Okay, I confess. I was prowling around at the Cafe and stumbled upon a thread about Texas Hold 'Em effects. Well, one thing led to another and I ended up offering an effect of mine to those folk. Having taken that impulsive leap, it seems fair and just and honorable to release the effect here as well.
As far as I can tell, it is the first card effect that faithfully replicates a round of Texas Hold 'Em. It first appeared on 4/21/07 on The Second Deal forum. It first saw print in my 4th One-Man Parade in The Linking Ring, in the 7/07 issue.
Submitted for your consideration...
In 2004, I fell madly in love with the Poker game, No Limit Texas Hold Em. Since then, countless others have been similarly smitten. No Limit is topical and its hot! The following effect is my homage to this cruel and wondrous game.
EFFECT: Four players remain at the final table of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. The participant freely chooses which seat will receive the dealers button, and she wagers on the seat that she believes will win. Not only does her selected seat win with a Royal Flush, but the performer reveals that he correctly predicted the winning seat!
REQUIREMENTS: A blue deck of cards with card case. A red card case. A sheet of 1 x 1.5 Avery Print or Write Multi-Use labels (item #05434). A piece of Elmers 3/16 black foam board (item #950-224, which is more than youll need, but all I could find.). An Exacto knife. A ruler. A Poker dealers button (www.oldvegaschips.com). 2 chocolate poker chips (www.honestfoods.com).
PREPARATION & SET-UP: Its arts and crafts time! Place the foam core board on a suitable cutting surface. Using your ruler, carefully cut off a strip of foam core that measures 1.25 x 7.5. Then cut this strip into four 1.25 x 1.8 seat markers.
Dash off to your computer and go to www.avery.com Download the appropriate label template. Insert the sheet of labels into your printer. Using black ink, print Seat #1, Seat #2, Seat #3 and Seat #4 on each of four labels. Using red ink, print Winner! on another label; print Seat #3 Wins! on another label; and finally in blue ink, print Seat #4 Wins! on a label.
Peel off the seat labels and firmly affix one to the top of each of the seat markers. Place seat marker #1 in front of you, so that it reads correctly. Turn the marker over, away from you. Peel off the Winner! label and affix it to the top surface of the marker, so that it reads correctly.
Place the dealers button in front of you, so that it reads correctly. Turn it over, away from you. Peel off the Seat #3 Wins! label and affix it to top surface of the Button, so that it reads correctly.
Put the empty red card case in front of you, with the Bicycle logo uppermost and correctly oriented. Turn it over sideways, so that it is now face-down. Peel off the blue Seat #4 Wins! and stick it to the back of the case, so that it is properly oriented.
Place all of your props into the prepared red card case. Stack the two chocolate chips and put them in first. Then put in the seat markers and the dealers button. Put the card case in your jacket pocket.
The face-down deck is arranged as follows, from the top: 10H, AD, KS, 8S, 10C, AC, QS, 9S, 2, AH, JS, 10S, 2, 6H, 2 and AS. Place a downward crimp in the inner right corner of the 2 that resides in 9th position. Case the deck and put it in another handy pocket.
PRESENTATION: In order to elicit the strongest reaction, I recommend that you only perform this effect for people who are familiar with No Limit.
In 2006, 8773 Poker players each paid a $10,000 buy-in to compete in the No Limit Texas Hold Em main event of the World Series of Poker. After days of brutal battling, Jamie Gold was crowned World Champion and took home the first prize of $12,000,000. It was richest payday in the history of sports.
Lets fast-forward to a World Series main event in the not too distant future. The starting field is now well over 10,000 players, with a first place prize of $15,000,000. We are at the final table and only four players remain. In an effort to faithfully capture the frenzied scene, I have some proper Poker props.
Take the prepared case from your pocket, keeping the label side of the case toward you. Open the case and remove all of the props except for one chocolate chip. Momentarily table the props close to you. Obviously, make sure that the Seat #1 marker and the button are face-up, concealing the labels beneath them. Close the card case and table it near you, label side down.
Position the seat markers in a row, just out of your participants reach. The markers should be in 1-2-3-4 order from your left to your right, with a 6 space between each marker. The numbers should be upside down from your perspective, so that they are legible from your participants perspective.
Pick up the button and place it about 2 beyond the row of markers, centered between seats #2 and #3, within reach of your participant. Table the chocolate chip near your participant. (Pic #1)
Since you are a mere rail bird, please do not touch any of the props until I instruct you to do so.
