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Topic: Review: "Up The Ante" by Captainsmiffy
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 3, 2010 10:48PM)
The Café's own Captainsmiffy a.k.a. Martyn Smith but only in the most nefarious pubs in Ol' Blighty, has created something that I think many here would love. Imagine some situations where, for example, you are ready to perform your KILLER pokerblackjackbridgebaccaratgofisholdmaid routine that even the great Darwin Ortiz himself could only DREAM of. You glibly ask the question "Does anyone here play poker?" And you hear those words that have lain waste to greater men than yourself: "I have no idea how to play poker." So, you can either bust out the sponge bunnies, explain poker, or do....

Up the Ante. This effect is really excellent in its own right but, I find it to be perfect because while it does have a gambling theme, there are no "rules" that the audience has to know.

So, I will begin my scribblings by giving you, in the good Captain's own words the effect. Grab a pint all, this is going to be a fun ride.

EFFECT: Imagine if you will that a spectator is able to cut, deal and shuffle your cards, without you touching them whatsoever and yet you are able to make the most unbelievable bets upon the outcome of his dealing of the cards to the table! There is no sleight of hand and this works with totally un-gaffed cards! You are able to bet that the first several pairs dealt face-down to the table will contain both a red and a black card. When you have had enough of challenging your opponent in this way, you then propose that the next group of cards dealt will contain one card of each suit! This is repeated a few times before you make the final, outrageous wager that, if thirteen face-down cards were dealt then that group will contain an ace right through to a king – thirteen different cards in all! Amazingly you are able to repeat that feat a second time.
If you did not possess a reputation as a card-sharp before this routine, you certainly will at the end! Remember that you did not shuffle or indeed even handle the cards!

Folks, that is PRECISELY what the audience sees. Furthermore, there are NO gaffs, and NO sleights. The audience DOES cut the cards, the audience DOES shuffle the cards. It is truly a hands off effect that plays VERY strong. Any of you that perform Simon Aronson's Point Spread" will love this effect. The two are quite different, but, as in Point Spread, there are no rules, just an impossible demonstration of wizardry that, because of its construction, builds suspense and which each step, the impossibility of what you are claiming to bet on becomes insanely fun to the audience. Now, to some nuts and bolts.

This is NOT an impromptu effect. This is not in my opinion a weakness. This effect is one of those that I believe the great Theo Annemann and Stewart James would have LOVED. I do feel however that I needed to point this out for the impromptu only folks so they can decide whether to read on. I would urge you to however, as this effect CAN be used for those special occasions like the table you wowed earlier in the night and they want an encore. Perhaps there is a client you wish to impress. Of course, in a formal show, this is definitely a set piece.

I would not open with this effect because there is a lot of dealing. Now, DON'T run away. The dealing is NOT the old down and under stuff. In fact, the dealing is not only motivated, it is an intrinsic part of the build up to a dazzling display at the end. Remember, with each step, you are challenging the audience to up the ante, that is, bet AGAINST you. And remember, you are have NOT touched the cards except to take them out of the case. This is one of those rare effects again where the dealing gets the audience INVOLVED. Phil Cass talks about this sense of involvement in gambling routines in his Three Shell Game DVD. Up The Ante plays very well in this respect.

Martyn has a keen eye for detail. His instructions are clear, and he makes certain you understand what is going on at each step in the process. The manuscript is very clear in a nice font that is very easy on the eyes.

Some who read Martyn's observations at the end may disagree somewhat with one assertion he makes regarding the method - I am one of them. Purchasers will know exactly what I mean when they read. However, this does NOT detract at all from the effect, but, I felt I needed to comment on this. He IS right in that there is much more exploration that should be done, and on THAT I wholeheartedly agree.

The real beauty of this routine is that you can present in so many ways. In fact, and I hope Martyn is reading this, I am working out a presentation using Tarot cards. Martyn also gives you some tips on how to shorten the effect if you so desire. I think this is important due to the nature of the effect. If you are performing this for somewhat inebriated punters at the pub you may want to shorten it. Conversely, this is also a PERFECT effect for the pub. Think of the ULTIMATE bar bet!

