The Real Hustle

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Daniel
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The Real Hustle

Postby Daniel » February 9th, 2006, 9:39 am

A new series featuring Paul Wilson starts tonight on BBC 3 at 10:30 pm.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/tv/real_hustle.shtml

Paul and his fellow co-stars, including fellow magician Alexis Conran, were also on Richard & Judy (networked afternoon magazine show), doing some plugging.

Guest

Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Guest » February 9th, 2006, 9:58 am

Please ask Jessica where I can send all my money for her and sign over my truck. Thank you.
Steve V

Ian Kendall
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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Ian Kendall » February 9th, 2006, 12:56 pm

For people interested in carnival scams - Alexis bought my lesson on Cover the Spot, and I'm told it will feature in next week's show. An opportunity to see a rare routine performed.

Take care, Ian

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mrgoat
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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby mrgoat » February 10th, 2006, 5:45 am

Originally posted by Ian Kendall:
For people interested in carnival scams - Alexis bought my lesson on Cover the Spot, and I'm told it will feature in next week's show. An opportunity to see a rare routine performed.

Take care, Ian
I saw some people working this in Leicester Square (NB for Americans this is pronounded Lie-cess-ter)last summer.

It was wonderful to actually see. They had three 'tables' set up in three different parts of the square. The looked East European. I watched for as long as I could before they - in no uncertain terms - told me to go away.

They weren't even any good at the throw.

:)

Lived in London for 16 years and STILL not actually seen anyone do Find The Lady. :(

Damian

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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Ian Kendall » February 10th, 2006, 12:50 pm

I'm a wee bit concerned about this now, having just watched the first show. I agreed to provide my lesson on the basis that they were not going to expose the method (such as it is for Cover the Spot).

After seeing them expose the monte throw, perhaps I'm the one that was hustled. I suppose I'll have to wait and see...

Take care, Ian

Guest

Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Guest » February 10th, 2006, 2:25 pm

Originally posted by Ian Kendall:
I'm a wee bit concerned about this now, having just watched the first show. I agreed to provide my lesson on the basis that they were not going to expose the method (such as it is for Cover the Spot).

After seeing them expose the monte throw, perhaps I'm the one that was hustled. I suppose I'll have to wait and see...

Take care, Ian
Actually, I don't think the methods for "cheating at play", or "obtaining money by deception through gambling"are what we're supposed to be protecting from exposure. On the contrary, we're supposed to be exposing them.

See the work of John Scarne , and Frank Garcia not to mention James Randi 's work on exposing fraudulent psychics. I understand your feeling about your own routine, but if it uses the same method used to defraud the public...

Charlie Chang
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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Charlie Chang » February 11th, 2006, 3:43 am

The Monte is a scam - a con game - played by thieves in order to obtain money by deception. Absolutely no money is ever won by the "players" unless the people running the game are total amateurs.

I've watched this game played several times and, after watching real people lose real money, I have no problem exposing the actual scam.

On The Real Hustle we are trying to present real scams pulled on real people. We then reveal how the scam works.

Monte is also a popular effect amongst magicians where the hype move (among many others) is employed to entertain by re-enacting the conditions of this classic con game.

But it IS still a con game and it is in the public's best interests to understand why they can never win.

PART of the method is a sleight of hand move known as the "hype".

We chose to expose the hype with leather disks (as it is often played on the street) rather than playing-cards and to spend more time on how the mark is sucked into the game and then given an apparent advantage, which ultimately empties his wallet.

We recreated a real scenario and dropped real people into the set-up. If you want to know the truth we were practically fighting off people once we started - everyone wanted to play.

On the streets, Monte is theft. Just because we, as magicians, develop a performance item from it we cannot then claim rights to the scam itself.

For the record, I perform three card monte hundreds of times a year and expose the hype every single time before using it again to fool them. The hype, performed properly, is invisible.

Demonstrating the bent corner (which was not discussed on our show) is part of most good routines but we never explain how we switch the bend from card to card - the fact that we can is enough.

When I show the hype, people already know that's what must be happening! On The Real Hustle we used professional slow motion cameras to expose the move so that the audience understodd that, with the naked eye, the move cannot be seen.

The expose on The Real Hustle was short, tight and structured as entertainment. The facts we included were enough to prove it was all a scam and should never be played.

I would gladly perform my monte routine for anyone who saw the show.

During his own routine, Dai Vernon exposed the move: "when two cards are held together like this, it's impossible to tell whether I throw the top card or the bottom one" - then went on to use it right away to fool the audience. I believe the Professor also performed this on television.

Exposing the hype does not hurt magicians if they perform a monte routine competently but it might discourage lay people from betting on a game they can't win.

As for "Cover The Spot", Alexis had already mastered the method before tracking down, for completeness, Ian's online lesson (where he teaches an old method for an old scam). Ian's permission vis a vis exposure was neither sought nor required but when he asked if we were going to expose the method we assured him we would NOT.

We DO expose that it is a much more difficult game than it seems and that the operator must learn how to cover the spot within 5mm of error. The exact sequence, which must be learned in order to cover the spot, is not taught (though anyone with a pause/slo mo button might learn it if they take the time).

We also expose an old twist on the scam used on players who looked like they might know the correct sequence.

Cover the Spot is a great carnival game because it CAN be done and the players can feel that, if only they had another go, they might be able to finally do it. Those who seek to demonstrate the game for "entertainment" purposes will still be able to do so.

These games are the inspiration for many great magic routines but we, as magicians, do not then acquire any rights to secrets that already exist.

