Any Card at Any Number discrepancies

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 07/17/06 05:22 AM

Hi,
i don't know if this subject was discussed before in this site, but..
i've just finished to read "The Mind and Magic of David Berglas".
It is a great book, and a reading full of inspirational thoughts..
but..only one thing didn't convince me,
which is the explanation David Britland gives of the "Any card at any number feat"..
there are just some things which don't convince me.
1)In the explanation Mr.Britland gives, he says that the deck has to be cut by Mr.Berglas, or at least cut by a member of the audience, in order to bring the chosen card to the desired number.
1b)in the stories Mr.Richardson and Mr.Warlock recount, it was themselves who bring the deck out of the pack, and IMMEDIATELY counted to the chosen card.
No mention of cutting the deck was ever done.
2)Mr.Britland says that most of the times, Mr.Berglas needed to touch the deck at least a little, in order to bring some cards up or down the pack, or at least palm some cards.
2b)Always in the Mr.Richardson and Mr.Warlock stories, it was always them who touched the pack.

These are only two things between a general discrepancy between Mr.Britland account and Mr.Richardson and Mr.Warlock experience.
Maybe they eliminated some details, due to the memory gaps and the passing of the time.
But it seems strange to me that a man who is a magician, like Mr.Richardson, doesn't remember if the deck was touched by him or by Mr.Berglas.

Well, maybe this story won't have a solution..
but maybe some of you, who are also interested in this great feat, can help to solve a little this puzzle.

Hoping for a loto of answer of yours,
best regards
Crim
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 05:35 AM

Perhaps some things should remain a mystery.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 05:40 AM

Originally posted by entity:
Perhaps some things should remain a mystery.

- entity
Was the idea to teach the trick or just offer a puzzle for magicians.
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 06:29 AM

I agree that some things should remain a mystery,
but in that case, it was better not to explain that tirck in the book, and clearly tell that for that trick Mr.Berglas preferred to take the secret for himself.
Certainly it was better then try to explain something that, in my opinion, seems very full of discrepancies!
Like the floating piano trick.
In the book, only the effect is explained and not the method.
But i was satisfied, because from the beginning i know that there won't be any explanation.
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 06:49 AM

I read the book. Hefty price tag but a fun read. Lots of great stories about Berglas career and how he accomplished many of his amazing feats.

As a hobbyist, the only thing I really wanted to learn was his famous any card at any number. The explanation given is far from satisfactory. In fact, it was useless.

The rest of the book, although interesting, had almost no practical applications for the great majority of those interested in mentalism. At times it felt like a handbook on how to build a career using stooges.

I know Richard recently spoke of 2 encounters with Berglas (in Genii) where he chose a card and a number. Each time he handled the deck himself and there were no other decks in the vicinity. I hope Richards upcoming feature in Genii will shed a little light on the method but I wont hold my breath.
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Postby Geno Munari » 07/17/06 09:11 AM

Bill Nagler has a GREAT effect that will be coming out soon that will accomplish this effect. Maybe he can jump in here and explain.

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Postby Brian Marks » 07/17/06 12:26 PM

there are methods for those willing to look and put the proper work in.
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/17/06 12:37 PM

I found the write-up very informative. There are some wonderful touches and strategies.

One thing that ought to be remembered: Berglas' card magic is clearly highly improvisational. The magic community seems to be conflating many of the different Berglas stories; assuming there is a single method.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/17/06 02:21 PM

I described the Berglas effect exactly as it was presented to me very recently in Genii Speaks. I did not forget anything and related it complete. Some readers think I was unobservant and didn't see other decks of cards in plain view around the room. False. Only one deck visible in the room.
I asked David about it and he explained that it would take an entire book to really delve thoroughly into all aspects of these types of effects which he does.
There are a huge number of contingencies to take into account.
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 02:58 PM

Shortly after the Berglas Book appeared in print, an excellent review was printed in Genii Magazine (I believe) written by David Alexander.

In his review David noted that the Berglas book was a text written for professional, experienced performers who had enough understanding and knowledge to read between the lines and see the secrets and subtleties at which Mr. Berglas sometimes only hinted.

I wholeheartedly concur with David Alexander's observations, and I applaud Mr. Berglas for sharing what he did in the way that he did it. By so doing, he ensured that, with some of his most prized effects, those who could "get it" would, while those who just bought the book to find out "how", wouldn't.

- entity
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/17/06 03:07 PM

Entity,

I believe the review in question was penned by Eric Mead -- and is excellent.

