|Columbia Pictures has announced that a film based on the exploits of the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Blackjack Team, 21, is to be released in late-March.|
Based on the best-selling book Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich, 21 stars Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne and Kate Bosworth and revolves around a group of MIT students who learn in 1979 how to use maths-based tactics to beat casinos at selected blackjack games.
The origin of the MIT Blackjack Team was down to a mini-course called How To Gamble If You Must taught at MIT over what is known as an Independent Activities Period (IAP). A number of MIT students who often played recreational poker attended the course and learned about blackjack and card counting methods.
The group tried their luck in Atlantic City but failed to make an impact and all but two lost money. However, these two players were determined to continue and started a further IAP course with more detailed and extensive training.
This saw the creation of a new team of four players with a $5,000 stake from an investor that travelled again to Atlantic City for another run at the blackjack tables.
Over the next several weeks the team achieved considerable success and the achievement revitalised the MIT project with new members and intensive training. But, the initial success was not repeated and resulted in internal feuding, resignations and the break-up of the project, reportedly with at least one million dollars in the kitty.