Episode 690: All In : Planet Money We go inside a professional poker tournament. It turns out some of the smartest players aren't just betting on themselves, but are actually staking their competition.
NPR logo Episode 690: All In

Episode 690: All In

Julie Jacobson/AP
Friends congratulate Jake Balsiger during the World Series of Poker Final Table event in 2012.
Julie Jacobson/AP

This episode originally ran in 2016.

At professional poker tournaments, players pay thousands of dollars to enter the competition. By the end of it, nearly all will have lost that initial investment. But that's just the surface level. Beneath that is a secret world of betting and swapping.

Today on the show, we talk to a professional poker player who lost on the first day of a major tournament but still took home the biggest payout of his life. And we have an update on how his strategy has paid off over time.

Music: "My Life With You" and "Pacifica."

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