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Thread: Holy Rollers: Card Counting Christians Review

  1. #1

    Holy Rollers: Card Counting Christians Review

    Not sure if this is the right forum for this, but I just watched this last night on Netflix and figured I'd give a review and an AP look at this title (note there will be spoilers in this review).

    So this doc follows around the Church Team, a group of christians who decide to count cards in order to raise money for shepherding the flock or some bs. It is funny watching the contrast between the sins of gambling and these christians who are investing in beating the casino. After reading 'How to win 100k by gambling' by Mason Malmuth (lol), one of the founders of the church team discovers card counting. They form an ever-growing team and train others in their conquest of blackjack.
    They explain that you don't need to be a genius to card count (which is true), you just need lots of dedication and practice. One of my complaints is that these guys don't seem to use the team to their full benefit. It never seems like they use any kind of BP strategy and instead just play super aggressive resulting in lots of quick back-offs and barring. They are very proud of backoffs and it seems like they play until they get backed off. Now this is certainly one way to go about it, but I think longevity and hiding your identity are better long-term strategies.
    Another problem with their team is that there is a lot of trust and no way to verify if one team member is lying about results and stealing money. After the team sustains losses that they cannot mathematically explain, they try to figure out why they are not winning as much. One reason seems to be that many of the team members are not keeping up with their training. Another reason is that there is one non-christian on the team. This leads to one of the christians talking to god (lol) and finding that of course the non-christian is thieving. The guy is kicked off the team but for other lol reasons.

    Overall this was an ok watch, doesn't get as in depth to certain points as I'd like and can get repetitive. Overall giving this Two and a half Aces out of Five. If you enjoy stories about blackjack you will probably enjoy some of this.
    Last edited by matos; 01-08-2015 at 11:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review. Yes, this is the right forum for it.

    LOL @ being brought into it by a Malmuth book. Mason isn't exactly known as a titan of advantage play. Mason only succeeded (in book sales and 2+2 ads) because he was in the right place at the right time for the poker boom.

    When did they claim they did this play? Honestly it's very hard to make any kind of real money with AP blackjack these days, even with team play.

  3. #3
    They claimed to have played from 2005 - 2009 in the film, although their wiki page claims 5-11. They also say they won about 3 million. The two founders claim to win about 800k in 1800 hours of total play. Of course it helped that they had over a million in funding allowing for very high max bets.

    As far as Mason and AP play, I've heard Blackjack Essays is a recognized title and am interested in reading than that, but he is definitely not near an authority as people like JG and Wong. Otherwise I agree with you about Mason mostly being known for his poker forum and poker books.

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