The Berglas Effect

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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/02/12 03:39 PM

Anyone wishing to brush up on their ACAAN routine for the upcoming convention ought to read my latest blog. I truly believe it solves all of the mysteries concerning The Berglas Effect. Is that worth ten minutes of your time?

http://jkeyes1000.wordpress.com/2012/08 ... berglas-e/
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/02/12 03:54 PM

Only an idiot would post something purporting to explain an effect which has recently been explained in a huge book by David Berglas and Richard Kaufman, and to err in the explnanation.

Is it April Fools Day again?

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Postby Edward Pungot » 08/02/12 04:10 PM

I would be more interested in what anyone has to say about and who has tried the roulette system. I'm currently in Vegas and am really tempted. Best to play it safe and save the money for the convention.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/02/12 04:48 PM

I confess that I have not read the tome that you refer to, but--I wonder whether you have read my blog. Such books are prohibitively expensive for many folks. I being a logician, sought to reason it out for free, and having come to a satisfactory conclusion, offer it for persual. If you had read the blog, entitled "The Berglas Effect': A Likely Answer", you would have known that I did not claim to have verified the precise means by which David Berglas achieved it, but--rather, the most sensible deduction I could manage. If you are going to question my wit, please specify the point at which I erred.
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Postby Bob Cunningham » 08/02/12 05:16 PM

Ahh .. a logician.

A much more famous logician once said, "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data!'
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/02/12 05:41 PM

Edward, the roulette system does not work. Do not use it. And do not go to Las Vegas and waste money gambling.
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Postby Roger M. » 08/02/12 05:57 PM

Although the OP can obviously turn a well crafted phrase...it seems a bit crass to post such a slim examination of what might be happening during Berglas's ACAAN, and to post that slim bit of postulating on the very forum hosted by a man who is the author of the most authoritative bit of work to date on Mr. Berglas.

It seems you posted without examining the playing field Mr. jkeys1000 (if that's your real name)...always dangerous in a forum full of quick witted and quick tongued pundits.

The Berglas ACAAN is so much deeper than you can imagine based on your short blog post...it would serve you well (if you are indeed as interested as you profess to be) to read Richard Kaufman's book on the Mr. Berglas prior to further "guessing".
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/02/12 06:13 PM

Roger M. wrote:Although the OP can obviously turn a well crafted phrase...


Don't know about that. I got all of 6 words into his post before I saw a problem ("that" should be "who", should it not?).
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Postby mrgoat » 08/02/12 06:15 PM

Funny, I read the whole blog post with an Italian accent...
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Postby Roger M. » 08/02/12 06:29 PM

I'm just easily impressed.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/02/12 06:34 PM

Again--I would ask, "What is the mistake?". I am familiar enough with the critic's opinions of both Berglas' and Kaufman's literary work on the subject to know that very few consider it to an adequate explanation. I stated very cleary in my blog that, "...ruling out chance, and taking it as a proper routine, a stunt that may be repeated at will any number of times with consistent success..." it is impossible.

My approach is the only one I know of that reduces the odds to virtually zero and assures as much success as any other effect on the market, which is apparently more than the version in "The Berglas Effects" can promise the reader.

Owing to the deliberate boast that "no stooges" are employed in either the choosing of the card or the number from one to fifty-two, it is glaringly obvious that the omission of that claim in the case of the third participant is no accident.

I suggest that Berglas (whom I admire greatly) gave this variation only because revealing the truth would humble such a noble routine.

His self assurance (and that of his disciples) before a huge crowd and on national television would be madness with odds so scanty as those afforded in the book to which you refer.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/02/12 06:39 PM

"Slim" perhaps, but--I like to be concise so as not to waste the reader's time.

I really don't think it is necessary to imagine how much "deeper" The Berglas Effect" might be in the book. If I can come up with a more efficient way that satisfies all the claims, then it might very well, in fairness, be considered superior. Especially if a greater success rate in performing it can be assured.
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Postby Randy Naviaux » 08/02/12 07:03 PM

Having studied the book I was interested in jkeyes post and looked over his blog. Interesting idea I have thought of myself but couldn't see how to make it work in the context of being an amateur.

In addition, I must admit my eyes glazed over when I started to read the chapter on the roulette system. I basically skipped that chapter.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/02/12 07:45 PM

Here's your problem jkeyes1000: "I am familiar enough with the critic's opinions of both Berglas' and Kaufman's literary work on the subject to know that very few consider it to an adequate explanation."

Everything about the way David performs The Berglas Effect is in the book.

If you watch the DVDs you can see the methods explained in the book in use in commercial situations over a course of decades.

