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Act 3: Harrah's Today, Gone Tomorrow

TAL producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of a woman who sued the casino where she lost her inheritance, saying that it was to blame, not her. The story was inspired by a chapter in The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.


Host Ira Glass and producer Robyn Semien get a blackjack lesson from Andy Bloch, who played for the MIT blackjack team. He teaches them the basics of card-counting, the technique that gives players an advantage against the house — enough of an advantage that most casinos will ask you to leave if they catch you doing it.

Act 2: Know When To Walk Away, Know When To Run

Ira travels to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, gets hooked, and tries to figure out what it would mean if he'd ditch his job in radio to become a professional card player. What he learns: A professional gambler can suffer two heartbreaking losses back-to-back, costing him over $100,000, and moments later, at the casino bar, calculate the million-to-one odds of his unlikely his head.

Act 1: Reservations

Alix Spiegel reports on an entire community that's turned its back on easy money—for now. Nine years ago a native American community in Minnesota—the Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe—built a casino.