Ortiz's Scams & Fantasies with Cards

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Postby Guest » 02/24/03 11:08 AM

People said this was a great book upon it's release but I have not heard much about it recently.
It is one I am thinking of purchasing but it seems heavy on the Gambling theme (I know I should expect this from an Ortiz book).
How does this one stack up with Cardshark and At the Card Table.
Other than Strong Magic, (Kaufman and Co,thanks for the great service when I ordered this book) I do not own an Ortiz book...any suggestions.
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Postby Guest » 02/24/03 11:30 AM

Like all of Darwin's books, the effects are well thought out and audience tested. I think the book has something for everyone. If you are interested in some strong walk around material, Ace In the Pocket is a wonderful 2 card transposition, Walk Around Triumph is a fun and very baffling routine for walk around (hence the name) and New Back Off is an updated and more commercial version of Back Off, which was previously published in "At The Card Table".

Darwin's version of Follow the Leader called "the Color of Money" is my personal favorite routine in the book. I have seen him perform it twice (2 lectures) and will some day add it to my list of effects to perform (which I have a lot as it stands).

He also has some great effects that use a memorized stack (especially the Zen Master) and, of course, he also includes several gambling routines and gambling themed routines. Some are quite doable (if you can perform a faro shuffle or two) and some are extremely difficult to do (God of Gamblers is scary).

There are 2 routines that were inspired by an effect of Andrew Wimhurst's which are wonderful as well.

Although there aren't as many new plots in this book as in the previous books, I think Darwin's thinking and performing style continues to mature and I think that if you are a cardworker, you will not be disappointed with this book.

There are 30 effects ranging from easy to difficult and there is also an essay called "Showing or Hiding Skill".

If you are a fan of Darwin's work, I highly recommend this book.
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Postby Guest » 02/25/03 07:01 AM

Thank you Mark that helps greatly, and makes the book sound great.
I noticed there were a lot of people unhappy with the delay in the book, but now that it is here (has been here) was the wait worth it, are people still happy with the purchase? Or, as we do, has everyone moved on to other works?
Also noticed a post that favored Cardshark over Ortiz's newest work but I think Cardshark is out of print for now.
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Postby Randy Naviaux » 03/04/03 02:15 AM

Barnett - I think its his best yet not counting 'Strong Magic' of course.

It finally got me working on my second.

Ninety percent of the time I will just restudy an Ortiz book instead of reading something else.

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Postby Guest » 03/04/03 03:11 AM

One of my favourite routines in this book is Last Laugh, it extremely good:

Magician claims that he can instantly trap any card the spectators names between two face up cards (jokers) he holds. It appears at first to have all been a gag. But, eventually the performer makes good on his claim in an amazing way.

I have done it several times and people are almost freaking out. There is not only card effects in the book its has also a lot of useful analysis and thoughts on magic.
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Postby John McDonald » 03/04/03 10:44 AM

As with all Ortiz effects his thinking is so thorough that his magic is ultra-strong. He is without doubt on of the best thinkers in card magic today. With reference to the card effect above he gave a lecture recently in Blackpool the called for card was on the bottom of the deck trapped with thre other cards between the jokers, he resisited the temptation to quickly toss the deck and reveal the card instantaneously. I was sorry he didn't because that would have floored me.
Best John
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Postby Jakob Rasmussen » 03/11/03 12:58 PM

It is a great book, not just the tricks but all the Performens Tips is a goldmine.

The routine Deja vu Poker in the beginning of the book, is a real killer and only needs a pair of Faro shuffles.

He is my favorit writer in magic.

Best
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Postby Charlie Chang » 03/13/03 09:29 AM

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Postby Ian Kendall » 03/13/03 10:44 AM

Originally posted by R P Wilson:
.
To the point, if nothing else :)

BTW the description of the Last Laugh sounds a lot like the smiling mule. Any similarity?

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Postby mike cookman » 03/13/03 01:45 PM

I like The Color of Money and The Brush. I have not gone through the whole book yet, but so far those two routines are terrific.
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Postby Shahin » 03/13/03 04:43 PM

Ian

The effect is based on "Smiling Mule". Darwins version has a setup and requires that you spread the deck face down to locate the named card. I saw Darwin perform this at his lecture in blackpool, very good!

Best

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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/13/03 05:15 PM

The Smiling Mule is a great trick for a marked deck in new deck order, as you can do the spread and cull with the cards face down.

Of course, it also works with a marked deck in any memorized order. But the new deck order does not require memorization.

