Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
JHostler
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby JHostler » February 16th, 2015, 6:56 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:This is a serious question ...
Would it still be deemed unethical to perform Ricky Jay's material after he has shuffled off this mortal coil?


This really is a great question, and - by Ricky's own apparent standard - the answer would be "possibly." There's a fuzzy line between legitimate artistic license and theft... a line defined not only by the origins and age of the source material, but how closely that material was associated with its creator AND the perceived artistic integrity/merit of the "borrower." Folks like Ricky and, oh... let's say Bob Dylan have gotten away with things we'd summarily condemn each other for. (Love and Theft, ya know...) But each of these performers has a character perfectly suited to their body of work. They're not pilfering out of laziness; there's a certain logic to the selection of "raw material" and how it's employed.
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Chas Nigh
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Chas Nigh » February 16th, 2015, 7:13 pm

I will apologize for the "chill" remark. However, perhaps I did not make my self clear on the OP. I really liked the running cut to load the third Ace. A thing of beauty. If anyone has seen this in print, let me know.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 16th, 2015, 7:14 pm

NCMarsh wrote:Am I wrong that it is out there for performance by others given the conditions above?

Mike published it with the intent that others could use his stuff. I just don't think he expected people to actually do much of it, with just a few rare exceptions. You are one of now two that I know are doing something directly from the book. (I will not state who the other is and what he is doing, but I will say that this person kept hounding Mike to get it published so he could do it. The point being, he waited.)

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Roger M. » February 16th, 2015, 7:27 pm

The impish devils poster, and the reference to 52 Assistants are clearly homages presented by Jay as one of magics greatest living historians.

Stealing an artists exclusive routine doesn't cut it in the homage department.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bill Mullins » February 16th, 2015, 8:28 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote: But note this: a music hall performer named Eugene Devot, who performed under the name Billy O'Connor during the 1920s, was billed as "Billy O'Connor and His 52 Assistants."


Wilfred Hubbard also was billed as ". . . and his 52 Assistants"


Additionally, I have always sensed some similarity between this poster ...

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...and this one...

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Artistic license anyone?


Rhett Bryson has a page collecting magicians and imps.

Some of the more blatant "homages" to the Kellar poster include:

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Thurston was Kellar's successor, so this isn't so surprising.

Imagine this one mirror-flipped left to right.
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erdnasephile
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby erdnasephile » February 16th, 2015, 9:11 pm

NCMarsh wrote:Never has more great material been available. Go there -- but thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's card trick.


Yes, exactly.

I'd wager that every person on this thread has a library shelf sagging under the weight of a plethora of amazing material that no one else is doing. (Heck, if you own "Stars of Magic", you have a working repertoire right there).

Why would anyone bother taking something that's not in print?
Last edited by erdnasephile on February 17th, 2015, 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Chas Nigh
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Chas Nigh » February 16th, 2015, 9:30 pm

After all this heated discussion can anybody prove it is NOT in print?

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Jeffrey Korst » February 16th, 2015, 9:42 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:And thus the debate roars.

"Artistic license" even has some crossover. In 1976 did a h[img]appy dance when I first saw the cover artwork by Lynn Curlee for Blue Oyster Cult's album, "Agents of Fortune":
[/img]
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As a magic history geek, I didn't have to look far for his inspiration:

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(As an aside, Teller says that BOC has [had?] the only authorized videotape of the show done at the Phoenix Theater in San Francisco known as "The Asparagus Valley Cultural Society.")


The BOC cover reminds me of this

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and the lawsuits that resulted from use of the photo without permission. The artist claimed fair use, but it sounds like he was probably going to lose in court. Happily for the album designer, the photographer was long gone, and the photo was not of a recognizable public figure.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Fredrick » February 16th, 2015, 11:00 pm

Paraphrasing Elliot....

Immature magicians imitate; mature magicians steal; bad magicians deface what they take, and good magicians make it into something better, or at least different. The good magician welds his theft into a whole feeling which is unique, utterly different from that which it was torn.

That's TS not Bruce...and he was referring to poets of course. The original can be found in Elliot's The Sacred Wood....
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby observer » February 16th, 2015, 11:46 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Wilfred Hubbard also was billed as ". . . and his 52 Assistants"



Google hits for "Wilfred Hubbard" magician : 4

Google hits for "Billy O'Connor" magician: "about 323,000"
Last edited by Dustin Stinett on February 17th, 2015, 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed a misquote as I had nothing to do with the Hubbard quote.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bill Mullins » February 17th, 2015, 12:11 am

observer wrote:Google hits for "Wilfred Hubbard" magician : 4

Google hits for "Billy O'Connor" magician: "about 323,000"


And when I google "Ricky Jay" magician I get 54,000 hits. Does that mean that Billy O'Connor is six times as famous as Ricky Jay?

