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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Gambling Spot » » Mickey MacDougall Radio Interview from 1938 (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Brad Jeffers
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Here is an interesting interview with Mickey MacDougall.

It is from an episode of the radio program, Rudy Vallee Royal Gelatin Hour, that aired on 04-28-1938.

The interview begins at 35:47.
Cagliostro
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Thanks for the recording. I found it fascinating.

I would say that MacDougall was the forerunner of all other card detective and gambling protection experts that followed, which were in almost all cases, basically magicians not gamblers - Scarne (a contemporary of MacDougall), Ortiz, Piacente, Forte and a myriad of others. I would say MacDougall set the mold, was the first to publish numerous books on the subject which were quite good and which exposed real moves currently being used at the time. He was also the first to set the "Card Detective" designation which evolved into various other verbal machinations (Worlds Foremost Gambling Expert, Gambling Protection Expert...blah, blah blah.)

Although I never had the opportunity to see MacDougall perform, based upon his books, magazine articles and the recording herein, I would say he was probably quite skillful at sleight of hand manipulation. His knowledge was not limited to card work though, he was quite conversant with many other type gaffs and scams.

Like many gambling protection types, some of his stories were no doubt embellished to a certain degree, but much of what he wrote about was spot on in my opinion.

The Lallapaloosa Hand story in the recording gave me a chuckle as I had read about it in one or more of his writings. Still it was nice to hear him tell it in his own unique style. Is the story true? Well, it does strain the bounds of credibility but the fascinating thing is it could be so? Playing poker with seven Montana ranchers and you are the stranger in the game...yup, it could be so. I have known a few of Montana poker players, some of whom you would not want to mess around with. Same with the Baldy Johnson story which I won't relate here. (I posted it somewhere else on the BB if anyone wants to read it.) The interesting thing is, true or not, one almost wants some of his stories to be so to vicariously enjoy situations that most of us will never experience.

One other thing about MacDougall. There are demonstrators, and demonstrators, and demonstrators ad nauseum, good, bad and indifferent. What I liked most about MacDougall was he knew how to sell himself and sell his demonstrations. He invariably would fool the spectators using his moves in a demo game format and then follow up with an expose showing how he did it. So, he had the credibility of being able to actually fool you under "simulated game conditions" with his work, rather than just doing an expose or showing how well he could do moves. Quite frankly anyone can do an expose with varying degrees of proficiency since one does not have to be very adapt to simply expose.

The recording also brings one back to a different time, a time in which the low-intelligence physical and verbal crudeness and moronic filth talk of today were not tolerated on the airwaves.

Yes, a very different time!
Peterson
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Apparently telling bs stories and lying constantly was tolerated. (That also includes the other people)
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Lollapalooza, Cag!

You, fan #1 of MacDougall, mispelling the name, tsss.

I read 3 books from him, and they are ok. Many made up things I'm afraid but it's entertaining. A couple of nice techniques here and then as well. But all this is old Smile.
Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Nov 10, 2017, Peterson wrote:
Apparently telling bs stories and lying constantly was tolerated. (That also includes the other people)


"Lying constantly"??? Pretty over the top statement. Do you have any substantive clarifying examples?

Just curious.
Cagliostro
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@AMcD: I know you are my English expert on the BB, but Lollapalooza was a typo. At least I got MacDougall correct. Also, I never wrote Arnold MacDonald. Be thankful for that. However, I am tempted to change the spelling, so don't provoke me. Smile

Maybe his books are ""okay" to you in 2017, times have changed greatly, but back in 1938 or thereabouts they were much more than okay, at least from my "Anglo Saxon" point of view! Smile

Also, with all the information available today on card chicanery, what would all our modern day demonstrators have known in 1938? Little to nothing I surmise. Maybe his books would not have been just "okay" from that perspective.

Keep in mind:

Quote:
George Santayana

"Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." The quote is most likely due to George Santayana, and in its original form it read, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'


Of course, Cagliostro's modern day updating reads, "Those that don't understand or learn from what has gone before, might just get strongly hit over the head with something they dismissed or ridiculed previously."

There are many nuances to hustling. Aside from a myriad of modern day demo type gambling "moves," many of which I find highly questionable for modern day hustling, for a magician Card Detective, I think MacDougall may have had a better understanding of the concept of "grift sense" (the tail that wags the dog so to speak),than most of our modern day gambling demonstration experts.

Finally, MacDougall, like Scarne, Ortiz, Piasante, England and other magician gambling experts, wrote (and today make videos) primarily for the general public or for the hobbyist niche, and made money by doing so. In my opinion, that is the smart way to go.