That said, I would frown on exposing any of the magic methods developed as additions to street moves such as the hype. These are our innovations and only serve to make the routine more entertaining.

If, however, one of OUR ideas was adapted to the street game (to aid in the theft) then it becomes part of a scam (a crime) and the public should be made aware if it helps them to understand why not to play.

P.

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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Ian Kendall » February 11th, 2006, 4:16 am

Thanks to Paul for the reply.

As for the exposure issue, Paul is completely correct - they did not need my permission at all. But the lead up, in hindsight, makes me smile.

I got a call one morning a couple of weeks ago from Alexis. He explained that he was a magician who did a lot of bunco type shows, and wanted to add the Spot to his show. He had read about my lesson on Whit Haydn's board, and could he havea copy. At this point there was no mention of the TV show.

I explained that I had withdrawn the lesson for now, but it would be available as part of another project in three or four weeks, and I would let him know when it was ready. He thanked me and I went back to work.

About fifteen minutes later I got another call from the same number. 'Hello Alex' I answered, but the caller said 'No, I'm Anthony'. This threw me a bit as I don't often get names wrong.

At this point Anthony explained that he was from a TV company, and since they were filming the Spot segment in four days' time, could they have the lesson right away. Again, I was thrown a bit, and asked for some more information. Anthony said he was unsure as to who would be doing the Spot routine, but he said he would ask Anthony Owen to give me a call, as I wanted to speak with someone I knew.

Another half hour and Anthony Owen called me to discuss the matter. He said that Alexis had ordered a set from the States, and was getting it 60% of the time already. Since they were not filming live, they were prepared to go into it as they were, and it was an opportunity to make some money from it. I agreed to talk to the production assistant to haggle a price.

Another call later, when a price had been agreed, I was getting ready to reset the password on the download folder when a niggling thought struck me. I was not willing to provide the lesson if they were going to expose the method. I phoned Keri again to ask, and she checked and said no, they were not going to expost anything. With that information I sent her the download link and password.

The lesson was downloaded three times. I don't know if that was by three different people, but I can't see why they would need to download the same file three times.

Anyway, what's done is done. I'l looking forward to seeing the segment.

Take care, Ian

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thecardman
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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby thecardman » February 11th, 2006, 7:59 am

The "Cover The Spot" game was shown and explained on "The Secret Cabaret" on Ch4 some 14 years ago. The person showing and explaining it did it incorrectly first, then showed that it could be done but said that the first 3 throws had to be accurate to within a very small fraction of an inch. If this is what The Real Hustle intend to do (and from Paul's post, it looks like that), then you've nothing to worry about, Ian.

Ian, I'll see you in Blackpool (got some things for you!).

Paul, congratulations with the show and I'll see you soon.

Best wishes

Peter
:)
The Cardman\'s Blog
www.scottish9ball.com

Guest

Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Guest » February 11th, 2006, 8:17 am

Please excuse my ignorance. What is Cover The Spot?

Dave

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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Ian Kendall » February 11th, 2006, 8:58 am

Cover the Spot is a bunco game that required the player to use five discs to cover a larger spot that is usually painted onto a wooded board.

Although it sounds easy, there are some rules; the discs must be dropped onto the spot, and once dropped, they cannot be moved. The spot must be covered completely so that no part of it is visible to win.

Depending on the sizes of the discs and spots in use, the tolerances for the first two discs is between one and two millimetres. It's the position of these two that dictate the win or lose - once they are down the last three need to be placed _exactly_ in the right position to win. There is no tolerance at this point.

Take care, Ian

Jeff Eline
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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Jeff Eline » February 11th, 2006, 9:07 am

Didn't they used to play the game on burlap and when the sucker tried to play they would step on a foot pedal that would stretch the circle making it impossible to win?

I remember reading it somewhere, although I know they don't use that technique anymore.

Guest

Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Guest » February 11th, 2006, 9:24 am

For photos of Cover the Spot (aka Spot the Spot), go to Cover the Spot .

It's a blog I set up just to post photos of a couple of the games I own. There was some discussion on Whit Haydn's Scounderels Board, so I posted the pics.

-David L.

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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Ian Kendall » February 11th, 2006, 9:36 am

I heard that too, Jeff, but I've only used solid sets.

Take care, Ian

Guest

Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Guest » February 11th, 2006, 11:12 am

Thanks for the enlightenment, guys.

Dave

David Alexander
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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby David Alexander » February 12th, 2006, 12:19 pm

One Sunday afternoon a few years ago I took a magician friend into downtown Los Angeles. It only took us a few minutes to find a Monte gang working the crowd. On the other side of the street and down a block or two there were a couple of guys working the Shell Game with a piece of sponge and three bottle caps.

Everything was in Spanish and looking around I saw that my friend and I were the only non-Latinos on the street. Our presence made the hustlers nervous and we didn't get the opportunity to watch them for long, but while we did they pulled in nearly $100 in five and tens.

Bill Palmer
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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Bill Palmer » February 20th, 2006, 10:18 pm

In 1992, I watched some Turks playing the shell game on the Kudamm in Berlin. They were using a piece of carpet as a mat. The shells were matchbox drawers, reinforced with masking tape. The pea was a rolled up ball of foil.

I saw the same guys in Budapest in 2003 on Gellaert Hill.
Bill Palmer, MIMC

Ian Kendall
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Re: The Real Hustle

Postby Ian Kendall » February 21st, 2006, 12:18 am

Hi Bill,

There are a couple of stories over on the Scoundrels' forum about this crew. I saw them in Barcelona.

Take care, Ian


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