Straight On (ebook) by Martin Vetter $20.67 / 12.99
Available at: http://www.magicbox.uk.com
In his latest ebook, Martin Vetter teaches a card effect with a poker theme. Having some small interest in poker-themed card effects, I had high hopes for what lay ahead.
For the most part, Mr. Vetters writing is adequate. He does a good job of teaching the handling. There are a few typographical and grammatical errors, but they are merely annoying.
The author refers to a hand consisting of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of different suits as a Royal Straight! I have never heard that hand referred to by that name. The hand is commonly called Broadway. This issue bugs me much more than it should.
While he credits the other methods that he uses, the author has missed giving Jay Ose an important credit for a certain cutting procedure.
In his introductory remarks Mr. Vetter states, I have tried not to use illustrations as it will make it easier for you to make the effect your own.
I have no idea what that means.
The performer removes all of the Tens through Aces from the deck and hands the packet to a participant. She freely cuts the packet as often as she likes. She deals cards from the top of the packet into a face-down pile on the table and stops dealing about halfway through the packet. She tables the remainder of the packet beside the dealt pile and riffle shuffles the piles together.
The participant deals the top five cards to five different positions on the table. She deals another card on top of each of the tabled cards in any order she wishes. She repeats this procedure until she has formed five, four-card piles.
She stacks the piles in any order, forming one packet. She cuts the packet into three piles on the table and then reassembles the piles into one packet.
She deals four, five-card poker hands and freely chooses one of them. The performer divines that it is Broadway. The participant turns her hand face-up and discovers that her hand is indeed Broadway. She turns over the other hands and they are all Broadways.
I like the authors presentation of the participant using her intuition to mix the cards, deal the hands and choose her hand. I like the fact that she does all of the work.
I like how Mr. Vetter cleverly weaves together the various procedures that bring about the desired outcome. However, my appreciation of his handling comes from an intellectual standpoint, not from a practical, performance standpoint.
The method is procedurally overwrought and I feel that the participant is required to do too much work. The majority of the performance consists of the participant executing the method. In a sense, the method is the effect. Thats not my idea of entertainment.
I dont like the effects climax. I think revealing the other Broadway hands kills the effect in several ways.
Showing those hands renders the participants free choice of her hand meaningless! Her intuition didnt compel her to choose the best hand. Theyre all the same.
Here is the authors patter after the performer divines her hand and the participant turns it face up for verification.
Now try to turn over the other hands and see what they are. If I'm not mistaken you have used your intuition to stack the poker game more than perfect!!
That second sentence makes me cringe, but thats not my point.
My point is that the performer is stating that he already knows what those other hands are! Despite all of the participants apparent mixing of the cards, the performer knows ahead of time that all of the hands are going to be Broadway.
The participants awareness of this state of affairs will cause her to conclude that the performers divination of her freely selected hand was meaningless!
Since her mixing of the cards didnt alter the predetermined outcome, she must conclude that her very participation was meaningless!
You could improve the effect slightly by removing the unselected hands without displaying them. But if the crowd wants to see those hands youre screwed.
The optimal effect would allow the participant to turn over the other hands and discover that her freely selected hand beats them all. But we will have to look elsewhere for that effect.
So, while I like aspects of the method and the presentation, I just dont like the effect.
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