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Topic: A pet peeve
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 17, 2009 05:01AM)
I've spent a lot of time researching the game of three card monte and the shell game on a purely theoretical basic relying on what I read in books etc.

This year, I've spent months travelling around Europe watching the game and betting money just to experience the various outs and ruses used in the real world. I've met with con artists in six cities and lost hundreds of dollars to over 20 different crews.

I've learnt more from my travels than any book or DVD could ever teach me.

However, every time I mention what I do to magicians they also give me the same patronizing warning..

"You know it's rigged don't you? You can't win."

or

"They might get violent with you so don't go near them."

It's getting very tiresome. I am aware of the risks and of my chances of winning (zero) and yet this continual advice from armchair experts continues.

I've been punches, shoved, pickpocket and scammed by the best in the business!
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 17, 2009 09:02AM)
To be honest, I don't mind each individual saying it.

It's just the build up of magicians after magician saying the same thing over and over!

A death by a thousand cuts.
Message: Posted by: Kyf (Sep 17, 2009 04:48PM)
Hi Nicholas,

Would like to hear more - but not sure if you are asking anything or just sounding off.

What is your objective - to contribute to the body of knowledge - or to end up in a gutter somewhere with a smart-ass magician saying "I told you so" ?

I mean - is this leading somewhere - or is your curiosity sated?

Regards - and with respect,


Keith
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Sep 17, 2009 05:16PM)
Nicholas,

This sounds like it would be a great book, are you going to write one? Were you able to get any vidieos or still pictures of the crews?

Best of luck and keep up the good work.

Tom
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 18, 2009 02:54AM)
Keith - more just sounding off more than anything else. My objective at the moment is to learn as much as I can about the game as I can. There is a huge amount I'd still like to learn about the game. My background is in sociology and I'm very interested in finding out more about the background of the people who play the game. I've met with several individuals and talked about their lifestyle.

Tom - I've got a TON of great video making a DVD or documentary a better option. I have footage of all the sleights and flourishes used in the Hungarian monte.
I've also shots of the police breaking up games, fights breaking out and a great shot where I bet on the RIGHT disk and still lose my money :)
Message: Posted by: Kyf (Sep 18, 2009 03:55AM)
Hi Nicholas,

Sounds fascinating.

My background is in Crowd Dynamics - so if there is anything I can do that may be of interest (for example I regularly appear on TV/Radio and have a lot of media contacts in the UK) - drop me a line.

http://www.GKStill.com

Regards,



Keith
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 18, 2009 05:19AM)
Hi Keith -

I'd love to have a chat with you! I'm off to Portugal and Iceland tomorrow but when I get back to Scotland I might give you a call if that's ok.

I'm very interested in the blocking techniques used by the crews to maximise the number of people who stop and play.
Message: Posted by: Kyf (Sep 18, 2009 08:25AM)
Sure - I'm lecturing next week - drop me a line when you get back and I'd love to discuss this further.

Regards (and have a safe trip),



Keith
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Sep 18, 2009 11:57AM)
Nicholas,

Like I have said before, most of us understand the “mark” but doing an in-depth study of the player, getting inside their head and making your way past the wall of BS they put up, would be a real breakthrough.

It would be a sociological study of the ages to find out how early in their childhood they first had the desire to cheat the people around them, and their motivation for doing it.

As for the conmen I have known, money was just a way to keep score, it was the cheating or the game that motivated them. What was really amazing was how hard most of them worked at the con, it was not just part of their life it was everything. They just could not play it straight even when it would have been more profitable.


Tom
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 19, 2009 03:30AM)
Do you think there is a market for a book or DVD on the 'real work' behind the three card monte and the shell game?

I'm imagining the kind of resource that doesn't include any tricks or magic but is purely designed to explain and explore how the real con artists do it in the street?

No theoretical information, only ideas that I have experienced first hand or been taught by actual con artists.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Sep 19, 2009 07:50AM)
People are fascinated by conmen and hustlers, so yes. You just might be the next Ken Burns (The Civil War documentary) TV deal and all!
Message: Posted by: luvisi (Sep 19, 2009 11:56AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-19 04:30, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Do you think there is a market for a book or DVD on the 'real work' behind the three card monte and the shell game?

I'm imagining the kind of resource that doesn't include any tricks or magic but is purely designed to explain and explore how the real con artists do it in the street?

No theoretical information, only ideas that I have experienced first hand or been taught by actual con artists.
[/quote]

Absolutely! If you want proof, go ask the same question over on [url=http://www.scoundrelsforum.com/]The Scoundrels Forum[/url].

Andru
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Sep 19, 2009 09:29PM)
Nicholas:
Forget the magic market. You can sell much larger quantities to the public.
There's a huge market for this material.
Compare the "True Crime" section of any large book store to the "Magic" section.
Best of luck on your book.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Sep 19, 2009 10:39PM)
I'd certainly buy the book!

MMc
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 20, 2009 04:07AM)
I'm currently working on a few book ideas. I have an article coming out in one of the major magic magazines in the next couple of months hopefully.

But I'd really like to do something with this hidden camera footage.
Message: Posted by: Kyf (Sep 20, 2009 10:23AM)
You can always put that on a website in flash - making it a bit more difficult to rip-off. Included as a teach-in or part of a book.

I do that with my workshops - have video clips on URL's that can only be accessed by people who've been on the workshop.

Happy to help with advise etc. if needed.

Regards,



Keith
Message: Posted by: corsufle (Sep 20, 2009 08:07PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-20 05:07, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
I'm currently working on a few book ideas. I have an article coming out in one of the major magic magazines in the next couple of months hopefully.

But I'd really like to do something with this hidden camera footage.
[/quote]

Book + DVD bundled as a set would be nice. I'd probably buy one if you do it.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Sep 21, 2009 02:07PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-19 22:29, RiffRaff wrote:
Nicholas:
Forget the magic market. You can sell much larger quantities to the public.
There's a huge market for this material.
Compare the "True Crime" section of any large book store to the "Magic" section.
Best of luck on your book.
[/quote]I think RiffRaff is spot on in this case, after all your not exposing the moves just the mentality.
Message: Posted by: BCaldwell (Sep 21, 2009 03:56PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-19 22:29, RiffRaff wrote:
Nicholas:
Forget the magic market. You can sell much larger quantities to the public.
There's a huge market for this material.
Compare the "True Crime" section of any large book store to the "Magic" section.
Best of luck on your book.
[/quote]Or the library or the best seller list...Good call, RiffRaff!
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 22, 2009 11:13AM)
Tom - You would need to also expose the sleights in order to explain the pyschology.

Someone suggested I produce a ªHow To Run A Three Disk Monte Crewª DVD that explains everything someone would need to start up their own game and start hustling marks. A frightening idea.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Sep 30, 2009 09:55AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-22 12:13, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Tom - You would need to also expose the sleights in order to explain the pyschology.


[/quote]When they made a movie about Ted Bundy, they did not have to show the actual moves he used to kill his victims, but they absolutely demonstrated his mindset and how he was able to gain the trust of his victims. So why would you have to expose the moves in your story?

When I do my shell game routine and show the pea under every shell and then not under any of them, it shows I have control of the pea but I do not expose the method, ever. The magicians that have seen my routine tell me they can’t figure out when or how I steel the pea but they know I did it.