So, the "xtreme card guyz" will not like this effect. A pity, but there you have it. There is absolutely NO room for jugglery and other jiggery pokery in this effect. Any manipulation of the cards by the performer will ruin it immediately. Strictly impromptu workers will have to decide if they wish to add this beauty to their repertoire.

This one is DEFINITELY going into my repertoire. Point Spread is great, but, you still need to do a little explaining about point spreads for that effect to achieve maximum impact. Up The Ante is a straight ahead killer gambling routine where the stakes and the impossibility of it all rises and builds.

I do hope that those of you reading this will give it a try. It is strong, well structured, and I can see this as a - to borrow a term from Harry Lorayne - a "pathway effect" in that I sense there are as yet unexplored avenues for this effect.

Thanks for reading this. Oh, and apologies to the sponge bunnies ;)

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 4, 2010 03:32AM)
Wow, Vlad - many thanks for that great review! I am staggered!

It can be somewhat frustrating being in the possession of such a weapon as Up The Ante, having released it through the Merchant of Magic and yet find that it is comparitively unknown (or so it feels sometimes!)to many. On the other hand, I don't bump into anybody that knows it when I perform it so that has to be good too.....!!!

Best

Martyn
Message: Posted by: insight (Jun 4, 2010 12:56PM)
Can the spectator shuffle in any manner they want? Or are they limited to shuffle in a certain way?

Regards,
Mike
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 4, 2010 01:57PM)
Mike,

The effect is excellent. It is not expensive. I do not mean to be curt in my reply but - and my lack of an answer does not imply anything - this was a review, and in magic as you know, we discuss the pros and cons. I have pointed out that this is not impromptu, it will not appeal to the xtreme card guyzzz :) and that it works beautifully in the situations mentioned above.

I am very careful when commenting on something because, as you know, the reviewer must walk the thin line between discussing the effect whilst at the same time preserving the secret.

When I did a write-up on Hole Surprise, I was actually shocked that some people had the actual audacity to ask me the METHOD! The same happened with some of the other write-ups I have done, including Scott Guinn's "That's How WE Do It" - a beautiful bit of coin magic.

I will not answer your question, and I say this respectfully, because it has no relevance at all to the effect and the review.

The effect as Martyn has written it, and my review IS exactly what the spectator sees.

If you are in doubt, perhaps Martyn might direct you to others on the Café who also do this effect. I can tell you that this effect is playing very nicely for me. It has that beautiful impossibility that approaches OOTW.

I do not know Martyn, and I have nothing at all to gain by writing a review that is not honest. In fact, I would expect to be called to task if my review was dishonest. Am I telling you everything about the effect? No. That is what the instructions are for. :)

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: muse (Jun 4, 2010 02:00PM)
So Vlad, what's the method? You seem to have missed it in your writings
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 4, 2010 02:36PM)
....muse...not going to tip the method BUT I see that you are from Scotland; I was inspired into creating Up The Ante from a certain older gent in a well known Glaswegian shop on Queen Street whilst resting in between one of many flights into there many moons ago! Wish that my travels would take me back there...please give my regards to Roy and Jean should you go in there! Am sure that you will know who and where.

Thanks again, Vlad, for your kind words on UTA. So difficult keeping an effect out in the open so am extremely grateful to you for taking the time and trouble to both review this and to follow up.

Best wishes to all

Martyn
Message: Posted by: insight (Jun 4, 2010 02:40PM)
Thanks, Vlad. The reason why I asked is that I am looking for a card trick that allows the spectator to shuffle in any way, without any restrictions. That is a strict requirement of my performance conditions. Not fully knowing the answer to this, I can't buy it. But I do appreciate your review.

Regards,
Mike
Message: Posted by: muse (Jun 4, 2010 03:24PM)
Martyn

I don't get through to Glasgow much, but when I do, thankfully the shop is close enough to Queen Street station that it somehow always turns out to be on the way to wherever I'm going!
Message: Posted by: John C (Jun 4, 2010 04:08PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-04 15:40, insight wrote:
Thanks, Vlad. The reason why I asked is that I am looking for a card trick that allows the spectator to shuffle in any way, without any restrictions. That is a strict requirement of my performance conditions. Not fully knowing the answer to this, I can't buy it. But I do appreciate your review.