Google hit counts are inaccurate, and useless as quantitative yardsticks. (But if you are suggesting that Billy O'Connor is more well known than Wilfred Hubbard, I've got no argument. The disparity within AskAlexander isn't near as large as 75,000 to one, but it is clear that O'Connor was and is more well known.)
Last edited by Bill Mullins on February 17th, 2015, 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby NCMarsh » February 17th, 2015, 12:21 am

Re: creativity and theft; the distinction I've often found helpful: stealing many elements from one artist is imitation; stealing one element from many artists is influence.

Its also about expanding the field of your influences: art, film, literature, history...that's what makes the Blue Oyster Cult artwork work; they're pulling an influence from something way outside their field...that appropriation -- in service of a rock band -- is far more interesting than if another magician, contemporary to the publicity still in question, was "influenced" by it

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby NCMarsh » February 17th, 2015, 12:44 am

Chas Nigh wrote:After all this heated discussion can anybody prove it is NOT in print?


The issue isn't about whether or not it is in print (which didn't seem to be anywhere on your radar in the Original Post). The issue was about process. You saw something, and decided to take it because you could deconstruct it. Whether or not it turns out to have been published; that approach of "I-see-I-want-I-do" is ethically and artistically backwards...and that's the way to travel to hackdom

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 17th, 2015, 12:48 am

Chas Nigh wrote:After all this heated discussion can anybody prove it is NOT in print?

That Ricky Jay has never published any of his work is pretty strong evidence that it is not in print. If you are insinuating that he is doing someone else's published work, the onus is on you to say who it is or the originator to come forward.

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Chas Nigh
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Chas Nigh » February 17th, 2015, 4:27 am

Dustin, Card School by Peter Duffie has a routine called Stacking For Real. This includes the technique of adding a slug to the stack. A technique that has been in many publications. Nothing earth shattering. And I don't use a slop shuffle.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby IanLand » February 17th, 2015, 8:01 am

I suspect it's virtually impossible to combine Triumph and riffle stacking in a way which is original. Both elements have many well-documented methods, and the likelihood is any method will simply be a mash-up of what's already in print somewhere. Even if the specific use of this Triumph with that riffle stack is previously undocumented, there's likely nothing about the methodology of any of these routines which makes them claimable as a unique invention. Presentation, on the other hand, is a very different matter.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 17th, 2015, 8:22 am

Thanks Ian, do you have a convenient way to put Topsy-Turvy aces and Rollover Aces into this
map of where triumph meets the card game/skill demo?
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby IanLand » February 17th, 2015, 8:30 am

Hahaha. That gets complicated...

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby IanLand » February 17th, 2015, 8:32 am

Looking back through my old notebooks I'm guilty of shoe-horning Triumph onto a whole range of other effects, thus weakening the impact of both for no great purpose :-)

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 17th, 2015, 11:26 am

Dingle had some really great Triumph variations, including Progressive Triumph and, of course, Rollover Aces. The latter is a killer routine for laymen; for some reason people think it's a magician's only trick. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby JHostler » February 17th, 2015, 11:31 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:...Rollover Aces. The latter is a killer routine for laymen; for some reason people think it's a magician's only trick. Nothing could be further from the truth.


I think anyone who witnessed Ammar's brilliant Tonight Show performance would agree!
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby IanLand » February 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

I've never seen anyone perform Rollover Aces, I don't think. I admit it didn't grab me when I read it. No doubt Derek made it great. Shame I never got to see him.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby IanLand » February 17th, 2015, 12:21 pm

Just found the Ammar Tonight Show performance on YouTube. Yeah, nothing wrong with that.

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Chas Nigh
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Chas Nigh » February 17th, 2015, 12:50 pm

A number of card men have used Rollover just to produce the Aces. No kicker.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby GlennWest » February 17th, 2015, 1:10 pm

Nice little reference piece that credits Ron Ferris with the roll over move:

http://www.geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Roll-Over_Aces

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 17th, 2015, 1:34 pm

Yes, the rollover move to produce Aces belongs to Ron Ferris.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby observer » February 17th, 2015, 1:48 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
observer wrote:Google hits for "Wilfred Hubbard" magician : 4

Google hits for "Billy O'Connor" magician: "about 323,000"


And when I google "Ricky Jay" magician I get 54,000 hits. Does that mean that Billy O'Connor is six times as famous as Ricky Jay?

Google hit counts are inaccurate, and useless as quantitative yardsticks. (But if you are suggesting that Billy O'Connor is more well known than Wilfred Hubbard, I've got no argument. The disparity within AskAlexander isn't near as large as 75,000 to one, but it is clear that O'Connor was and is more well known.)


No, I just thought it was interesting. I'd never heard of Wilfred Hubbard. Not that I claim to be the World's Greatest Authority on magic history, but still. Do you have any more information about him?

