The Professor's Three Card Monte

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Postby Tabman » 07/14/05 07:27 AM

"Here's a little game from Hanky Poo..."

Hi Genii gang, I'm working to learn The Professor's Three Card Monte exactly as written up starting on page 15 of the Stanley edition of Further Inner Secrets of Card Magic.

What I'm wondering is this. Can anyone direct me to additional descriptions of Vernon's version of 3 card monte?? I'd like to understand this from every angle I can find. Anyway.....

Thanks,

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Postby Pete Biro » 07/14/05 09:18 AM

TC... contact "Pops Hayden" :D
Got a message to phone Koz... ???? :confused:
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Postby Tabman » 07/14/05 10:07 AM

Thanks Pete, maybe Pops will sign on and see this. Also, Steve Bryant emailed me a video reference from the road. Call Koz and see what he wants??? Also tell him his pal tabman says hello and sends much love his way as always!!!!

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Postby Pete Biro » 07/14/05 11:12 AM

Koz just told me his new Production of a bottle (or bowling pin) is ALMOST ready to hit the market.

He wants you to come see him (me too)...he's got digs with beds.
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Postby Tabman » 07/14/05 04:22 PM

Hmmm. Shoot, that would be great to meet up with both you and Koz in the jungle. I know he's been after me for awhile to come out and offered to buy me a plane ticket but I gave up flying ten years ago. I will have to drive out. Maybe we could meet up there in the fall sometime. Can't think of two people I'd rather hang out with and do some magic. I guess we should do it.

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Postby Guest » 07/15/05 01:16 PM

I have studied the Professor's 3-Card monte routine, and two things puzzle me to this day. I've asked both Bruce Cervon and Jim Patton, and neither of them gave me satisfactory answers.

1. Why did the Professor use Bikes instead of Bees? After all, the hype is much more undetectable using Bees.

(My only half answer is that he liked to take the cards off the top of a Bicycle deck in play, but that's kind of lame if it interferes with method.)

2. Why didn't the Professor ever let the spectator choose where the card was? After all, when the spectator is wrong, it has much more impact than when the trick is merely shown to them as a demonstration.

(My only half answer is that there's too high of a failure rate that way. But was the Professor that bothered by getting caught every now and then?)
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Postby Ian Kendall » 07/15/05 01:55 PM

Hi David,

Have you honestly found that a hype is more visible with bordered cards? I know that in _theory_ the borderless cards will more deceptive, but in a properly timed hype the cards will move too quickly to notice.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 07/15/05 01:56 PM

Regarding Mr. Groves questions -- As to the first, I am only speculating, but I could imagine Mr. Vernon feeling that taking out three 'special' cards to do an effect would be a deal breaker (suspicion of trick cards, too magicy, or something). I'm not at home near my books right now, but if I recall correctly, he used 3 different cards (instead of 2 duplicates and an odd card). If so, that lends credence to the theory that it was important to him to just use the cards he had out for other effects, perhaps to confirm in the spectator's minds that he'd had 52 (and only 52) normal playing cards the whole time. Personally I think the improvement one gets from using Bees outweighs those concerns, particularly because (1) as far as using different cards than you're using for other effects, there's the built in excuse that 2 of the cards have to be the same. I like that the cards I use have different backs than the cards I use for other tricks because using 2 duplicate Bikes (or whatever other cards you're using for other stuff) would introduce a weirdness -- like you might have all sorts of duplicates, etc. Additionally, (2) the cards can be handled by the spectators after the routine, which alleviates the danger of 'trick' card suspicion.

As to the second question, again -- total speculation -- but I could imagine Mr. Vernon shying away from a routine in which the spectator is wrong and might feel stupid, rather than the Professor being concerned that the spectator might be right occasionally. Personally I feel 3 Card Monte can be handled in a way in which the spectator gets to choose the card, is always wrong, and never minds one bit (e.g. Darwin Ortiz's routine).

I have performed Ortiz's version (and other versions) for years, and oddly enough, just recently for the first time ever, someone got the card right on the final selection. Actually I think it was because he felt bad for me when he noticed the bent corner and just randomly picked one of the other two!

-David L.
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Postby Guest » 07/15/05 02:35 PM

To Ian: I have performed this routine an awful lot through the years, and currently at 3 restaurants a week in Los Angeles--really, thousands of times--and I've discovered that there are various weak points in it--i.e., points, situations, or conditions in which you might get caught, if you don't take precautions.

Yes, I have had people catch the hype because they saw the border sliding across. Remember, there are some people with extraordinary eyesight, esp. children, whose eyes have not yet had a chance to decline yet.

In addition, some people know or have heard of the hype move, and are thus looking closely for it. If they see the border sliding across, that might just confirm it.

To David L.:

I take out three special cards, but then prove that they're not special. I let the spectators examine them. I don't hold them in close. I don't hold them like Ultimate Monte cards. They're obviously not special.

As far as using two of the same card, that allows you to do the double flash, which is just a flat-out dynamite move. To leave that out of a monte routine is criminal.

I have batted these issues around for years, and although your speculation is interesting, to be sure, I'm really more interested in hearing from people who heard Vernon speak about these issues. After all, lots of people who are still alive have talked to Vernon about the monte. Paul Chosse, are you out there?
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Postby Tabman » 07/15/05 02:51 PM

In the book that I'm getting it from, Further Inner Secrets Of Card Magic published by Harry Stanley (no date) the photos show the hands (and I don't know if they are The Professor's hands or someone elses) with circle backed Talley Hos.

The text also states that The Professor did it as a demonstration, not having the spec choose, because he didn't want to place them in what is described as "an embarrassing situation by having them actually choose a card." Sure wish I could have seen him perform it himself.

