A South Carolina priest has won first $25 000 and this weekend another $100 000 on the "Pokerstars Million Dollar Challenge," a new poker game show, advancing substantially the church building fund which is his motivation.
 
The Rev. Andrew Trapp of the St. Michael Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina earned a spot on the show by finishing in the top 10 in an online poker tournament that began with 10 000 contestants. Show executives were apparently impressed with his YouTube video audition at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcY2nVsO4EI. Pokerstars
 
Having progressed so far in the competition, Trapp is now within reach of a $1 million main prize at the Table of Champions in the December climax of the show.
 
In his remarkable progress through the different stages of the game show, Trapp has beaten NBA star John Salley, earning himself a trip to the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January 2010, and National Heads-Up Poker Championship runner-up Vanessa Rousso.
 
Against Rousso Trapp was again successful, earning $25 000 and accepting the choice of a match against famous poker pro Daniel Negreanu with the winner taking $100 000 and a seat at the Table of Champions.
 
On Sunday he won this stage, too.
 
After accepting his Youtube audition, the show's organisers flew Trapp to Los Angeles for the matches.
 
The young priest says all of the prize money he won will be used to build a new church building for his congregation.
 
“It’s very much a temporary structure. It’s not adequate for our current needs. It’s not big enough, especially during the tourist season and during the winter months,” said Trapp.
 
Trapp says he hopes to teach people that gambling in moderation is acceptable in Catholicism, by appearing on the show.
 
“The Catholic Church teaches that there’s nothing morally wrong making a bet or games of chance,” Trapp told a local South Carolina television station.