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Priest’s poker haul helps church

Wed., Dec. 23, 2009, midnight

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A South Carolina priest missed the $1 million top prize in a poker tournament to be televised this weekend, but he won $100,000 for his church and he hopes his participation gives viewers a “fun twist” on their perceptions of the priesthood.

The Rev. Andrew Trapp said he entered the Million Dollar Challenge in hopes of putting St. Michael Catholic Church “super close” to its $5.5 million fundraising goal to build a new facility. The church is located near Myrtle Beach.

The top prize went to retired New York Police detective Mike Kosowski. But Trapp won $100,000, untaxed, in a semifinal round in October for the church’s building fund.

Trapp, 28, said he started playing poker in middle school at family gatherings. It was in seminary that he learned Texas Hold ’em.

“We just played for fun,” he said. “It was just a way to hang out with each other and to enjoy each other’s company.”


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