But then again, what could I possibly know?
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@Cag,

Don't worry I know the value of all those books and I really LOVE many of them. Just that, sometimes, I'm getting fed up because not much is new. Take Erdnase for instance, repeated ad nauseam...
Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Nov 10, 2017, AMcD wrote:

...repeated ad nauseam...


Okay, you used my term card table or gambling "aficionado," now you are pilfering "ad nauseum?"

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Now I have to go back to the dictionary to gleam more esoteric terminology.

(No, no. Absolutely not. I know you are tempted but stop, the word "esoteric" is off limits.) Smile
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I'm gonna help you. When you wanna show off a bit, there's a very nice way: use Latin expressions. Here are a few:

ad finem
de facto
ipso facto
per capita
sub judice
verbatim

Just insert one or two in a paragraph and everyone will understand that you are smart (when someone doesn't understand what his interlocutor says, he automatically thinks that his interlocutor is intelligent. That's a ploy used by politicians for ages).
Cagliostro
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@AMcD: You advice is very much appreciated and highly coveted.

If not much is new on The Gambling Spot, we revert back to Latin.

Makes sense to me. Latin it is...
tommy
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It is new to me that Forte was a magician and not a gambler.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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Quote:
On Nov 10, 2017, tommy wrote:

It is new to me that Forte was a magician and not a gambler.


I'm sure many things are new to you, as they are to me - thankfully. But what made you specifically and exactly come to that conclusion?
tommy
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"I would say that MacDougall was the forerunner of all other card detective and gambling protection experts that followed, which were in almost all cases, basically magicians not gamblers - Scarne (a contemporary of MacDougall), Ortiz, Piacente, Forte and a myriad of others."
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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Quote:
On Nov 11, 2017, tommy wrote:

"I would say that MacDougall was the forerunner of all other card detective and gambling protection experts that followed, which were in almost all cases, basically magicians not gamblers - Scarne (a contemporary of MacDougall), Ortiz, Piacente, Forte and a myriad of others."


You will note that my sentence above says that "in almost all cases," not in all cases. The word "almost" in this case is known a qualifier for the statement.

But of course you already knew that, or should have known that, and just wanted to post something because you were bored, had nothing meaningful to say, were smoking your "special tobacco," - or any combination thereof. Smile
tommy
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Well yes, you are indeed boring us all to death. I see Arnold just told you that he is fed up, which is a term meaning, annoyed, unhappy, or bored, especially with a situation that has existed for a long time. In Latin: odiosis.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Nov 11, 2017, tommy wrote:

Well yes, you are indeed boring us all to death.


Which means you will not longer be reading my posts or commenting on them.

Anyone want to make a bet on that happening or that tommy won't get banned again for personal attacks on a forum member? Smile
AMcD
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Latin in the Gambling Spot! We have now reached another level. I told you this place is second to none!

I have the motto for this place: aut neca aut necare.
Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Nov 10, 2017, AMcD wrote:

@Cag,

Don't worry I know the value of all those books and I really LOVE many of them. Just that, sometimes, I'm getting fed up because not much is new...

I know...maybe this will make your feel better:

Quote:
There is no such thing as a new idea. We simply take an old idea and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and make new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages. - Mark Twain


That is why I have found the gimmicks and gaffs of the past to be so valuable - extremely valuable. There is really nothing new under the sun, but the variations and permutations can be endless.

Most of the best things I have come up with have all been variations of what had gone before, even with manipulative moves. With moves, I almost never did them the way they were initially described. There were always better ways. But more importantly than that, with gambling ploys and concepts, the variations that can be had are amazing.

Of course, I understand that hobbyists, demonstrators and magicians are always looking for that something "additional" or "new" - usually a "move" to intrigue and excite them. That's okay and I respect that. But a pro hustler only needs one twist to give him the "new" gaff he needs to make a great deal of money - and that what really excites him. Smile

The really big plays are all variations of something that has gone before. Just throw in a new twist, mix in some grift sense, sprinkle with some "con," and POW you have a great new "treat" to enjoy and use.

To ignore or underestimated what has gone before can be quite perilous in gambling. I have seen gambling ploys and concepts that have gone before literally hit home runs - and I mean home runs.

The funny thing is, when a big gaff is finally caught, many in the casino business, half-smart gambling experts and blow-hards invariably say, "Oh, I knew that. That is as old as the hills. That would never have fooled me." And of course it did fool them, or something very similar to it did.

It all depends on how you turn "the mental kaleidoscope."

And the world keeps spinning...
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