Exactly how many times have YOU seen Berglas perform the trick in person? I'm betting NONE. I've seen it dozens of times. I've spent untold hours discussing it with David.

Since I KNOW WITH CERTAINTY that the method in the book explains entirely what Berglas does, the explanation is not "inadequate"--you just don't understand what you're reading and how to apply it. And you're not as smart as Berglas.

After you've read the book three or four times and spent six months working on the effect as it's explained in the book, then you can come back and give me your critique of a trick with which Berglas created a legend, and my ability to explain it.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/02/12 08:01 PM

I am truly honoured by your response to my humble remark Mr. Kaufman.

I have already stated that I have never seen David Berglas perform the legendary version of The Effect, but--as you yourself have said (in a different forum--The Magic Cafe?) that Marc Paul's presentation IS THE BERGLAS EFFECT, I feel somewhat justified in my observations. How then does David's version differ? My analysis is largely based on the Marc Paul video showing two performances. In both instances, the third participant's hands are always covering the cards, at least at the end, before revealing the chosen card,

And please answer me this, Mr. Kaufman. As you, being the co-author of the "The Berglas Effects", have considerable editorial (if not creative) control over the description of this routine, why can you not re-word the four essential criteria to rule out stoogery in the case of the third participant?
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Postby Frank Yuen » 08/02/12 08:35 PM

I don't believe that having a three different participants has ever been stated as requisite for the effect. There have been numerous recountings of Berglas doing it for just one person who names the number, card and counts down to the card him or herself.
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Postby Roger M. » 08/02/12 09:03 PM

It's clear this chap had some sort of agenda.

It's an odd way to begin your posting career on the Genii forum to begin with, but the passive/aggressive tone to all 5 of Mr.keyes1000 's posts hints to an as yet unclear end game.

.........a troll perhaps?
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/02/12 09:04 PM

Correct. I addresss the 'one-on-one' version as well in my blog, as a distinct variant of the effect with more manipulation of the cards required by the magician. Some folks in recounting their tales of personally witnessing Berglas performing this solo version confuse it with the grander production. The very fact that the performer must handle the cards (and quite skillfully) makes it less amazing, far less puzzling.

In any case--my contention is not dependant on the three person scenario by any means. I simply say that the last volunteer (who is always chosen by the magician), the one that is called upon to count down the cards is neccesarily acting on the mystic's behalf. Otherwise, there is virtually nothing done to the cards, other than possible stacking. And that alone is simply not sufficient.

The performer may know where the chosen card is, but--he can do nothing about it when all he tells the third participant is to deal the cards as anyone would.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/02/12 09:07 PM

My agenda is plain. To share my thoughts on the most likely, the easiest, the simplest, and the most practical means of achieving the effect.

If another is supposed to be the "real" version, then it is undoubtedly more elaborate, cumbersome, and less efficient.

How then am I the one with the dubious purpose? I rather think that those who defend the current theory have theirs.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/02/12 10:14 PM

What you have seen is Marc Paul presenting his effect "Affected by Berglas," which he sells. Whether Marc, who is my friend for many years, admits it or not is another question. He also may be using pre-show work.

Generally speaking, David (when performing the Berglas Effect on stage during the course of the card portion of his live show) will ask one person to name a card. If it's good (in the sense that we understand), he stops there. If not, he asks a second, and then a third person to name cards. The third person is not a stooge, or a plant, or someone coached with pre-show work. Since you can reach almost any named card with between 12 and 14 freely called out numbers, having three people call out cards exponentially increases the likelihood that you can produce a miracle effect without touching the deck. That is always your clear goal: it is the effect that creates the legend. It's not always the Berglas Effect at that moment, it may be a different hands-off miracle effect, but that doesn't matter. David will do The Berglas Effect later on in the set and, even if he touches the deck, the spectators will remember that he did NOT touch the deck.

Do you understand? It's presentation, not method. The whole book is about presentation, not method. We give you the methods to teach you the presentation of how to create "miracle effects."

Your method, if it is based on what you say above, is faulty at its core. And this sentence, "The very fact that the performer must handle the cards (and quite skillfully) makes it less amazing, far less puzzling" shows that you simply don't understand anything about the presentation of miracle effects. And you don't understand the psychological underpinnings of Berglas's approach to the presentation of magic, something that might be remedied if you simply had the good sense to read and study the book! That fact that you can't be bothered to read the book, which is the definitive work on the subject to this point in time, betrays you as a fraud. And I've just read your blog, which betrays you as someone who really needs to READ about subjects before you write about them.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/02/12 11:01 PM

First of all, I wish to apologise for apparently mis-quoting you. I went back to try to find the forum thread in which I believed you to have equated Marc Paul's presentation with David's. I couldn't locate it, so I might very well be mistaken on that.