Take the card case from your pocket, remove the deck and put the card case back in your pocket. Hold the deck so that the crimped card is toward you. False shuffle the deck as you deliver the following patter. An overhand jog shuffle works quite well.
I know that youre a skilled No Limit player, but for the benefit of the viewers at home, permit me to explain the function of the button. The sole purpose of the button is to determine where the dealing begins. Prior to the start of the first hand, the dealer deals one card face-up to each player. The player with the highest card gets the button. The hands are then dealt, beginning at the seat to the immediate left of the button. The dealing continues in a clockwise, or right to left fashion, until all of the players have two cards.
Stop false shuffling, and while squaring the deck in your left hand, your left pinky pulls down on the crimped card and catches a break above it.
But today, were going to shamelessly violate official No Limit protocol. You get to choose which seat will be the button. Please slide the button in front of one of the seats.
In regulation games, the button is always slid from seat to seat, so this request seems perfectly normal. If you are worried that your participant might pick up the button and discover the label, subtly emphasize the word slide. No one has ever discovered the label.
So, lets say she nominates seat #3 as the button.
I now invite you to assume the role of Poker Psychic. (Pronounced puh sychic.) Using your heretofore unrecognized powers, which of the remaining seats do you feel will win the hand?
The wording of this instruction prevents your participant from choosing the button as the winning seat. In the early development of this effect, I toyed with the idea of permitting the participant to wager on any of the seats, including the button.
However, this necessitated an additional methodological step. In the final analysis, I didnt feel that this additional degree of freedom strengthened the effect enough to justify the extra step.
As soon as your participant names the winning seat, you spring into action. You must quickly determine how many positions away from the button the winning hand will fall. They will never be more than three positions apart. If the button and the winner fall at positions #1 and #3 or #2 and #4 (regardless of which one falls where), you will immediately know that n = 2.
When any other placements occur, you visually scan from your left to your right, and count how many positions away from the button the winning hand will fall.
Some examples are in order. If the button is seat #1 and the winner is seat #4, obviously n = 3. If the button is seat #4 and the winner is seat #1, n = 1. If the button is seat #3 and the winner is seat #2, n = 3. This is not as confusing as it may initially sound. Just remember to always count from left to right. And when you reach seat #4, the counting wraps around, and continues at seat #1.
Status check: The deck is held in left hand dealing grip, with a left pinky break beneath the 8th card from the top. Your left thumb lightly rests on top of the deck, and your right hand assists in holding the deck.
Thanks to the arrangement of the cards, only two handling scenarios will arise.
If the winner falls 2 positions to the right of the button, your right hand lifts up all the cards above your pinky break, and moves that packet to the right and free of the left hand talon. As this is happening, your left thumb holds the top card of the packet in place and allows it to fall on top of the left hand talon. Immediately replace the right hands packet on top of the talon. Youve merely performed a slip cut. The handy mnemonic: 2 = 1.
If the winner falls 1 position to the right of the button, you perform a slip cut, but your left pinky catches a break beneath the retained top card before it lands on the left hand talon. Immediately bring the right hand packet over the left hand talon and take the broken card square beneath the right hand packet, as your left thumb slips the new top card of the packet onto the talon. (Pic #2, in motion.) Dump the right hand packet back onto the talon. The handy mnemonic: 1 = 2.
If the winner falls 3 positions from the button, you dont need to do anything. The winning hand will automatically arrive at the correct seat. You can lose your pinky break.
As soon as your participant announces her winning seat, carry out the necessary displacement, then square the deck in left hand dealing grip.
Its a tight race among the final four players. Each player has between $20,000,000 and $30,000,000 in tournament chips. With the blinds at $100,000 and $200,000 and a $25,000 ante, the chip leader has changed with every hand. Yes, the anticipation hangs thick in the air, like ripening moss.
I inserted this patter between the moment when she predicts the winner and the moment when she places the chip in front of the winning seat, to provide some brief time misdirection. This was done in an effort to create a false memory for my participant. I want her to falsely remember that I was done shuffling and cutting the cards before she predicted the winner.
Please pick up your chocolate chip wager and place it in front of your designated seat.
Suppose she places the chip at seat #1.
Alright. Each player kicks in the $25,000 ante. Seat #4 posts the small blind of $100,000 and your hero in seat #1 posts the $200,000 big blind. There is $400,000 in the pot before the cards are even dealt.!