Best,

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Postby Geno Munari » 07/17/06 03:22 PM

I also purchased David's book. The answer to the card at any number in the way David Berglas' commentators describe is not there. In my real opinion I think the effect is a great urban tale, in which the magician, Mr. Berglas, would like to have this effect associated with his name.
Nothing wrong with that.
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 03:37 PM

"Drawing Room Deceptions" has "A Card At Any Number", Guy Hollingworth's clever take on this effect (page 230).

Admittedly, I don't believe it has ANYTHING to do AT-ALL method-wise with the amazing Berglas tricks Richard's described...

BUT with that being said, Mr. Hollingworth's version is easy, practical, and plays to a good-sized audience.
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 03:46 PM

I agree that the Berglas book is full of great material for professionals.
And i also agree that it is a very inspirational book.

But regarding the "Any card at any number" effect explanation in the book, the explanation given by Britland and the accounts of the effect by Mr.Richardson and Mr.Warlock, are just full of discrepancies.

The biggest discrepancy is that in the expanations by Warlock and Richardson..Mr.Berglas NEVER TOUCHES THE DECK OF CARDS.

While in the explanation by Mr.Britland, the deck is clearly CUT by Mr. Berglas.

the difference is enormous.
The effect done with a cut of the deck is much less powerful than the effect done without Mr.Berglas touching it.

So, never having the fortune to assist live to the effect,
and being very fascinated with this effect..
i wonder if Mr.Richardson and Mr.Warlock BOTH FORGOT that Mr.Berglas touched the deck..
or more likely the explanation in the book is not complete.
In that case, i would have preferred if Mr.Britland excluded the explanation at all from the book.

I think that all agree that the effect done with the deck touched only by the audience, or the effect done with Mr.Berglas touching it, are two different things.

Hoping that we can solve the mystery, at least a little bit..

Regards,

Crim
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 03:48 PM

Originally posted by Geno Munari:
I also purchased David's book. The answer to the card at any number in the way David Berglas' commentators describe is not there.
Mr. Munari: While I have the utmost respect for your knowledge and skill, I respectfully disagree with that statement. It is there, and it is not just a legend.

I've done it myself, exactly as described by others who have seen it done by Mr. Berglas.

- entity
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Postby Geno Munari » 07/17/06 03:52 PM

I believe you, so lets have a session and have you do it for me?
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 04:33 PM

When next we meet.

Cheers,

- entity
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/17/06 04:47 PM

When Berglas did the effect for me, he never touched the deck.
I named a card, I named a number, he pointed to the deck. I took the deck out of the case and put it face up on the table (at his instruction). I counted down to the number I named and my thought-of card was there. BAM.
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 05:00 PM

Apparently, the review I referred to, written by David Alexander was included along with the Eric Mead review in the same issue of Genii.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 07/17/06 06:54 PM

For clarification, I posted my observations about the Berglas book on the Genii Forum on November 15, 2002 at http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 070#000000

RK asked if he could publish my comments in Genii magazine, following Eric Mead's review. I was flattered and readily agreed.

As I wrote back then, and seems born out by some on this thread...

"Simply put: If you are looking for a simplistic instruction book that holds your hand, the Berglas book isnt for you. If you are an amateur who simply wants to collect secrets, then the Berglas book isnt for you. If you dont like being forced to think and analyze what youve read, then the Berglas book isnt for you. As it says in the front matter, the book is published in a limited edition of one-thousand copies for distribution to professional performers.

Theres the key. The true value of the book can only be realized by those with extensive stage experience because only with that level of experiential education can you understand what Berglas is saying: his insights, subtleties, and approach to performing. The amateur, absent this experience and education, might as well be reading ancient Greek or Swahili."

In several readings of the book I have seen nothing that would change my mind. Indeed, subsequent readings only strengthen the opinion I wrote years ago. Indeed, the title gives a not-so-subtle clue as to how to read the book. It simply couldn't be any clearer.

The book is woefully under priced relative to the material it contains and the insights and advice David passes on. It is a wonderful contribution to the literature in a corner of our art that is overpopulated by junk because mentalism has become the current fad.

The fact that some won't understand the clear instructions for a simple card trick pales in comparison to several effects detailed, one of which made Berglas a lot of money over the course of his career. That, and several other items are far more valuable than a simple card trick that, incidentally, RK just explained rather clearly.
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Postby Guest » 07/18/06 02:41 AM

Hi Mr.Alexander.

In this thread, which i opened, i wanted to concentrate mainly on the trick "any card at any number" as explained in the Mr.Britland book.

in this particular case, i agree with you when you say, that the boo doesn't give easy answers...etc..
But the problem regarding the effect explanation is clear:

As Mr.Kaufman said, when Mr.Berglas performed the trick for him, it was MR.Kaufamn who took the deck out of the pack, and it was Mr.Kaufman who counted to that number.
Mr.Berglas never touched the cards.
The same thing recounts Mr.Richardsn and Mr.Warlock.