The line that jumps out at me from your kind reply is that after several tentative attempts to manoeuver the card into proper position, by means of 'outs' as it were, "It's not always the Berglas Effect at that moment".

Well--how am I at fault for remaining true to the premise as it is stated? All I'm saying is that given the description, and taking it literally, it is impossible without a stooge. Likewise, taking it literally, it is impossible without someone touching the cards.

The famous criteria are the very reason for the amazement when spectators view the effect. If they are not met, there is only the false suggestion that the feat has been so achieved.

This is the same argument I have with Randi's rabid fans, that insist that his 'impossible' demonstrations are not mere mechanisms or sleights of hand, but--out of this world, nearly divine abilities.

You say that my method is "faulty at its core", and yet--I can guarantee that it not only lives up to the full criteria, but--works far more often and requires far less skill than the one in your book. The only reason that David (or anyone) would prefer to do it as described in "The Berglas Effects" is to boast of unparalelled labour and study in order to accomplish it, which seems quite vain if you ask me. Since presumably, the audience is unaware of your skill and you are pretending that it is no effort at all! Why bother? If you don't mind compromising the criteria, then why is it there? Is it only part of the effect? The patter? The 'p.r.'?

And again--if that is the case--why not stick your neck out and boast of "no stooges whatsoever". Indeed--it seems to me that you could expand upon your vaunting a litle bit and still be in the clear by your own reckoning.

David's 'one-on-one' version of "Think Of A Card" (which I have seen on video and studied intently) is impressive as a typical card trick. It is not (from a magician's point of view) a "miracle". Anyone acquainted with card manipulation techniques can easily spot (or infer) his technique. It is only when a half-inebriated admirer sees him perform it in person that it mystifies because the presumption is that it strictly follows the rules.

I understand what you say perfecty well. It is the discrepancy between what is written of the effect and the solution that is incomprehensible. There are those of us who make it our hobby to figure things out, Mr. Kaufman. I have figured out how to do it properly, as stated. Can you tell me why anyone in his right mind would go to greater lengths than were necessary to produce the effect, when a simpler alternative, that required less diligence and which was far more faithful and reliable were available?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/03/12 12:05 AM

This is one of the dumbest things you have written: "David's 'one-on-one' version of "Think Of A Card" (which I have seen on video and studied intently) is impressive as a typical card trick. It is not (from a magician's point of view) a "miracle". Anyone acquainted with card manipulation techniques can easily spot (or infer) his technique. It is only when a half-inebriated admirer sees him perform it in person that it mystifies because the presumption is that it strictly follows the rules."

You have NO idea what you're talking about. I do Think a Card, I see the effect it has on both lay people and magicians--I just did it a bunch of times at the Genii dealer stand at the SAM convention in Las Vegas last week. They have no idea how their card appears on top, or on bottom, or at their chosen number, in the deck. You don't understand the psychology, you don't understand the presentation, you just don't get it at all.

And I am happy to say NO STOOGES AT ALL anytime I have ever seen David Berglas perform The Berglas Effect. None. Zero. Zip. He's done it to me over a dozen times--do you think I was stooging myself? Are you an imbecile? And David does NOT pick the second or third people in the audience who name cards. The first person he picks points randomly to other people--that's the whole point. I've also seen that done several times, and I know that there were no stooges involved.

All you know is your tiny little world that doesn't give you any way to see what is really happening because you are blind to it.
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Postby Roger M. » 08/03/12 01:09 AM

A man creates a blog containing one post, a blog so new that he's not even deleted the single "stock" comment that is in place when a Wordpress blog is created.

He then immediately posts to the Genii forum, a forum hosted by the author of the definitive work on David Berglas... and in that post he directs folks to his blog, and follows with a declaration of various "facts" about Berglas that are based on absolutely nothing but his own imagination, and which contradict the heavily researched material in RK's book.

New blog with one post, immediate "challenge" post on the Genii forum, followed with engagement with RK (the author of the definitive Berglas tome).

I'm calling complete troll with hidden agenda, and also point out the first line of of his original post..."Anyone wishing to brush up on their ACAAN routine for the upcoming convention ought to read my latest blog".

What convention? - the Genii Convention? - what's that got to do with any of what you're posting such that it's the opening line in your first Genii forum post?

What is your actual goal here beyond reading your own words on a computer screen?