But then, as far as google hits go ... Billy O'Connor would have a lot more of them if Mr Jay had been generous enough to give him credit for his inspiration.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby erdnasephile » February 17th, 2015, 2:28 pm

In terms of published literature on the drunken poker type plot, I think Paul Cummins published a good sized reference list of such routines in his initial write-up of "Punken Droker" on cogitations.net. (I believe the earliest reference he found was in a Stewart Judah routine that was recorded in "The Lost Notebooks of John Northern Hilliard".).

When I get home, I'll pull the list and check the references to see if any correspond to the routine in question.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby IanLand » February 17th, 2015, 2:39 pm

Looking at the Ammar performance again, the Triumph bit of the kicker does get a bit lost in the Ace/flush production, it almost doesn't need to be there. I think this was always my doubt about the routine. Having said that, the kicker plays stronger in his hands than it read to me on the page, for sure.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Joe Pecore » February 17th, 2015, 2:50 pm

observer wrote:...I'd never heard of Wilfred Hubbard. Not that I claim to be the World's Greatest Authority on magic history, but still. Do you have any more information about him?...


http://geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Wilfred_Hubbard
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 17th, 2015, 2:55 pm

I don't care for Ammar's presentation. It makes a fine bit of sleight of hand seem like a sporting event or a contest.

I haven't watched the clip, but after the Aces roll out, that's when you spread the deck to show that the cards are now facing all one way. Then, after a pause, is when you spread the royal flushes.

This trick was the talk of the magic world in 1972. The method was completely underground. A BIG SECRET.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby IanLand » February 17th, 2015, 3:11 pm

Richard, do you know if there's video of Derek doing it? Google doesn't find anything.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 17th, 2015, 3:45 pm

I don't believe so.

I was planning to shoot a whole bunch of videos with him after "Dingle's Deceptions" but he wasn't particularly easy to deal with by then. Rollover Aces would have been in the planned series "Ball Breakers."
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Tom Frame » February 17th, 2015, 4:13 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I don't care for Ammar's presentation. It makes a fine bit of sleight of hand seem like a sporting event or a contest.

I haven't watched the clip, but after the Aces roll out, that's when you spread the deck to show that the cards are now facing all one way. Then, after a pause, is when you spread the royal flushes.


Richard,

You say that you haven't watched the clip, and then you go on to say that you don't care for Ammar's presentation. If you haven't watched the clip in question, upon what are you basing your negative assessment?

Ammar did a great job on his first performance on The Tonight Show! His casual, playfully choreographed thread hook-up interactions with Johnny during the bill effect were lovely.

And then, with time running out, he nailed Rollover Aces. Due to the hurried pacing, the revelation of the deck realignment may have been perceptually underappreciated. But you couldn't ask for more than the crowd's, and Johnny's reaction to the royal flush blow-off.

Do yourself a favor and inform your assessment by watching the clip!
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 17th, 2015, 4:58 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I haven't watched the clip, but after the Aces roll out, that's when you spread the deck to show that the cards are now facing all one way. Then, after a pause, is when you spread the royal flushes.

I just watched the clip and that's exactly the way Ammar did it.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 17th, 2015, 5:14 pm

I suspect that Richard has seen Ammar's version before--as have I--and didn't need to watch the clip.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 17th, 2015, 5:20 pm

Dustin is correct: I saw Ammar do this several times many years ago. Don't need to see the clip. I'm glad he followed the correct sequence of the reveal at the end. Don't know why Ian feels the "Triumph" ending gets lost. It's not supposed to be the big ending, but resolution before the butt-kicker at the end.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bill Mullins » February 17th, 2015, 6:10 pm

observer wrote:But then, as far as google hits go ... Billy O'Connor would have a lot more of them if Mr Jay had been generous enough to give him credit for his inspiration.


Maybe O'Connor doesn't deserve the credit. Maybe he was inspired by a still-earlier performer.
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But given that titles of acts aren't protectable (how many "King of Cuffs" were there?), and that O'Connor had been dead for nearly 20 years (and hadn't performed under that name since well before that), I think that "52 assistants" had slipped into public domain by the time Jay started using it.

For Nigh to use Jay's material is damaging right now to Jay. For Jay to use a title that had been used decades before by a now-dead magician damages no one. That is a big difference.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Ted M » February 17th, 2015, 6:36 pm

Ah, Chung Ling Soo...

So, what's everybody's position on William Robinson/Chung Ling Soo's appropriation of persona, cultural identity, performance style and repertoire of Ching Ling Fu, who was the opposite of obscure, retired and/or dead?

Help me understand how this is celebrated as a "Glorious Deception"?

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby IanLand » February 17th, 2015, 6:46 pm

Neither of them had a decent Triumph routine, I know that much.


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