A Si Stebbins or Eight Kings stack also works pretty well and allows you to spread the cards to show there is no stack. Even if you can't quickly calculate the position of a given card in the deck, you can pretty quickly calculate where each card of that value lies in its quarter of the deck, and the marked cards take care of the rest.

You can take a Stebbins or Eight-Kings stack, show the cards are not ordered, then give the deck two faro shuffles. This groups all the cards of a single value together, which makes the search easier and also adds the possibility of additional effects. Since the deck is marked, the faros do not need to be perfect; as long as they are close, the card you need will be near enough to its mates.

Producing a named card is magical; the sudden appearance of the other three mates makes a great kicker.
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Postby Michel Huot » 03/25/03 09:12 AM

One of my favourite effect in this book is PASS THE GARBAGE where the state of the cards in your hands transpose with the state of the cards in the spectator's hand. It's a worker.
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Postby Guest » 03/25/03 10:30 AM

Thank you all for the great ideas.
I have gotten the book and will be spending some time working out effects I have gone through and tagged, I ended up with a lot of tricks to work out. Tons of great looking stuff in here.

Thank you all for your help.
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Postby Guest » 05/07/05 11:21 AM

the effect i prefer is "appointment in samara" !!!
incredible use of the himber wallet, btw i've seen that when darwin ortiz does this effection the dvd he uses a himber wallet with a flap that avoid the wallet to be open by accident (what can happen with a regular himber wallet unlocked!)
can anyone point me to a place where i could find the same small wallet or maybe point me to someone who could manufacture it ??
I already wrote to DARWIN ORTIZ via his website and i'm waiting for an answer but maybe someone could help me, thanks!!!
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Postby Temperance » 05/07/05 11:38 AM

Originally posted by Shahin:
Ian

The effect is based on "Smiling Mule".

It's not really 'based' on Smiling Mule. It IS Smiling Mule. The handling is exactly the same. The only difference is the inclusion of a memorized deck. IMO this is a crazy idea. Why take a beautiful, powerful and commercial effect and make it harder to do while adding 52 variables that can go wrong to the equation?

The same goes for a 'standing triumph' which is apparently 'based' on the 'overworked card trick'. If you compare the two you'll see that they are almost identical.

What's the point?

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Postby NCMarsh » 05/07/05 02:10 PM

Euan,

The Walton original is a brilliant creation that is extremely strong. The weakness of the effect is that the deck is spread face up prior to the production of the mentally selected card. In truly expert hands, where there is no hesitation and the performer's attitude is that he is merely displaying the cards, it is a stunning effect without any solution.

However:

Executing the cull while projecting this attitude -- and making the whole thing feel unstudied -- is extremely difficult...rapidly finding and culling the card while convincing the spectators that nothing has happened is one of the most difficult tasks in card magic (this is why "think a card" is almost never performed well)...far more difficult (and far more important) than memorizing a deck, becoming an expert in estimation, or performing an imperceptible pass...

By having the deck spread face-down the deceptiveness of the effect is dramatically increased for most performers -- and is increased somewhat for everyone...using darwin's method the performer need not even look at the deck...this makes the moment feel unimportant and renders it psychologically invisible...it is just a joke...

If the moment is not subconsciously invested with a sense of importance by the performer, then it becomes psychologically invisible (thanks to the great strength and weakness of the human mind: information that is irrelevant is destroyed). If we can succeed in making the first display psychologically invisible to the spectators, it will be deleted from their conscious memory. They will be left without any solution to the effect, and we have a miracle on our hands. If the moment of displaying the cards face-up, however, feels like more than just a casual gesture to accompany a joke..then we have a very clever -- even astonishing -- display of dexterity; but we do not have a moment of magic (that is, a moment of the utterly inexplicable)..

Darwin's handling does not guarantee a miracle. But, because it allows us to perform the effect without looking at our hands as we gesture, it means that those of us who are not David Berglas have a much easier time of performing the effect such that a spectator "does not suspect, let alone detect" the modus operandi. Darwin has helped us to eliminate a "dirty" moment.

It is a detail..but it is precisely these details that separate great magic from good magic.

Put simply, if you think that the memorized version is harder than the original -- then you probably are not performing the original well.

best wishes,

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Postby Temperance » 05/07/05 02:28 PM

Originally posted by Nathan Coe Marsh:
Euan,
if you think that the effect is harder to perform with a memdeck then you aren't performing it correctly
Oh please. What's harder? Quickly running through the deck and sight culling a single card while the spectators are laughing. Or, remembering a 52 card stack, running through the deck without looking at the cards, mentally counting to the correct card in your stack and then culling said card.