The optics currently mark you as a pedantic troll.
Please answer the above 3 questions and correct me if I've misstated the situation.
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Postby Edward Pungot » 08/03/12 01:13 AM

jkeyes1000 wrote:Can you tell me why anyone in his right mind would go to greater lengths than were necessary to produce the effect, when a simpler alternative, that required less diligence...were available?


Yes...Berglas, Teller, Ricky Jay, Malini, Hofzinser...

Dont wallow too much into it Richard, remember they rather enjoy this sort of thing.
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/03/12 04:20 AM

Dear jkeyes1000,

You are extremely boring. Please shut up and learn something about magic before posting again.

Ignorance makes for unpleasant reading on an otherwise intelligent forum.

Thank you.

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Postby mrgoat » 08/03/12 04:26 AM

Obvious troll is obvious
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/03/12 07:15 AM

On the contrary Mr. Kaufman--here I positively know what I am talking about; for it is not necessary to have read your book in order to assess an effect which I have seen performed by Berglas himself (albeit on video) several times, and to form the opinion that I no doubt share with others who are acquainted with the basic moves of card manipulators (palming, double-lifting and the like)--that any time that the magician holds the pack, it is far from impossible for him to locate a chosen card, remove it from its current position, and do just about anything he wishes with it. Only the fool that you take me for (or wish I was) would be at a loss to understand it after a moment's sobriety. You say they have "no idea how their card appears on top, or on bottom, or at their chosen number, in the deck". If that is the case, then they really need to read my blog--the poor things.

Simply put: the only inexplicable method is the one that is indeed done without the performer touching the cards (or having someone else handle them for him, precisely as he wishes).

I am perfectly willing to concede that the version of The Berglas Effect described in your book does not require stooges. Not having read your book, it were illogical to accuse me of ever having promulgated the notion that that variation is anything other than what appears in black and white. But--can it be considerd the definitive Berglas Effect, merely because David Berglas' name is on it?

It is certainly not The Berglas Effect that those that are fascinated by the premise (which is largely based on the well known criteria) are eager to learn. It is apparently The Law Of Averages, Hit And Miss, and Best Of Luck all rolled into one. Discovering that the performer is allowed any number of opportunities to persuade the volunteer to cut the cards, and that one's chances of successfully setting up the deck for the climax are dubious, has got to be less than overwhelming.

Are you suggesting that the 'one-on one' version is essentially the same as the one involving multiple participants, in which the performer handles the cards little or not at all? If that were the case, my question would be: Why would a skilled card worker restrict himself to moves designed for any untutored Tom, Dick or Harry, when he could achieve the effect much more efficiently using the tricks of his trade? Clearly, the means that David Berglas employes when holding the cards himself are different than those he would instruct an uninitiated spectator to perform! Conversely--it is absurd to suggest that David would resort to mathematics and mind games when all he needed was his well regarded sleight of hand.

As for who picks the participants--it would only be a truly fair choice if the audience were to determine the issue democratically. We all know it is a typical ploy to allow any number of folks to shout out numbers, or raise hands--merely to delegate the decision to an individual, be it the performer or any member of the crowd. If that is "the whole point", I'm sorry to say it's quite a feeble one.
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/03/12 07:19 AM

Is this fool really [censored] in disguise?

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Postby mrgoat » 08/03/12 07:27 AM

Matthew Field wrote:Is this fool really [censored] in disguise?

Matt Field


Nah, too well written, Lewis always gives himself away with that 6th grade level of English he uses.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/03/12 07:28 AM

I'm afraid I cannot know which "facts" in my blog you are claiming to be imaginary, as you don't bother to cite them. One might well reverse the charges on a fellow that makes mere insinuations.

My post in this forum was not by any means a "challenge". It was a free offer of advice--or if you will, opinion. Which is what blogs generally consist of.

That you cannot intuit the "hidden agenda" that you suspect me of suggests either the lack of substance to it or your own incapacity to perceive it.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 08/03/12 07:36 AM

The guy has watched the trick "several times" on video -- why would anyone question his opinion.

This reminds me: I market a version of ACAAN called, "The Bammo Dekronomicon." I've only had two complaints from purchasers who were disappointed. At first, I couldn't really understand their comments, but then I realized they were disappointed because there WAS a method. They wanted real magic.
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Postby mrgoat » 08/03/12 08:12 AM

jkeyes1000 wrote:My post in this forum was not by any means a "challenge". It was a free offer of advice--or if you will, opinion.


And now you've been told repeatedly your opinion is horribly, embarrassingly wrong. So can you go back the the cafe or whereever you usually live. I'm sure loads of 14 year olds are missing your words of wisdom*.