Regards,
Mike
[/quote]

good, leave it alone. they can riffle shuffle yea. ;)

j
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 4, 2010 07:18PM)
Vlad, I would have preferred you wouldn't have written such a review... but Martyn deserves it. I perform "Up the Ante" regularly already since last year as I've written somewhere else here. It's marvelous and I really love it. Jan
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 5, 2010 10:43AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-04 20:18, JanForster wrote:
Vlad, I would have preferred you wouldn't have written such a review... but Martyn deserves it. I perform "Up the Ante" regularly already since last year as I've written somewhere else here. It's marvelous and I really love it. Jan
[/quote]

Hi Jan, Thanks for the kind words and also please accept my apologies ;) You're right, Martyn deserves good comments on an excellent effect.

I am having a blast with this. I want to see Martyn make money on this, but, like you, I really do not want others doing the effect! :D

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 5, 2010 10:46AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-04 15:00, muse wrote:
So Vlad, what's the method? You seem to have missed it in your writings
[/quote]


Okay, you start off by doing three perfect in faros followed by a Greek deal and five top changes. At a critical juncture, you have to do the ****** ******** or else you would have to do a Top Card Cover Pass to hide the slug whilst simultaneously performing a Glide SO difficult even Darwin Ortiz would weep.

Hope this helps :)

Ahimsa,
Vlad

PS: As I said, the effect is exactly what the spectator sees. But, the above sleights MUST be performed with such precision and rapidity that only Martyn, Jan, and I can actually DO the effect. (Thanks for being a good sport mate ;) I HAD to comment back in appreciation of your noticing that I mentioned that few people actually PMd me for the actual method of Hole Surprise. I will of course give it away now: you need a particle accelerator. CERN is selling them at 750 million pounds for this week only.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 5, 2010 12:49PM)
O.k., Vlad, enough is enough, stop giving away too much! :) Jan
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 5, 2010 01:11PM)
Cheers, Vlad and Jan

Well, I was closeby the particle accelerator (relatively speaking) last week - in Zurich, although the only particle accelerator that I actually came into contact with was a pint of the local brew....the landing is always curiously better on the way home!

Not really about the money...it helps, of course, with buying magic guilt-free as far as 'er indoors goes...more about the satisfaction of having created something that is fooling a lot of people and that other magicians are getting enthusiastic about (occasionally!)

Enjoy the gambling; am not sure that if I met a rich sheikh in Dubai whilst performing that I wouldn't bet the house for real with Up The Ante!! Somebody STOP me!!

Enjoy,

Martyn
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 9, 2010 04:09PM)
Vlad, it does not surprise me that you would be the one to (finally!) give this remarkable routine the quality review it deserves. I use the word “routine” with intent; this is more than an effect or a trick.

I can add little to Vlad’s eloquence about Up the Ante. Simply put, the routine is as strong as he writes.

In my scripting, I have a romantically involved couple (spouses or significant others) share the cuts and shuffles. As the two participants handle the cards, my storyline centers around the vicissitudes of fate, luck, chance and the subtle and inexplicable coincidences in life that lead us to meet our true love. This leads to the stunning denouement: each half of the couple revealing, for all to see, that they have cut, shuffled and yet…they hold between them the perfect mirror of their eternal affections.

Make no mistake – this is a routine that soars. It can be presented as a seedy, “north of Fremont” tale of woe or as a sublime story of love and the ineffable bonds that connect us to each other.

Up the Ante is a stunner and will challenge (and doubtless improve, over time) your story-telling and audience management skill-sets.

Vlad – you nailed it. As for your Tarot concept…do you take bribes?!
Message: Posted by: gmeister (Jun 9, 2010 04:32PM)
Hey, Vlad, just a quick message to thank you for all the excellent reviews and thoughts that you contribute to all areas of the Café. Whenevr your name pops up we can expect a thorough and well-reasoned write-up or comment that more often than not is of tremendous help and value.

