The house always wins

“The romantic, reckless, very lucky Colonel John Charles Fremont stumbled down into northern Nevada from Oregon in 1843. Against all advice, he decided to cross the Sierras in winter. It was a mild winter, so he discovered Lake Tahoe and returned East in glory to write a best-selling account of the expedition. Three years later the Donner Party set out from virtually the same spot but encountered a less clement winter and famously perished. This, one might say, was how gambling began in Nevada.” – George Scialabba, “In Nevada”

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