So..why in the book, in the explanation Mr.Berglas touches the cars, cuts the cards or the audience cuts the cards?

These are two totally different effects.
The one Mr.Kaufman recounts is a great effect, that would loose a little of its appeal if Mr.Berglas had touched the deck after Mr.Kaufman called out his chosen number.

All this to ask...
why Mr.Britland did recount another effect?
Maybe it was better not to explain it at all!
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Postby Matthew Field » 07/18/06 08:23 AM

Ask people what happened in two performances of, say, Vernon's Trick That Cannot Be Explained and you'll get two different versions.

Does that tell you anything?

I interviewed Mr. Berglas for the August Magic Circular, spent two days talking with him, and he did half a dozen versions of the trick.

Don't blame it on David Britland.

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Postby Brian Marks » 07/18/06 11:05 AM

The effect is improvisational. There will be some cases where you cut the deck and other cases where spectators cut the deck. As to which look stronger depends on how you sell it.
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Postby Guest » 07/18/06 03:02 PM

First of all, i don't blame Mr.Britland.
I think he wrote a great book!

Second..
the problem is that in Mr.Warlock,Mr.Richardson and last but not least..Mr.Kaufman experiences, NO ONE CUT THE DECK!!

They simply took the deck out of its pack without cutting it.
And this doesn't match at all with the versions Mr.Britland recounts.
So i wondered that maybe the effect is not fully explained in the book.
And in that case, i'd preferred if it wasn't explained at all.
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Postby Guest » 07/18/06 03:08 PM

Originally posted by crimsonking:
...So i wondered that maybe the effect is not fully explained in the book.
And in that case, i'd preferred if it wasn't explained at all.
A friend lent me the book for a few minutes so I could see what was up here.

After the chapters discussing Magician's Choice, and using assistants and most importantly thinking on your feet, I'm wondering if the book has more to offer than some here have gained from it.
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Postby Geno Munari » 07/18/06 04:46 PM

Bill Nagler fooled everyone at the FFF. He has a great effect that is any card any number.
His email is:
billnagler@yahoo.com
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Postby Guest » 07/18/06 07:54 PM

Originally posted by Geno Munari:
Bill Nagler fooled everyone at the FFF. He has a great effect that is any card any number.
His email is:
billnagler@yahoo.com
I've wanted to explore that trick for a while. The notion of a deck becoming responsive to pairs of people, one naming a number and another naming a card strikes me as both modern and magical.
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Postby David Acer » 07/18/06 08:15 PM

While this does nothing to shed any light on the subject, I thought it worth mentioning that Ken Krenzel has contributed a very interesting any-card-at-any-number routine to Magicana, which will appear sometime soon (along with more of his recent innovations).
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Postby Guest » 07/18/06 09:18 PM

That's great , in the 1990 book by Ken Krenzel,

"Close Up Inpact " on page 71 is my favorite

version or card at any number.Also a history of

the effect going back to Robert-Houdin.I hope

this is an update of that version .Looking to

some new Krenzel magic........Mike
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Postby Matthew Field » 07/19/06 02:25 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
I'm wondering if the book has more to offer than some here have gained from it.
Right on, Jonathan.

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Postby Guest » 07/19/06 07:53 AM

Anyway Richard is very easy to fool with this trick as he always picks the same card and the same number :genii:
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Postby Guest » 07/19/06 08:10 AM

Originally posted by David Acer:
I thought it worth mentioning that Ken Krenzel has contributed a very interesting any-card-at-any-number routine to Magicana, which will appear sometime soon (along with more of his recent innovations).
His version from Ingenuities is pretty interesting. Pretty much self working too.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/19/06 09:14 AM

Okay, Quentin: 10 of Clubs is the card, 41 is the number. Now take out your deck and see if that card is at that number!
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Postby Guest » 07/19/06 09:39 AM

I used to think Any Card At Any Number was just for magicians. Boy, was I wrong. Presented properly, the Berglas Effect causes screams of delight and is an absolute miracle. Take the time to set it up properly. Tell as much of the absolutely true story as you can.

40 years ago in London, Martin Breese ran an ad for the Berglas Effect, Any card at any number. The deck is out at the top. No stooge. No force. No switch. The spectator names a card. The spectator names a number. The spectator uncases the deck. The spectator counts. The card is there. The effect is 50 pounds, $100 at the time, more than $1000 today. Sales are limited to 100 orders. Breese gets 100 orders. Goodliffe dies, the deal falls apart, and Martin refunds everyone's money. Except for Steve Martin, yes that Steve Martin, because hes gotten famous and Martin cant find him. Martin Breese and David Berglas do not speak for almost 20 years.

