home
RSS
March 11th, 2012
01:20 AM ET

My Take: Jesus would be OK with card counting

Editor's Note: David Drury is featured in the documentary "Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” and is writing a book about his card-counting adventures.

By David Drury, Special to CNN

(CNN)–“Shackled by a heavy burden/'neath a load of guilt and shame/ then the hand of Jesus touched me/ and now I am no longer the same.”

So begins the popular William Gaither hymn. By popular, I mean Elvis once recorded a version of it, which is what it takes for a hymn anymore.

When I stumbled into a church on the outskirts of Las Vegas one Sunday morning in 2007, I was shackled with my own heavy burden of sorts. I had $80,000 in cash hidden on my person. It was crammed into pockets, stuffed into socks and strapped beneath my clothes. The pastor was just getting his sermon fired up when I slipped into a back row with all the grace of a stiff-limbed Frankenstein.

So much for going unnoticed.

The pastor stopped midsentence and stared my way. Had he cleared his throat or even made an offhanded comment about punctuality, I would have understood. Instead, he called my first and last name into the microphone, and every head turned.

Believe it or not, I had never been to this church. While I traveled to Vegas often, my time was spent in casinos, not churches.

Blackjack is a beatable game. With card counting, perfect decision-making and plenty of capital, you can gain and cash in on an advantage against the house. East Coast college students, known as the MIT Team, used the method to plunder casinos in the 1980s and 1990s, inspiring books and movies and making card counting famous. But people have been employing this winning strategy in casinos for 50 years.

Mark Treas stands outside of a casino.

A card counter assigns a value to every card as it is dealt out of the shoe. This creates a running count that always changes and allows a player to determine when a statistical advantage falls to him or her, by virtue of more aces and face cards than usual being poised to appear. More faces mean the dealer will bust more often.

More aces mean more natural blackjacks, which pay the player at a higher rate. A card counter keeps bets low when the casino has the statistical advantage and raises them high when the advantage shifts to them.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

When I lost my Seattle office job in 2006, this was the strange career path down which I found myself traveling. I was not alone.

It started when I met a guy at church named Ben. He had made a small fortune counting cards. Ben was putting a team together comprising people he’d found through mostly church connections — pastors, worship leaders and students of theology. This was the team I trained for and joined. As card counters, our common faith was incidental, but as team members it held us together.

A scene from the new documentary Holy Rollers about Chrstians who count cards at casinos.

We took our craft to casinos, from Vegas to Atlantic City to Biloxi, Mississippi, to Bremerton, Washington. We won millions of dollars. The money was not funneled into any ministry or religious consortium.

Instead, the winnings were split between those who invested in the operation, those who managed the team - which ran between 10 and 25 players – and the players, who didn’t risk any of their own money at the tables. As a player I made what amounted to a modest annual salary with no financial risk and maintained, on average, a 10-hour workweek.

We returned home with the gift of time to our ministries and families and, yes, to plenty of questions.

If the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, as the Bible suggests, what business did a bunch of Christians have throwing around big money on a game of chance? For us, chance had nothing to do with it.

To count cards is to remove the gamble. Anything can happen in one hand or on one night, but slowly, over time, the advantage you earn by executing perfect playing decisions and betting according to your advantage bears itself out. Playing the stock market is much more of a gamble.

Yes, money is attractive, and we dealt with a lot of it. Tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. You can’t withdraw $50,000 from a casino ATM and it can take a half -day of red tape to get as much out of an account at a big bank. Our assets had to be liquid.

Until we had the better sense to put it in safety deposit boxes, we kept our cash in freezers and under mattresses. For our investors and for tax reasons, we were tasked with reporting our wins and losses accurately, but at any time any one of us could have pocketed thousands without a hint of suspicion.

While we were left to weigh our own motives, as a team we were forced to trust one another with money that could have collapsed the business if it ever went missing.

We were an uncommon fellowship, to be sure. But while we never claimed a full understanding on how God viewed our activities, I felt that he never left the room. He was ever present in our musings, discussions and deliberations. With the math on our side, we took confidence in the fact that that we lacked any of the traits of wild gamblers. But were we deceptive by hiding our intentions at the tables? Were we providing a service to the world by playing a card game? The answers varied.