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Postby Ian Kendall » 07/15/05 03:07 PM

Tabman - Revelations volume 9 has an in depth look at the monte, as well as Vernon performing the routine for som real people.

David - fair enough; if you've been caught in the past I'll go with that (I'm sure I've not performed this as many times as you have). Before I posted I ran through a couple of dozen hypes with some spare League backs I have on my desk, looking for a flash, and knowing what to look for. Perhaps there is a difference in technique.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 07/15/05 03:28 PM

David G I am so proud of you! I attended one of your early lectures and pointed out to you, after not having an answer when asked, as to why Bee style backs are prefered over Bikes and also why guys like Doc Eason use Bikes (because the cards are pulled from a deck in use). You have learned well grasshopper!
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Postby Guest » 07/16/05 11:48 AM

"I'm really more interested in hearing from people who heard Vernon speak about these issues. After all, lots of people who are still alive have talked to Vernon about the monte. Paul Chosse, are you out there? "

You don't need to talk to people that spoke with vernon. You just need to read the book and use your head.
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Postby Guest » 07/16/05 12:57 PM

I stand corrected: They're Tally Hos instead of Bikes. What I meant was: white-bordered cards.

As far as not having the spectator choose the card, that explanation is hard for me to believe. Vernon didn't want to embarrass someone? Please. There must have been another reason. First of all, Vernon embarrassed and even humiliated fellow magicians as a matter of course. And secondly, from experience, I know that the "embarrassment" of choosing the wrong card is negligible, depending on the magician's own taste for sticking it to the spectator.
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/16/05 01:40 PM

Ken Brooke was influenced by Vernon... and when he taught me the 3-Card routine (the Chase the Ace version) he said NEVER have the spectator try to guess where the money card is. You kind of asked, "Where's the Ace, here, no.. here? Yes." But never to anyone directly or ever accept an answer.
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Postby John Carney » 07/16/05 03:49 PM

hello all,
this is really a great routine to show people. It has instant interest from people, as they have heard about it, but have probably never seen it. It is also easy to carry three cards in your wallet and do it anywhere, which I did for years.

These comments are not directed at anyone in particular....just some observations and things I picked up from the Professor. Now I'm not quoting the Professor directly, but here is what I have learned about the two issues brought up:

First, if the move is flashing, I would suspect a technical problem. If a false toss is even suspected (as Erdnase would say, "let alone detected"), then the focus is too much on the toss itself instead of the "mixing" of the cards. Vernon said the toss should almost go straight down to the table instead of what we usually see, which is tossing it off to the side.

Second, by not allowing the spectator to choose, not only is he not embarrassed, but he is never allowed to be correct. Even if this is done by the best tosser in the world, people will often guess, and then it appears as though they have outfoxed you. I have watched 3 card monte with my somewhat trained eye, and I often can't really keep track of the queen, even if there is no move. If there was no money at stake, I could guess one out of three (pretty good odds), with no consequence.

also, it is difficult to structure a solid presentation with the spectator's guesses adding variables. With Vernon's routine, its a demonstration, rather than a challenge. You get the effect of the con, and can build your presentation in a measured way.

Some may prefer to thumb their noses at the spectators and shout "gotcha!", but these are never popular performers. With Vernon's routine, you get the best of both worlds. You actually do "get em", but as Leipzig used to say, they feel they have been "fooled by a gentleman"

hope this is of interest
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/16/05 04:14 PM

John,

Your post is of tremendous interest. Thank you for contributing.

best,

N.
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Postby Tabman » 07/16/05 05:20 PM

Originally posted by John Carney: Vernon said the toss should almost go straight down to the table instead of what we usually see, which is tossing it off to the side.
Thank you for clarifying that. That's made a big difference for me.

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Postby Pete Biro » 07/16/05 05:29 PM

J.C., thanks for the real work... btw, how are you? Have a great trip and... stay tooned.
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Postby jerry lazar » 07/17/05 09:08 AM

Almost nothin' 'bout 3-card monte that isn't addressed on Whit/Chef's invaluable in-depth DVD here:

http://www.chefanton.com/scoundrelsstor ... _monte.htm

Also Daryl's comprehensive Full Monte DVD (on same webpage, or at foolerdoolers.com ...

As for "not insulting specs" -- try adapting Bill Malone's approach (in his Skinner Monte): "Yep, Barney, that's the one *I* would've guessed, too..." Share the shame!...

And if caught? First time (adapted from Bob Sheets shell routine): "Good for you, sir! I remember how *I* felt that one time I guessed correctly. Enjoy it while it lasts." Second time? Mexican turnover!

Bottom line: Keep it FUN... It's a GAME!...
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Postby Tabman » 07/17/05 07:43 PM

Thank you all for the great comments on this thread. I'm in the cotton patch this week so I'll have some time on my hands away from the shop to work on the routine. That bit of advice on the toss really made a huge difference.

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Postby Guest » 07/24/05 08:55 AM

It makes sense to me too! (That gives us all reason to fear!) Dropping is certainly more control than tossing. It is also a more natural move. Gravity is very directional.

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Postby Tabman » 07/24/05 09:36 AM

The Book of Bob says "Gravity is very directional."

At first look, I laughed when I read this but knowing how smart Bob is I thought about it a little more and wondered how I could apply this seemingly simple information.

So, I have changed my approach to the toss and changed it to the drop using just a little motion to disguise the move making it more relaxzed and casual. I know I'm coming late to the monte and will always be a student at it but I'm having a lot of fun learning the routine.

Eventually I want to add a one or two more routines I like and enjoy so I will have a half dozen good card tricks up my sleeve when asked to do a couple.

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