There is a mountain in Arizona called Rich Hill where after every heavy rainstorm, gold literally pops up out of the ground.
It's true. No lie.
The saddle-shaped mountain lies about six miles north of Wickenburg, 'Dude Ranch Capital of the World.' It's a rugged mountain that takes about 90 minutes to climb to the top. There are rattlesnakes and Gila Monsters along the trail, and you will spot an occasional coyote or mountain lion slinking off into the rocks.
Back in the late 1800s, a party of explorers camped at the base of the mountain along a stream. One of their burros got loose and trotted up the side of Rich Hill. A member of the party chased after it and found the animal sipping water in a stream on top of the mountain.
As he tethered the burro, he saw something glinting in the stream. It was gold. The top of the mountain was literally covered with gold nuggets.
Every gambler dreams of such a discovery. Imagine finding a game where you win consistently and there are no downsides.
Well, dream on. Very rarely does a person find himself in a win-win situation with little or no risk of losing. Edward O. Thorp, the California math professor, discovered such a game in blackjack when he used a computer to develop a winning strategy for the game. He shifted the house odds in his favor and Las Vegas could not stop him from winning until the casinos added more decks to the game to keep him from counting cards.
A master at math and computers, Thorp went on to develop winning strategies for roulette and even the stock market. He is now well advanced in age, independently wealthy, and still challenging the system.
All gamblers have lucky streaks when the street they walk on is literally paved with gold. Doyle Brunson once had 13 straight winning sessions at the Las Vegas poker tables after discovering to his relief that he did not have cancer -- that the tumor in his system was benign. Filled with the renewal of life's energy forces, Brunson went back to his favorite card game and nobody could beat him.
A few years ago, I discovered a game at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA. that filled my pockets with cash. The game was Texas Hold'em, it was limit $4-8 poker, and for weeks I was unbeatable. The other players became disgusted with me. One told my younger brother, John, 'Your brother doesn't play anything but the nuts. That's why we can't beat him.'
What he didn't explain was the phenomenon of why the winning cards were flowing my way.
Like religion, gambling is a mystery. Lady Luck comes and goes, alighting herself on te shoulders of the individuals she selects. It could be you, it could be the person at the end of the table, and it could be me.
I am planning another adventurous journey to Rich Hill one of these days. Yes, the mountain has been worked over by countless gold seekers. They have found a lot of gold in the rocks and streams. The main source of the gold is still to be discovered, but Mother Nature has a way of compensating.
A heavy rainstorm dislodges the heavy gold nuggets and brings them to the surface of the mountain. I have found some of those nuggets on top of Rich Hill and with a little luck will find more. Good luck in your gambling. May you discover your own street of gold. Let the games begin.