Are you excited? Me too. To build the suspense to a fever pitch, Ill deal your opponents hands face-up and yours face-down. Okay, here we go!
Deal out the hands, beginning at seat #4, until each seat has the customary two cards. Seat #1 will have the King and Queen of Spades, but these cards will be face-down.
Seat #2 likes his suited connectors and he calls the $200,000. With his pair of Tens, seat #3 makes it $600,000 to go. The guy at seat #4 with pocket rockets nearly swallows his tongue, but keeps his composure and smooth calls $500,000 more. Your hero must have a decent hand because he quickly calls. Despite only having suited connectors, seat #2 makes the call because hes getting tasty 5:1 pot odds on a $2.1 million pot.
The burn. Deal the top card of the deck face-down, off to your left.
And here comes the flop. Deal the top three cards of the deck face-down into a tidy pile. Using only your right hand, flip the pile face-up and spread out the three cards.
Seat #4 is first to act. Hes flopped a set of Aces and through sheer force of will, he prevents a glistening drop of sweat from forming over his upper lip. He checks. Your man at seat #1 ponders for a moment then checks. Seat #2 has flopped a straight flush draw and he quickly fires off a $1.5 million dollar bet. Seat #3 has flopped trip Tens and has to believe that he has the best hand. He calls. Seat #4 smooth calls again.
The burn. Deal the top card of the deck face-down atop the previously tabled burn card.
And the turn. Deal the top card of the deck face-up at the right end of the row.
And the turn is the Six of Hearts, a blank. Seat #4 assumes that a least one player has a flush draw and he wants to end this hand right now, before another Spade comes. He moves all in for over $20 million in tournament chips. Your hero must have a straight, because he quickly moves all in. And hold your bladder, because seats #2 and #3 move all in as well!
Everyone is all in for all the chips! It all comes down to the river card. It will determine the new World Series of Poker No Limit Champion!!.
The final burn. Deal the top card of the deck face-down onto the other burn cards.
And now for the river. A single, humble playing card worth $15 million dollars cash!! And here it comes!
Deal the top card of the deck face-up at the right end of the row.
Its the Ace of Spades!! Seat #2 has a flush. Seat #3 has a full house, Tens over Aces. And seat #4 is frothing at the mouth with his quad Aces! But you, my dear, predicted that seat #1 would win. What could he possibly have that will beat four Aces? Turn over his cards and lets find out, before I have a stroke!
She turns over the cards at seat #1 and discovers the King and Queen of Spades.
Its a Royal Flush!!! Seat #1 is the new No Limit World Champion! And for correctly predicting the winner, you double your money!
Pick up the card case, keeping the label toward you, remove the chocolate chip and place it on top of your participants chip. Congratulations! (Pic #3)
Gather up all of the face-up cards, turn them face-down and deposit them onto the deck. Drop the deck onto the burn cards and square the deck. Pick up the button and put it into the empty card case. Table the still opened card case label side down.
I have a confession to make. I made a little prediction of my own.
Slowly turn over (away from you) seat markers #4, #3 and #2. Finally, turn over seat marker #1, revealing your correct prediction!
Give your participant a moment to savor the climax, then pick up the seat markers and place them into the card case. Close the case and put it away. Finis!
Regardless of which scenario occurs, the losing hands will always be a flush, full house and four of a kind. Your participant will always get the Royal Flush.
Heres how to handle the other three potential climaxes. If your participant chooses seat #2 as the winner, gather up all of the face-up cards, turn them face-down and deposit them onto the deck. Put the button in the card case. Pick up seat markers #1, #3 and #4 and put them in the card case. Pick up the burn cards (all Twos) and table them in a face-up fan beneath seat marker #2. Let your participant marinate in the moment, then put seat marker #2 in the card case, close it and put it in your pocket. Return the Twos to the deck.
If seat #3 is the winner, gather up all of the face-up cards, turn them face-down and deposit them onto the deck. Drop the deck onto the burn cards and square the deck. Pick up all of the seat markers and put them in the card case. Slowly turn over the button, revealing your correct prediction. Finally put the button in the card case, close it and put it away.
When seat #4 is the winner, gather up all of the face-up cards, turn them face-down and deposit them onto the deck. Drop the deck onto the burn cards and square the deck. Pick up seat markers #1, #2 and #3 and put them in the card case. Put the button in the card case. Slowly turn over the card case, revealing your correct prediction. After giving your participant a moment to digest what has occurred, put seat marker #4 in the card case, close it and put it away.