I don't know how you manage to find the time and still perform and perhaps occasionally eat and sleep. But since it seems magic is your high, never, ever get detox'ed.

Oh and yes--the cat food offer's still on!

Best!

gary
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 9, 2010 04:47PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-09 17:32, gmeister wrote:
Hey, Vlad, just a quick message to thank you for all the excellent reviews and thoughts that you contribute to all areas of the Café. Whenevr your name pops up we can expect a thorough and well-reasoned write-up or comment that more often than not is of tremendous help and value.

I don't know how you manage to find the time and still perform and perhaps occasionally eat and sleep. But since it seems magic is your high, never, ever get detox'ed.

Oh and yes--the cat food offer's still on!

Best!

gary
[/quote]

Okay Gary, I am off to get the Fancy Feast now!! ;)

Thanks my friend for your kind words. I have learned from the best, and among the best are Café members like you who also provide ME with substantive information!

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 9, 2010 04:49PM)
Panlives,

If you look up bribe(s) in the O.E.D., you will see my mug ;)

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 10, 2010 12:04AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-09 17:09, panlives wrote:

[b]* I use the word “routine” with intent; this is more than an effect or a trick.

* Up the Ante is a stunner and will challenge (and doubtless improve, over time) your story-telling and audience management skill-sets.[/b]
[/quote]

[b]Absolutely![/b]

[quote]
On 2010-06-04 15:40, insight wrote:

* The reason why I asked is that I am looking for a card trick that allows the spectator to shuffle in any way, without any restrictions. That is a strict requirement of my performance conditions.
[/quote]

Those are your very special requirements. Sorry, you will have to search elsewhere. :) ;)

[quote]
On 2010-06-04 15:40, insight wrote:

[b]* Not fully knowing the answer to this, I can't buy it.[/b]
[/quote]

I have enjoyed performing [b]Up The Ante[/b] and have ALWAYS got great reactions & mileage out it. [b]Up The Ante[/b] is one of the best hands-off (so to say) effects I have come across. You will never get tired performing this effect (‘ROUTINE’ as correctly put by Panlives). Every time I perform [b]Up The Ante[/b] I have always learnt something new . Said that:-

I guarantee you WILL love it. If you don’t, for any reason, I will refund your purchase price. No questions asked. You won’t get a better deal.

Give it a try my friend, you won't regret it. :)

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 11, 2010 02:12PM)
Gentlemen, am really quite flattered that Up The Ante is now being bandied about as a routine rather than an effect and I couldn't have asked for finer reviews of my work - so, once again, many thanks, especially to Vlad, Ustaad, Jan and Panlives and to all of the others who have been kind enough to help me promote Up The Ante.

A 'ballsy' statement from Ustaad when he says that he will refund the purchase price if you don't love it! Praise indeed for the routine but, since nobody has complained so far then I guess that you are onto a winner! (But there again, Up The Ante is all about making big statements/wagers whilst all the time you are in the knowledge that you cannot fail!)

Best

Martyn
Message: Posted by: John C (Jun 11, 2010 03:45PM)
Ustaad

I'm in for half the refund if he doesn't like it.

Since it's a PDF I'll pay shipping too!!!

j
Message: Posted by: caigy (Jun 11, 2010 06:05PM)
Downloaded this earlier today...how?..what the!!?...
I have done the routine six times now, with 100% success each time, read and completely understand the explanation but am still totally baffled as to why it works???
Ustaad and John, there is absolutely no chance of either of you getting your refund service off the ground!! :)
Although this is probably the best download I have ever purchased, I am really tempted to order the 'Book Edition' as well.
Fantastic routine.

Paul Mc.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 11, 2010 11:23PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-11 19:05, caigy wrote:
Downloaded this earlier today...how?..what the!!?...
I have done the routine six times now, with 100% success each time, read and completely understand the explanation but am still totally baffled as to why it works???
Ustaad and John, there is absolutely no chance of either of you getting your refund service off the ground!! :)
Although this is probably the best download I have ever purchased, I am really tempted to order the 'Book Edition' as well.
Fantastic routine.

