Seconds, Bottoms

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Carl Mercurio » 08/24/01 05:04 PM

Who does the best second you've ever seen? Who does the best bottom? What's your favorite technique for seconds and bottoms? Notice how I strategically avoid giving my view until I hear some of yours. ;)
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Postby Guest » 08/24/01 10:44 PM

Richard Turner does excellent seconds and bottoms.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 08/24/01 11:20 PM

I don't want to sound flip, but if you can SEE the Seconds or Bottoms, they are not good from the standpoint of deception.

If you SENSE that the Seconds and Bottoms are being done, they are equally inefficient.

You can say, however, that so-and-so masterfully EXECUTES these sleights.

I think that Steve Forte is one of the best card handlders on the planet. If you have not been forewarned or otherwise prepared, you will not see or sense his false deals when they occur.

This is the highest praise.

Otherwise, I have seen and admired many superb EXECUTORS of false deals. I have also seen a great number of PRETENDERS.

In my own sad case, I cannot perform a decent false deal. Never could. Consequently, I seldom, if ever, perform them.

[ August 24, 2001: Message edited by: Jon Racherbaumer ]
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 08/24/01 11:51 PM

Thanks Jon.
There's a funny story about Charlie Miller being asked by someone, "let me see your second deal." Miller then proceeded to do the worst second deal ever. When asked by a friend why he did such a bad second, Miller replied, "He said he wanted to SEE my second." I guess the question should be worded, "who does the best second deal you never saw." :)
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Postby Monte » 08/27/01 11:38 AM

Martin Nash in his prime had an very very very deceptive second deal.

Darwin Ortiz does seconds, bottoms, and centers with excellent skill.

[ November 11, 2001: Message edited by: Monte ]
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/27/01 11:47 AM

Gene Maze is, without doubt, one of the best second, center and bottom dealers. He put Darwin Ortiz to shame.
I can't do bottoms or centers, but I can do a decent second deal using Russell Barnhart's versions of the new theory second deal. Magic Inc. sells them in a booklet. A few evenings of determined practice and you'll be able to perform them well.
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 08/27/01 05:37 PM

Richard,

I agree with you on Gene Maze. He's also one of the sweetest guys in the world.

My second is pretty good. I can handle Elmsley's Diamond Cut Diamond, the Roy Walton Cannibal Cards, your card at any number, etc. I use the same two-card push off techniques Simon Lovell uses. He in fact taught me the real work on it. It takes time and practice, but it's worth the effort. All you would-be second-dealers should definately buy his pamplet on the second.

My bottom deal needs work. I'm using the no push off, buckle technique. I think I'm about a year away from getting it down (maybe longer now that I have a 10-month-old scooting around the house). But I can do the Marlo bomb door bottom and another Marlo bottom from a spread pretty well.
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Postby Guest » 08/27/01 06:00 PM

NOBODY beats Forte at false deals OR shuffles ;) ;)
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 08/27/01 06:17 PM

Forte is out of the question, of course. Now I find there is too much talk about the best of this and best of that. We don't even need to know who is the best. The important thing, in my opinion are the things (deals, gaffed and ungaffed tricks, magicians, books) that are brought to our attention. I like Martin Nash's second. It's not only finger technique. It's the whole attitude that's so much better than most of the-latest-greatest-thing" that are mentioned. I like Gene Maze's bottom and I love his book, especially as he finds magical applications other than gambling demonstrations and analyzes the whole situation in a magic context. Tamariz does a mean bottom, too.
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 08/27/01 07:31 PM

Rafael,

Thanks for you thoughts....I'm not sure if you do a bottom or not, but I'm finding that the best angle is actually the "exposed" one. That is, facing left, with deck in left hand. By rocking the deck up on the take you get a nice illusion of taking the top card. Facing right, the spectator doesn't see the bottom, but doesn't see the top card leave either. Am I totally off base?
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Postby Guest » 08/28/01 07:53 AM

I will cast my vote for Darwin Ortiz. I know he isn't the only performer capable of false dealing, but he does a nice job with several of them where as there are many people (like myself) that can't do any of them.
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 08/28/01 08:46 AM

Interesting comment Carl, I'll think about it. Actually the exposed side is covered by the right hand taking the card if you time it properly. Also, the bottom is more deceiving when the right hand takes the card and the left hand moves away. This happens automatically when dealing yourself a bottom in a clockwise round.
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 08/28/01 09:14 AM

Rafael,
Your comment that the bottom is more deceptive when the right hand is stationary and the left hand moves away is absolutely correct. That's the key to both seconds and bottoms that most people miss. The right hand doesn't move. All the action is with the left hand. The rocking motion of the left hand creates the illusion.

Also your comment that this action is natural when dealing yourself a bottom in a round is correct. Interestingly, in this case, the angle is dead on, yet still more deceptive in my opinion than dealing a bottom to your right.

Roy walton has a poker deal that gives me trouble because you deal two hands, one to yourself and one to a spectator across from you. The bottom happens when you deal to the spectator!!! I can't make this look good. So I've reversed it. Deal the spectator the top, then yourself the bottom. It's much easier. See Devil's Playthings....
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 08/28/01 11:19 AM

Right. There are many factors other than finger technique. Here is something I also use for other sleights. Sometimes you may want to deal a bottom but are not dealing a round or a row of cards. You need a way to move the left hand away with a valid reason that looks natural. A natural way is, instead of moving the left hand to the left, having it return from the right to its natural position in the center. Whether you're standing or sitting, your feet are pointing to the center or somewhat to the left. Turn your body to the right, without moving your feet, to make a remark, maybe showing the top sidejogged card or, according to the situation, flicking it with the right forefinger. Execute the bottom deal action as your body relaxes thus turning back to the left. This way your turning to the left does not look like a conscious action. It's looks like the consequence of a previous action. The left arm drops like a dead fish as the body turns back to its original position.
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 08/28/01 01:42 PM

Excellent! It's almost the same psychology used in the top change. Interestingly, Pat Page does his top change by placing the card on top of the deck and removing another card from the bottom. He does this with the same kind of body turn you describe. He does it this way to retain the order of a stacked deck during an any card called for rountine.