If you think it's the first option then you aren't performing it correctly.

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Postby NCMarsh » 05/07/05 02:43 PM

You are missing the critical point. You are asking about the relative easiness of the mechanical actions alone -- as if this were saying something about the relative ease of performing the effect deceptively.

The question is not "is it easier to sight cull a card while the audience is laughing, or to use a memdeck and spread count to the selection?" The question is, "is it easier to project an attitude of indifference to the deck if you are looking at it, or if you are not looking at it?"

Expert performance of the mechanical actions involved in the handling of the trick is a TINY part in a successful deception.

You are right that the mechanical actions of Darwin's handling are much more difficult. You are wrong that this means that the effect itself is more difficult.

You also left out the modifier "probably" in your re-statement of my final sentence. This makes it sound as if I'm claiming that it is a rigorous syllogism rather than an informed guess -- it is not.

best,

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Postby Brian Marks » 05/07/05 04:30 PM

Nathan is correct. The trick is more deceptive with the mem. deck.
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Postby Guest » 05/08/05 01:06 AM

I have been performing Last Laugh by Darwin Ortiz since january 2003 and it is a reputation maker.
Recently I performed it for a group of swedish and "russian" exchange students at a school in my area.
After the effect it was almost complete silence in the room and I gave the good-looking russian girl the deck of cards as a gift (she named king of hearts). Thats the nice thing with using a memo stack: you can let them examine the deck closely with out break the stack with some shuffles. If you let them examine the deck it makes the mystery even more magical...

Scams & Fantasies with Cards: a true miracle book with fine card effects. I recommend it for any advanced card student.
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Postby Temperance » 05/08/05 03:01 AM

Originally posted by Nathan Coe Marsh:

You also left out the modifier "probably" in your re-statement of my final sentence. This makes it sound as if I'm claiming that it is a rigorous syllogism rather than an informed guess -- it is not.
That's because you substantially edited your post to change the meaning.

*take cover, here come the pretentious police!*

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Postby Temperance » 05/08/05 03:25 AM

Let's put personal preferences aside for a second shall we? These brick walls are painful when you smash your head against them.

My main grievance is that by saying the trick is 'based' on the smiling mule people who have not seen the original will give far too much credit to Darwin Ortiz. The same goes for a 'standing triumph' and 'modern jazz aces', etc.

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Postby Guest » 05/08/05 07:54 AM

Come on guys, I dont think we should criticize Darwin for his take on the Smiling mule

But lets get to work on the moustache
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Postby Guest » 05/08/05 08:56 AM

Originally posted by Euan:
Let's put personal preferences aside for a second shall we? These brick walls are painful when you smash your head against them.

My main grievance is that by saying the trick is 'based' on the smiling mule people who have not seen the original will give far too much credit to Darwin Ortiz. The same goes for a 'standing triumph' and 'modern jazz aces', etc.

Euan
I totally agree, and I think for the very same reason, Jerry Sadowitz should stop publishing all those "variations" of Roy Walton effects (which I know was going to be the next thing you we're going to post, right?)
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Postby Temperance » 05/08/05 09:49 AM

Obviously you don't agree. You're just being a prick.

There's a big difference between varying something by slightly changing how you handle a double cut and approaching an effect from a totally fresh angle.

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Postby NCMarsh » 05/08/05 01:43 PM

That's because you substantially edited your post to change the meaning.
Just to be clear: the post to which Euan refers was last edited at 2:25 yesterday, Euan's reply appeared at 2:28. I don't recall exactly what I altered in that edit, but it is clear from the times that -- while Euan was obviously working from the unedited version -- I did not change the post after reading Euan's response.

best,

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Postby Guest » 05/08/05 02:55 PM

Originally posted by Kjellstrom:
Scams & Fantasies with Cards: a true miracle book with fine card effects. I recommend it for any advanced card student.
Even those of us who are not advanced students have gained from reading Darwin's insights into his routine construction. Great book and great DVD set.
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Postby Guest » 05/08/05 09:24 PM

Originally posted by Euan:
Obviously you don't agree. You're just being a prick.

There's a big difference between varying something by slightly changing how you handle a double cut and approaching an effect from a totally fresh angle.

Euan
Is that your objective assessment? At least your opinions can be relied upon to be balanced.

Thanks so much.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 05/09/05 04:21 AM

Its amazing to me how much ire can be generated over the handling of a card trick. Since Barnett received the information he wanted at the outset of this thread, there is simply no reason to keep it goingparticularly in the direction it is headed: nowhere.

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