20 years later, Martin Breese is at David Berglass home in North London. Berglas hands Breese a deck. Martin is vehement, vehement the deck is out at the top. No stooges, no force, no switch. Breese names a card. Breese names a number. The card is there. Breese turns on a tape recorder. For the next 3 hours, Berglas talks. He tips it all, every detail, every nuance, every subtlety the whole thing. A week later, Martin sends Berglas a CD of the recording. 2 days later, Berglas calls Breese and tells him to hold off. Berglas is writing a book, which reveals the secret of the Berglas Effect. The book comes out. Its not there. To this day, no one on earth has heard the contents of that recording, other than Martin Breese and David Berglas. The master sits in a safe in Martin Breeses home in Brighton. This really, really bugs me. Berglas wont release the effect - twice. Breese wont talk.

David Berglas is driving in downtown London. My friend Marcello Truzzi is in the passenger seat. Berglas hands Marcello a deck of cards. Marcello is vehement, vehement, the deck is out at the top. Marcello names a card. Pat, Marcellos wife, names a number. Marcello hands the deck to Pat in the back seat. Pat counts to the number. The card is there.

Pat Page has seen Berglas do the effect 4 times. Each time, the deck is out at the top, sitting on the table. Berglas never touches the deck. The spectator names a card. The spectator names a number. The spectator counts. The card is there.
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Postby Guest » 07/19/06 11:04 AM

Originally posted by Geno Munari:
In my real opinion I think the effect is a great urban tale, in which the magician, Mr. Berglas, would like to have this effect associated with his name.
Nothing wrong with that.
In light of Bill Nagler's post, I am beginning to share your opinion.
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Postby Guest » 07/19/06 11:57 AM

Bill Nagler:
May be a dumb question, but what do you mean by
"The deck is out at the top"? :confused:
Thanks to clarify.
Rdgs,
Ken B
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Postby Guest » 07/19/06 12:17 PM

"The deck is out at the top..."

This means the deck is on open display to the audience from the beginning of the effect.

Joe Z.
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Postby Guest » 07/19/06 01:00 PM

Thank you, Joe. :)
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Postby Guest » 07/19/06 03:24 PM

I have a problem with Bill Nagler's narrative. This is not an attack on Bill because I'm sure he's relating what he's heard. These are just my observations on what I think are inconsistencies.

According to Nagler's description, Martin Breese was advertising something he didn't have, that would be produced AFTER the sales were made and the money collected. Goodliffe died and the deal fell apart, but Nagler does not describe Goodliffe's part in this or why the deal collapsed on Goodliffe's death, which happened, apparently, AFTER Breese collected the money but before there was an actual product to sell and deliver.

It seems out of character that Breese would advertise, sell, and collect money - 5,000 pounds (a LOT of money 40 years ago) - for something he did not have, had not examined, and had not, apparently, verified as being able to do what the adverts claimed.

That doesn't make any sense. I don't think Martin Breese is someone who would commit mail fraud, which is what this seems to be describing.

And then Berglas and Breese don't talk for 20 years. Martin standing there with 5,000 pounds and he doesn't talk to Berglas to get the product? What's that all about?

I can't imagine Martin Breese easily walking away from 5,000 pounds combined with the additional cost of having to refund all the money. So he's not only out the 5K, he also out for the ad, the cost of refunding and all the time to make the refunds, not including the ill will from 100 irritated customers and whatever it does to his reputation.

Again, this doesn't make a lot of sense and neither does Berglas walking away from whatever his share of the 5,000 pounds would have been....all because Goodliffe died? That doesn't make any sense, either.

Now, according to the story, we fast forward many years with Breese now a guest in Berglas' home. David performs the effect for Breese who, conveniently, has a tape recorder and cajoles the ever-reticent Berglas into talking on tape for over three hours, detailing the entire procedure. OK, maybe I buy that. Maybe...

But then, scant days later, Berglas, who now had a copy of the CD, nixes the deal because work on his book had started, yet he does not provide the CD of his recorded conversation to David Britland to make certain the deails of the effect are correct in what will be both his legacy and his monument.

What's really going on here?

Martin? Care to clarify.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 07/19/06 04:30 PM

I have a method for this.

1. First, acquire 52 David Berglas clones (53, if you want to use the joker).

2. Each clone holds a deck made up of only one card. So clone #1 has a deck that is all AS, clone #2 has all 2S, etc.

3. 51 of the clones are hidden.

4. The 52nd clone asks the spectator to name a card and number. If the card is the one duplicated in the deck that that clone holds, nothing more need be done.

5. Otherwise, switch the 52nd clone with the clone with the right deck (admittedly this needs work).

Finish.

Criss Angel could do this with 52 different Vegas showgirls since they all look the same anyway.
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