Picked Up By Gravitas Ventures For Distribution

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Connell Creations announces the acquisition of "Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians."

Ben Crawford: co-founder of the Church Team

The "Church Team" plundered casinos nationwide to the tune of millions of dollars, all the while wrestling with how to justify their dubious activities in the eyes of God.

Move over MIT. Arguably North America’s largest and most well-funded blackjack card counting team was on the other coast—and anchored by churchgoing Christians. Connell Creations Inc. announces a film by director Bryan Storkel following the exploits of the otherwise secretive Church Team as they plunder casinos nationwide to the tune of millions of dollars, all the while wrestling with how to justify their dubious activities in the eyes of God.

Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians has screened at over 25 film festivals around the world, along the way winning eight Best Documentary awards including a $10,000 first prize from the prestigious Arclight Theater in Hollywood. The North American digital rights to the film have been acquired by Gravitas Ventures, who will release the film in partnership with a major studio. The film will be available on Video on Demand and DVD on March 6th.

When a hobby and investment experiment for friends Ben and Colin became a strange new career path, investors came knocking and word spread through an unusual talent pool—churches and Bible studies. An uncommon fellowship began to take shape around the game of high stakes blackjack. Ben and Colin formed a team in which trust was paramount.

“When I first heard about this blackjack team, I knew that this was one of those stories that had to be told,” said director Bryan Storkel. “I immediately saw the conflict in the story; the struggle between the beliefs they were taught, and the new ways in which they were living out their faith.”

In their first year, the Church Team acquired a bankroll of $1.5 million from outside investors, and the team began winning $100,000 a month. In just three short years, they had won over $3 million dollars. In spite of the team’s phenomenal success, many of the pastors, worship leaders and church-planters trained in the art of counting cards battled personal doubts. They found themselves at odds with their own families, congregants, and fellow Christians who feared that they had wandered into morally bankrupt territory. When the team’s winnings decrease drastically, questions start being raised as to whether someone from the team might be stealing from the bankroll. Where trust is sacred and God sees all, is it possible?

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Bryan Storkel

Colin Jones
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