April 8, 2011

Know When To Fold ‘Em

When is it time to walk away, and when is it time to run? This week we have the story of an entire country deciding whether to give up on just one of its citizens, when to hold 'em in order to win nearly a million dollars in poker, and a new story from Dave Dickerson.


Host Ira Glass speaks with Jim McManus, whose book Positively Fifth Street inspired Ira to start playing poker. Jim talks about holding and folding, why a poker novice is sometimes the toughest player to beat...and the Cuban Missile Crisis. (8 1/2 minutes)

Act Two

Kings Do Not Fold

Producer Nancy Updike shares a pattern that she's noticed recently: eleven steps that Middle Eastern dictators have been taking on the path to losing power. (7 minutes)
Act Three

Gin Rummy

One of the principles of treating alcoholism is that there's hope for everyone. You never fold your cards. But there are also places known as "wet houses," controversial shelters for alcoholics where they are allowed to keep drinking. Reporter Marc Sanchez visited St. Anthony House, a wet house in St. Paul, to learn how it works. Marc is a producer at Minnesota Public Radio, where he works on a feature called "Minnesota Sounds." (10 1/2 minutes)

Act Four

Solitaire and Everything's Wild

There's a part of Brazil that was almost all rainforest until the 1970s, and over the next few decades a million people moved in, cutting down the forest and building towns and cities. Monte Reel was the South American correspondent for the Washington Post in the mid 1990s, when he started hearing rumors of a "wild man," the last member of a tribe, who lived completely alone in this area's remaining forest. Reel's book about the quest to find and save this man is called The Last of the Tribe. The book also has a video trailer. (14 1/2 minutes)