I use a similar motion in a card discovery but moving left to right with a wrist turn. Control a selected card to the bottom. Have the spectator insert an indifferent card, e.g., the Ace of Spades, face up in the middle of the deck. Spread to the Ace taking it and all he cards above in the right hand. Note that the next card is where they stabbed. Execute a bottom with the right hand while still holding the spread.

If you're feeling lucky, toss the Ace into the air and catch it in the middle of the deck instead of having the spectator stab it in....
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Postby Sean Macfarlane » 08/28/01 10:58 PM

I'm going to go with Forte as well, I've never seen him live or any of the others mentioned for that matter, but on a video Forte has smoothest dealing technique that I've ever seen. On the hidden secrets of Magic he did a demo and I didn't even suspect his first dealing demonstration as he dealt the guy 4 kings off the bottom. The only two guys I did see do unbeleivable bottoms in person were Andrew Wimhurst, and Jason England. I asked Andrew to demonstrate his bottom for me which I believe was Gene Maze's and it was beautiful, smooth as silk, Jason as well, I don't have a clue what technique he was using but none the less it was wonderful. Actually Paul wilson does a great bottom as well a technique of the late great Fred Robinson I forgot about that one.
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Postby Rick Franceschin » 08/29/01 01:37 AM

What an incredible discussion on false dealing. Bravo Carl and Co.!!! The best false deals I have ever seen came when they were cunningly placed into a routine. Take the second deal for instance. It is one of the only sleights which is often repeated continuously until the all important terminal point is reached, such as for the classic "Stop Trick". Charlie Miller put the second deal to a far greater use in his excellent "Nomad Aces" found in Expert Card Technique. In "Nomad" Miller created a tensed moment for the spectators, when he relieved the spectator's tension he dealt one second at the tail of three strait deals. In effect, the second deal was used to switch out a single ace - very clean and direct. Ken Krenzel's "Mechanical Poker", from "The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel - by Harry Lorayne" also uses a second deal in an impressively craft way. The seconds are invoked in seemingly unimportant moments. These same points can be directed to the bottom deal. Brother Hamman's "Billy the Kid" from "The Secrets of Bro. Hamman" uses a crude coverless bottom deal, yet, it is incredibly effective. Why? - because of where it is placed in the context of all the action. For what it's worth the best second dealer I ever saw was a guy named "Rocco" in the Bronx!
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 08/29/01 09:04 AM

My modest buddy Rick forgot to mention that he himself does beautiful strike seconds and beautiful multiple-minus bottoms. The latter he uses in any Ace called for at any number routine that kills. P.S., Rocco was a better double-dealer than second dealer....
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Postby Guest » 08/29/01 05:00 PM

but on a video Forte has smoothest dealing technique that I've ever seen.

They are so smoooth, but his rhythm's are what magician's fail to capture. (Paul Chouse has great rythm)
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 08/30/01 04:28 PM

Carl,

Regarding your post (scrolling 5 down)

"Pat Page does his top change by placing the card on top of the deck and removing another card from the bottom."

Page actually puts the card on the bottom and removes the top card.

"If you're feeling lucky, toss the Ace into the air and catch it in the middle of the deck instead of having the spectator stab it in..."

Well, if you're gonna do that you might as well do a Charlier cut while the card is in the air and catch it as you close the deck. It might even make the catch easier. This what Daryl does in his "Boomeranging Card of Mystery", a great trick.
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 08/30/01 05:38 PM

Rafael,

Thanks for the correction on Pat Page. It's been a while since I've seen him. And I'm probably at the age where memory loss is setting in.

On the Boomerang Card, I've always done it by throwing the card in the air and catching it while riffling the deck. My friends have been trying to get me to switch to the one-handed cut, so you're not alone.

O.K., I'm sitting here tossing cards in the air and am willing to admit that catching the card with a one-handed cut is a tad easier.

One more question on the bottom. Are you using an Erdnase grip?

:)
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Postby Guest » 09/21/01 04:13 PM

Has anyone ever noticed, that from an entertainment point of view, the best at executing the move is not always the best entertainer. If someone is doing a good job at entertaining they don't have to be soooo dam good at the moves.
Two people who rock at move, but you hardly ever hear about because they are so entertaining would have to be David Williamson and John Carney. Both have amazing skill, but are also quite entertaining.

Spydur
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 09/21/01 05:02 PM

Simon Lovell is another good example of someone who's skill level is underrated because he's so very entertaining. You'll also notice that the best entertainers don't do any "moves." They do sleights in the course of a routine or trick, but because everything is so well orchestrated and covered by natural motions and patter lines, nothing is happening as far as the spectator's are concerned. Don Alan was the king at this. There were no "moves" when he performed.

The inner monologue helps. If you're thinking, "O.K., now it's time to do the best kick-ass second deal" you probably won't as far as spectator perceptions go.

Of course, doing magic for laymen for fun or even for a living is a lot different from hanging out with your magic buddies and having some fun. There are things magic technicians can do that are very entertaining to me as a semi-pro magician--things a laymen would probably find a crushing bore....
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