Mark Treas baptized a woman before heading off to a casino to card count in the documentary 'Holy Rollers.'

Which is worse? To declare your path the righteous one and retire all questions of God’s will to the back of your mind, or to seek them out?

We chose the latter, engaging the hard questions as they arose rather than pretending to corner the market on righteousness. We wrestled with them in a way that we came to know intimately the stink of our own individual natures. But there was something pure born out of abandoning an easy, comfortable existence for a true fellowship with my teammates that came with plenty of hard questions.

Casinos have a dubious reputation as the gateway to vice and temptation. I think that’s unfair. I had Internet access and a bar around the corner from my home, so the casinos never represented any particular threat to my morality I didn’t already have at my fingertips.

Maybe that day I stumbled into that Las Vegas-area church I was looking for a familiar face in a strange town. For all the secrecy and questions, maybe I was looking for a little validation, too. I knew two of the pastors on staff because they had served at the church of my childhood.

One of those pastors was at the pulpit that day. He called my name out when he recognized me. After the service I had a brief conversation with the other in the church lobby.

“What brings you to Las Vegas?” he asked.

“I’m on a card-counting team.”

“Well, God can change anyone.”

What? I thought.

“I know a young man,” he said, “who came to Las Vegas for a dodgeball tournament. Now he’s on staff with us. Who knows what God has in store for YOU?”

This man of the cloth had essentially stuffed the cloth right in my mouth, as if to say that even I could be saved from whatever silly game I was playing. But he needn’t have tossed me a lifeline because I didn’t need saving.

Engage me. Ask the hard questions. Be confounded as I am confounded. But don’t write me off. We are all in the water together. Faith is a journey, and God calls us into relationship.

I remember a man at my table once who was furious with the aggressive way I was playing. “A fool and his money are soon parted,” he said in a huff. For six years I stood ready as ever to be the fool. But me and the money, by way of card-counting wins, never parted.

The team ended with the making of a documentary about our journey. My blackjack career ended with it. I have taken to writing my tales in the hopes of forging a new journey that doesn’t involve stacks of cash. I guess I am a gambling man after all.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Drury.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (1,821 Responses)
  1. Four Jumps to Insanity

    ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
    Is that enough to pay for my sins ?

    March 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • JT

      'fraid not. You're still destined for an eternity in flames. Enjoy HELL.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Please tell me what the combustible material will be ? Ever take a chemistry course ? Combustion takes TIME. Do you know what THAT means ? Idiot.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • bff

      JT,
      Hell? Really? You believe in that? Come on. What adult truely believes in that any more?

      March 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  2. air

    Is anyone else as tired as I am of all this "asking if Jesus would" stuff?
    Why don't they just use their own minds once in a while.

    March 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  3. god is a imaginary toy for mentally retarded pinheads!

    typical bible thumper
    preach the bible to the world
    but! never apply it to urself!
    murder all religions!!

    March 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Proud Atheist

      Very Atheist of you.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Credenza

      I wonder if you're still living your name 2 seconds after your death?

      March 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Hey imaginary pinhead, i usually don't criticize grammer, punctuation and spelling, but if u r going to call people "mentally retarded pinheads" then at least make sure the grammer of your freakin' alias is correct!

      ...an imaginary...

      not
      "...a imaginary..."

      March 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Psst

      b4bigbang,

      It's 'grammar', not 'grammer'.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  4. Ramblinman

    I card count and have made a couple million 🙂 if anyones interested i can teach you for a nominal fee

    March 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • god is a imaginary toy for mentally retarded pinheads!

      i have no money
      BUT!!!!!
      i will suck u off and swallow ur baby goo if u teach me!!!
      ps. i am a hairy italian fisherman(that turn u on?)

      March 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      My group has been kicked out of Santa Anita. We picked off the Pick Six once too often. Thank goodness for internet racing !

      March 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  5. Jew converted to Christianity.. Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things...

    † I'm also a priest who loves boys.

    March 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Proud Atheist

      Even though I'm an Atheist, you are wrong. Just because few priests abused some children does not mean all hundreds of thousands of priests and bishops worldwide are the same. There are psycho people from every religion and non-religion.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Jew converted to Christianity.. Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things...

      But luckily in the priesthood, I can get away with it without any criminal prosecution. Thank you God!

