Poker playing priest is the new nick name of a Catholic paint-ball playing Father Andrew Trapp who made big news recently for his appearance on Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge. Not only did the poker playing priest appear, but he almost made it through the last round. Though he didn’t win, he was able to raise $100,000 toward the construction of a new church in South Carolina.
St. Michael Catholic Church in Garden City Beach needs over $1 million to build a new church. Father Andrew Trapp made a dent in that figure by winning $100,000 in the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge televised poker tournament.
Trapp’s final episode aired Sunday, and was watched by he and dozens of fellow church members at St. Michael’s. Trapp said he hopes his brief television fame shows people that priests are normal people. “This is an opportunity, hopefully, for people to see a young guy that’s a priest, that’s normal, that can have fun, have friends and try to do something great for the church.”
Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge left audiences stunned in October when S.Carolina poker playing priest Father Andrew Trapp beat NBA Champ John Salley, Team Poker Stars Pro Vanessa Rousso and her teammate and four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu to win $100,000 and a chance to come back earlier this month for a crack at the $1,000,000 grand prize.
Fr. Trapp, the poker playing priest lost the final round of Fox TV’s “Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge” on Dec. 27; but he still won $100,000. The winner was a 9-11 first responder at the World Trade Center.
Known as “Father Rambo” for his paintball play, the poker priest held rosary beads in a hand against Salley. After beating the former Pistons Bad Boy, Trapp shocked Rousso, and took home the six-figure prize when poker star Negreanu misread the strength of Trapp’s cards.
Trapp immediately donated all winnings to the St. Michael’s Church in Garden City, SC, where he’s associate pastor. His goal was to win the million dollar prize to help St. Michael’s build a new church, which is currently $1.5 million dollars short of its goal. In an interview, Trapp said, “I think I represented the church and the priesthood well, which was my main goal…I think my parishioners will be proud of me.
St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Garden City, S.C., is in a four-year, $6.5 million fundraiser for a new church. “Our church family’s grown. We have over 3,000 [people] and 400 families,” said C. Griffith, a St. Michael’s member for more over 20 years.
Overcrowding isn’t the only issue at the Garden City church. Should a strong hurricane go through the area, St. Michael’s probably wouldn’t be standing in the aftermath.
As of Christmas, about $4 million was raised for building a church that’ll be at par with safety codes, hold over 900 people and bear hurricane-force winds. It’s a big upgrade from the old church. The project hopes to give new hope to worshipers at St. Michael’s.
Trapp’s played his role in bringing a new church to his parishioners. The poker playing priest appeared on the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge playing for $1 million wanting to break ground on the multi-million dollar construction project.
Trapp lost in the final round of the show to poker pro, Negreneau, but walked away from the competition with $100,000. The cash, he says, is going straight to who needs it the most — his parish.
The poker playing priest‘s winnings from Hollywood is putting quite the dent in construction costs for a new and improved St. Michael’s. There’s just $1.5 million to go, and those who gather at church each week say they’re more than thankful for such a generous donation to their future.
Poker playing priest went to take part in the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge on behalf of his parish on a mission to raise cash for a new church.