*When I say "wisdom" I actually mean "nonsense". Sorry for the typo.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/03/12 08:48 AM

I invite one and all to question my opinion sir. But--I would hope that their tendency to rebutt were less subjective.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/03/12 08:56 AM

To be told that one is wrong is one thing. To demonstrate it is another.

My opinion is predicated not on what David Berglas does in his act, but--what any logical person would do given the criteria.

My method (I maintain) is the most efficient way to achieve the effect in keeping with the claim of no stooges in the cases of the first and second participants, no handling of the deck by the performer, yet--retaining the legalistic 'loophole' of employing a confederate in the case of the third participant.

As this is the gist of my blog, it is for you to counter that it is not the most sensible means obtainable. If you cannot, then I may in no way be found to be in error.

After all--I would suppose that if Mr. Berglas were the reasonable man he is reputed to be, he would himself be inclined to see the more practical use of this mode.
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Postby mrgoat » 08/03/12 09:12 AM

jkeyes1000 wrote:To be told that one is wrong is one thing. To demonstrate it is another.

My opinion is predicated not on what David Berglas does in his act, but--what any logical person would do given the criteria.

My method (I maintain) is the most efficient way to achieve the effect in keeping with the claim of no stooges in the cases of the first and second participants, no handling of the deck by the performer, yet--retaining the legalistic 'loophole' of employing a confederate in the case of the third participant.

As this is the gist of my blog, it is for you to counter that it is not the most sensible means obtainable. If you cannot, then I may in no way be found to be in error.

After all--I would suppose that if Mr. Berglas were the reasonable man he is reputed to be, he would himself be inclined to see the more practical use of this approach.


OK. You win. Berglas is a useless hack. Kaufman is an IDIOT for daring to write the book without the correct method. You've worked it out and YOU ARE A MOTHERFUNKING GENIUS.

Now, please will you go back to the cafe?
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Postby El Mystico » 08/03/12 10:40 AM

Your blog post was called "The Berglas Effect: A Likely Answer".

You've now been clearly told, by someone who knows, that it is not the answer.

You had to be told that several times.

Maybe you now accept that. Because you now seem to be saying that your method is a SUPERIOR method to the one Berglas uses.

I don't know what experience you have in the performance of magic. My guess, given your opinion, is 'very little'. The opinion of the performing magicians involved in this thread is that you are wrong.

You did say on your blog "I await comments in response to this piece, especially from magicians and fellow admirers of David Berglas, and will gladly converse with anyone on this topic."
Well, now you've had comments from magicians and admirers of David Berglas. I expect you are very glad.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/03/12 11:01 AM

This poster claims to be "John Keyes" and his IP says he's from Portland, Maine. There are no magicians named John Keyes in Portland, Maine. The mangled English in this sentence suggests he's from another country:

"On the contrary Mr. Kaufman--here I positively know what I am talking about; for it is not necessary to have read your book in order to assess an effect which I have seen performed by Berglas himself (albeit on video) several times, and to form the opinion that I no doubt share with others who are acquainted with the basic moves of card manipulators (palming, double-lifting and the like)"
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/03/12 11:02 AM

And, finally, before I sign off on this for good, let me say that re-reading this thread this morning has given me a good chuckle.
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Postby jkeyes1000 » 08/03/12 11:44 AM

You miss the point. The "Likely Answer" was not a direct attempt to determine what in fact David Berglas does in his act, but--by logically deducing the most sensible means of producing the effect, given the strict conditions that we are all familiar with, to suppose that he (being wise and clever) would likewise have deemed it best from the start and adopted it. Can anyone tell me in what way The Berglas Effect as described in the Kaufman book is superior?

Is it easier?

Is it more reliable?

Is it more faithful to the spirit and the letter of the criteria?

The truth is I am forced to claim that "my method" is superior solely because Berglas refuses to claim it as his own (no doubt in order to avoid the 'boos' and hisses of those who consider the use of stooges to be beneath a master magician of his rank).

I call it "my method" only because so far I am alone in espousing it publically. I boast of no originality. My opinion is that David probably conceived it more or less as I suggest, but--upon realising that the secret would be something of a let down, devised a bit of literary misdirection for us all.
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Postby mrgoat » 08/03/12 12:16 PM

jkeyes1000 wrote:Y
The truth is I am forced to claim that "my method" is superior


Yup. You're right. You are TOTALLY AWESOME.

Now, PLEASE, go back to the cafe?

Please?

I'll pay you $25 via paypal to never post here again.
mrgoat
 
Posts: 4053
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

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