      March 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  6. Kate

    This article is about blackjack but not about blackjack at all. C'est la vie. Well done, David.

    March 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  7. religion is a joke- god is make-believe

    atheism is the only absolute truth. you Bible bangers are no more than fire starters cloaked in stupidity.

    March 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Say Bonjour to Hell 🙂

      March 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • BurstBubble

      My dad always said there are no atheists in fox holes. I don't believe you know what you are talking about. You are like a person of so long ago who said, " the world is flat". Proof is a funny mistress..... Best wishes...

      March 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • bff

      burstBubble,
      You are responding to Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, right?

      March 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • BurstBubble

      at bff
      I was responding to "religion is a joke- god is make believe".

      March 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • bff

      The ones who said "the world is flat" were the uneducated, usually religious ones. And proof of god exists?
      You need to explain the contradictions in your comment.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • BurstBubble

      bff
      Thanks for point that out about my comment. Sure I'll explain it. Actually, it was the educated "priests" generic term for Catholic church ministers. They were the ones that were educated, yet they didn't believe what the scientists ( will you allow me to say this in generality?) were telling them. This person, aka "religion is a joke- god is make believe", is I am assuming an educated person, yet because of their close mindedness can't tell that there is more out in the world. He interprets God, like the priests or whomever thought "the world was flat". Does that work or do I need to explain it differently?

      March 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • bff

      Burst,
      What is the correct way to interpret god?

      March 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I'm a Gay Atheist... just to let you know 🙂

    March 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Keith

      I know where you're going when you die

      March 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Keithy, take a Physics course. No one *goes* any*where*, except in space-time. The spiritual realm has no space-time.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • ToughPoo

      No Keith, you sadly think you know where you're going when you die, and I'll bet you get a big surprise. You're a judgmental hater, and that's not very nice Keith.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Hellaheckadeca

      You might be able to say.... He's a.. Gaythiest. YYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

      March 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I wonder if the same person stealing Tom's name here is the one who stole mine earlier. I wonder if it is the same person who stole that long, droning name from that christian poster.

      I wonder why this person/people are too cowardly to post their own opinions under their own made up name? It's anonymous. No need to be afraid.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Probably, tally.

      I get a kick out of seeing the f@ c kwits get their rocks off here.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  9. Matthew

    Seriously why are 80% of the comments here posted by Atheists?! LOL seems like they hate religion yet they are the ones who post on religious forums and topics LOL

    March 11, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Because religion is passing away. The world is moving past the Age of Religion. It's not necessary any longer, and has been proven false and illogical. So sad. Too bad. 50 years from now, it will be gone. The angry desert gods do not need to be appeased, or require sacrifices any more. The Singularity is near.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Agnostic Lady

      Religion has been around for thousands of years, and 6 billion belongs to a religion, while 1 billion don't. Sorry, but there's NO way religion will ever be gone. Christianity and Islam keeps growing.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      100,000 years from now, no one will care about Yeshua bar Josef, from ancient Palestine. The minute Ho'mo sapiens leaves Earth, it will all be a thing of the past.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Human knowledge is growing at a parabolic rate, now doubles every ten years, for the first time in human history. Religion WILL be gone soon.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Agnostic Lady

      Hun you said 50 years from now... that's why I told you religion will not go away.

      BTW I see nothing wrong with Judeo-Christian anyway.... it's not Islam where you get stoned to death if you leave the religion.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Agnostic Lady

      Sry you're absolutely wrong with that. Religion has nothing to do with knowledge. There are many people who are highly educated and are religion, as well as many nonbelievers who are very educated.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Proud Atheist

      Christianity and Islam are growing, while other religion are slightly declining.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Religion is declining in the advanced countries. It will be gone soon. A few generations of no indoctrination of children..good bye religion. Christianity/Judism is bogus..based on the Yahweh myth. Google it.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Freedom of speech, sparky, and a public message board. You gotta love that Const.itution. Unless, of course, you're Keith. Then you hate the Const.itution and pretty much everything else about America.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  10. Jew converted to Christianity..

    Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things...

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here are posted by closet Atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate!

    †† Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator ††

    March 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Observer

      Copy and paste nonsense from a troll.

      IGNOR.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • me138

      what a dork!

