The simplified version of Triumph as described in Stars of Magic or in Michael Ammar's tape is very convincing if you pay close attention to finger positions. Unless you are performing for altitude impaired persons or children, it is nearly invisible, and the rest can be handled with the correct acting.
It was simplified for Stars of Magic from the original block transfer strip out shuffle that Vernon originally used. It's main advantage is that it can be done with just about any quality of cards. I've never been caught with the simplified version, except for my teacher, who is quick to point out faults.
I have the utmost respect for Daryl, but his display in his version of Triumph is (in my humble opinion) inferior to using an up the ladder cut after the strip out, which shows each face up card to be different. There is no doubt after that that the cards are jumbled, and then after that the standard convincer totally locks in the fact to the observer.
I also use the up the ladder cut as the control to get the card to the top for this trick only, so when the spectator sees it used twice, it takes all the heat off. A small number of magicians in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area get together twice a month to discuss advanced aspects of magic (this group is independent of the IBM and SAM clubs, although we are for the most part members of both those clubs too.) I use a way of doing triumph that is just a little different than the Stars of Magic version, but is extremely convincing, and best of all it's almost impossible to screw up. I'm sure it's not original since it makes so much sense.
None of us were very impressed with the multiple pile convincer that Daryl teaches on his London Lecture tapes.
Much of our discussion started while critiquing Joe Fortiers Triumph type routine, in which the spectator shuffles the cards, and it still works! At first he did a daryl type of display and all of us thought that it was the weakest part of his routine. I won't describe it without his permission, but it's a real mind blower. He's spent a lot of time on this and it shows. I still don't understand much of his handling and he isn't offering explanations, But I've seen it so many times that I have seen a little bit of some of the extremely difficult sleights he uses, but still not nearly enough to reconstruct the effect. But, on the other hand I don't want to. It's his trick and I feel honored to be able to critique it and not have him feel threatened that I or anyone else in the group would try to emulate it. (if we could).
In the following months we were able to see some major improvements that Joe made by avoiding the multiple piles, which to a knowlegable magician, just doesn't look right, and lack an important convincer that the cards are truely mixed.
We've also discussed the various in-the-hands slop shuffle techniques and the majority of methods that we know of seem to lack the convincer of the up the ladder cut just after the strip out, and just prior to the standard convincer.
If somebody has some web space available, I'd be glad to upload a video of the version that many of us feel to be superb, assuming you have a table to do it on. I make no claims to its originality.
MSN doesn't let me get to my web site anymore. It's fast but it sucks that you HAVE to use microsoft software.
If you do want to learn the block transfer
stripout, then Johnny Thompson's tape does have a great explanation of that technique. It's harder and probably a bit more foolproof once mastered, but for ease of use, I prefer the simpler stars of magic type stripout, with the addition of an up the ladder cut which neccetates a 'backwards' handling of the stripout so you can use an up the ladder to reverse the two piles once the strip out is performed.