      March 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      He prays to atheists. He is SO stupid, he doesn't even know what "prayers go to" means.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Hellaheckadeca

      As a card carrying member of the National Athiest Wizard Alliance, I can attest to these facts. Everything this user has posted is an undeniable fact.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      † Well if you say so.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      †††††† Hey, look at that. I'm holier than thou. ††††††

      March 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      "Jew converted to Christianity.."

      Is your god so feeble that you must lie about non-believers to defend him? Is your own faith so frail that you must falsely denigrate others to feel good about your belief? If your god wants you to lie, why did he strictly forbid it in his commandments? If there is indeed a hell, your lies will condemn you to burn with the rest of us.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  11. WilmaRidesAPony

    I could really go for some crack rock.

    March 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  12. Keith

    If I was president I would outlaw gambling along with atheism and gayness. If you want to do any of those things then we'll put you on the boat with all the illegals and send you to Tacoland!

    March 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, sweetie, did you figure out that Obama isn't Muslim yet?

      March 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • ToughPoo

      Well Keith, most people thank God that you're not President, of anything. Where did you come up with your "gayness" garbage? You know what you're going to find out when you march your butt up to the pearly gates? You'll find out that hatred is NOT a quality that God condones. Meanwhile, would you like to bash anyone else while you're on a roll?

      March 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Keith,

      Incredibly thoughtless. Amazing.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Keith, what would you allow?

      March 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • iceaxdave

      Do you mean Muslim on the OUTSIDE or Muslim on the INSIDE?

      March 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Observer

      iceaxdave,

      He's neither so it doesn't matter.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Keith

      I'd allow prayer in schools and for kids to learn the 10 commandments right from kindergarten! We need to make this a strong god fearing nation again and not something run by sharia law!

      March 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • peter

      Let me guess college wasn't high on your list of priorities.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Observer

      Force religious beliefs and orientations.

      100% thoughtless.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Hellaheckadeca

      KIETH 2012!!! YOU HAVE MY VOTE GOOD SIR!

      March 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      King Keith...one problem. They forgot to teach you about congress. ††††††

      March 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Keith

      Well when Santorum wins my dream will be a little closer to reality! Santorum 2012 God Bless!

      March 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I can't tell if Keith is a troll, or if he really does hate America so much that he wants to destroy it.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Have fun....in your dreams.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • RhondaMO

      I'm with you on illegals they've moved into my area and ruined it. Half the signs are in Spanish these days but jut 10 years ago you barely ever heard or saw Spanish. We need to round them up, put em on a boat, and sink it in the gulf!

      March 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Get over it Rhonda. They're here to stay. 1/3 soon. Your ancestors were immigrants. You're a bigot.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Credenza

      Tom, Tom – There you go again. Stupid one-liners that prove you have nothing to add to an adult discussion. Away you go – Watch Transformers, build a mud pie or find a Rottweiller to talk to.

      March 12, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nah, I'd rather come here to observe, pass judgment, and ridicule those who deserve scorn, like you.

      Although talking to a Rottweiler would be more enlightening than reading your drivel.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  13. Justin

    @ Atheism ect...
    Prayer certainly doesn't change anything or the world would be perfect and EVERYBODY would believe in the fairytale. But sadly, the world isn't perfect, and the majority of people(those with rationale) are not gullible enough to believe in it such story. You have absolutely no evidence to back your theory that prayer changes things. So therefor science will always stump religion until everyone realizes it is irrelevant so that humanity can move on to saving the planet. Does the bible even offer any suggestions as to how we do that?? No, because the bible doesn't even know the basics of astronomy. I'm sorry but prayer will do nothing for you besides stressing your mind out and offering disappointment.

    March 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Credenza

      Scientist – "belief in gravity and dark matter is not faith – we can see its effects; measure it repeatedly; understand the way it works even if we. don't understand its underlying mechanisms."

      Student – " But presumably you have faith in these beliefs?"

      Scientist – "Oh,yes absolutely"

      That my friend is no different to believing in God. We see nature; the seasons;; miracles of birth; individual fingerprints for every person. We see miracles of healing in Lourdes as direct answers to prayer [MEDICALLY verified] . We can see the
      effects; measure them repeatedly and understand the way they work even if we don't understand the underlying healing mechanisms.

      And we have faith in THAT belief. So to mock OUR faith but insist YOUR faith is better / superior / more credible – is to show ignorance and a lack of intelligent thought and analysis. YES?

      March 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I have evidence that prayer changes things but the atheists ignore it....

      March 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Seth

      God created Gravity and all things science hold dear, including astronomy. Man has only discovered science(s). The bible doesn't speak of saving the earth but savings souls. Genesis 1:26 clues you in that god created the earth and all things for man to subdue and take charge. Stop hugging trees and putting grass, trees and nature above god.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Seth,
      Please explain how god *began* the creative act BEFORE space-time existed ?

      March 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Credenza, you are aptly named. You're as smart as a piece of furniture.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Credenza

      Tom,Tom, the Piper's Son – The conversation with this scientist was recorded! Smart Alec. But with the name of a kids nursery rhyme, I really don't expect an intelligent comment from you.

      The fact is you can't ARGUE with my reasoning here. So by stooping to juvenile abuse I take it you concede the comment! Thank you.

      March 12, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are named for a piece of furniture, Credenza. That's a fact. You're no smarter than one. That's apparent from your inane posts.

      "The conversation was recorded." Yeah, dumbbell, I have a recording of a hamster singing opera.

      It's so much fun to watch you morons hang yourselves.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  14. svann

    Most people that try card counting lose money at it. Its not as easy as they would have you think.

    March 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • ToughPoo

      If it were easy, everyone would do it. The problem here is that too many people are okay with big business doing whatever it takes to make a profit, regardless of who gets hurt, but point their religious pinkies at human beings living their lives. Not hurting anyone, but every knows that God loves big business. There's NO problem to outsource jobs to the 3rd world countries, just to pay them pennies/hr, work 15-hour days with no benefits. For those who believe this, I believe you're in for a rude awakening.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  15. ToughPoo

    Yeah, I get that Eman. I also get that businesses that aren't above cheating their customers, shouldn't whine when their customers figure ways to beat them. In your eyes, "businesses" should be able to do whatever it takes to make a profit. Regardless of who gets hurt in the process. I say, go ahead, but expect that there will be those who figure you out and if counting cards is your biggest sin, whoop it up.

    March 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  16. Jay

    Don, thanks for writing this. As a christian pro poker player for the pas 8 years I have dealt with many of the same questions and stigmas that you talk about. Good to here that I'm not the only one. I agree with you 100pct that I would much prefer people to ask me the tough questions, attempt to come to an understanding than the typical blank look/rash judgement that I often receive in Christian circles. Ultimately I've come to a peace with God with what I do even if others can't understand it.

    March 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Trotter123

      It's ridiculous to think gambling is a sin anyways. Every state has a lottery, and they use the money for education, yet sports betting and poker rooms are somehow "sins"? So basically, the states are saying that if your odds are 50 million to 1 of winning, the gambling is okay, but if your odds are closer to even money, it's a sin. Hypocrites. And God may not play dice, but he never said you couldn't, so roll them bones, it's good for you...

      March 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  17. bigfoot

    Blackjack for Jesus. What's next?

    March 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  18. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    The universe is wonderful. 🙄
    Move the bar at the bottom when it loads:

    http://primaxstudio.com/stuff/scale_of_universe/

    March 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      Unfortunately, it doesn't include the smaller scale beyond quantum foam which is represented by the amount of time christians spend reasoning things out.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  19. terry

    Of course there was gambling in bible times. what do you think it meant when they"cast lots" for Jesus' cloak before he was even dead?

    March 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • svann

      in acts 1:26 the apostles cast lots to decide who would replace Judas Iscariot.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Brad

      Does prayer change God?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Mama

      Does prayer change diapers?

      March 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • A J

      Yes it is. No it doesn't.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Mama

      Sh!t.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • JT

      This fucker keeps posting this same shit over and over. Ignore this piece of shit.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • mudbone9

      Why are things so black and white with you religious nuts. Seems that people that think they are closer to god also think they are better than everyone else.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Prayer does not change diapers, nor does it change oil. I keep hoping prayer will change the litter in the cat box, but no joy there, either.

      The thing about prayer is that the only way it gets answered is if a human does the real work. Ungrateful christians very often thank their god for the hard work done by humans.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dayum. I was really hoping to score on the litter box thing.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

Archive