Paul Mc.
[/quote]

Paul,
Your post has REALLY made me smile!! And it is not even my effect!! And Ustaad and John, Paul is right, you won't have to worry about refunds. I just did this effect again tonight, and, like Paul, even though I know the method, I was as mystified as my audience! I LOVE the way the suspense and the sheer impossibility builds in this beauty!! Even people who claim to hate card magic LOVE seeing this effect.

Martin,
I fear good sir, that if you keep releasing effects like this, you are going to have to curtail your career as a pilot, which is a GOOD thing because we get more effects like Up The Ante!

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 12, 2010 03:25AM)
For those who are reading it I want to state very clearly that the review Paul A. Lelekis gave UTA in the Linking Ring June 2010 ("neutral") was IMHO very disappointing. The review, not UTA! Again, for fun I've performed UTA also several times as an encore after finishing my lectures in Germany and Austria without explaining it. Of course it's a matter of presentation but let me tell you that the reactions were unbelievable. Jan
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 12, 2010 03:52PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-12 04:25, JanForster wrote:
For those who are reading it I want to state very clearly that the review Paul A. Lelekis gave UTA in the Linking Ring June 2010 ("neutral") was IMHO very disappointing. The review, not UTA! Again, for fun I've performed UTA also several times as an encore after finishing my lectures in Germany and Austria without explaining it. Of course it's a matter of presentation but let me tell you that the reactions were unbelievable. Jan
[/quote]

Wow, did he actually take the time to even READ the whole e-book/book??? How can he POSSIBLY say that Martyn is not so familiar with the method??

I may get flamed for this one, but, that HAS to be the worst review I have ever read! NOT because I disagree with him, but, he provides only conjecture. I am not asking that Paul Lelekis provide a Jamy Ian Swiss multi-page review, but, THAT is not a review, it is an IMPRESSION. In contrast, I read the very well written review of Anthony Jaquin's Manchurian Approach. THAT was a review!

Well, in this thread are performers who DO the effect for a wide variety of audiences and it works - VERY well. Paul Lelekis should actually TRY the effect.

Neutral??? Sorry for the rant, but "neutral" is a cop out. Be straight and say whether you LIKE it or NOT and WHY. Conjecture serves nobody and does a disservice to the creator and the prospective buyer.

Lelekis also misses the point entirely when he states that people into Texas Hold 'Em would probably like this effect. It has nothing to do with ANY type of poker. It is a series of escalating bets that playfully challenge the spectator. He states that it doesn't break any new ground. But, the "review" tells me at least that he scanned the manuscript, did his duty for the Linking Ring and that was it.

If he DID perform it, I would LOVE to see HIS presentation. Perhaps the effect didn't "fit" him and his audience didn't receive it well.

Do these guys get paid to do these reviews? Again, I have no qualms with disagreeing with a reviewer, but, I DO think a reviewer for a MAJOR journal has a responsibility to be a bit more substantive.

C'est la guerre.

Vlad

PS: I have seen MUCH MUCH MUCH better written reviews on the Café, and those reviewers do it out of love of the art. Look at the storm that brewed over Silent Running. Many love it, many hate it, some are lukewarm. But in EVERY case, all have provided rationale, substantive food for thought.
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 12, 2010 08:54PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-12 16:52, Vlad_77 wrote:
[b](Quoted after editing & rearranging the original post)

* . . . did he actually take the time to even READ the whole e-book/book??? How can he POSSIBLY say that Martyn is not so familiar with the method??

* Paul Lelekis should actually TRY the effect.

* If he DID perform it, I would LOVE to see HIS presentation. Perhaps the effect didn't "fit" him and his audience didn't receive it well.

* Be straight and say whether you LIKE it or NOT and WHY.

* But, the "review" tells me at least that he scanned the manuscript, did his duty for the Linking Ring and that was it.

* THAT is not a review, it is an IMPRESSION.

* Well, in this thread are performers who DO the effect for a wide variety of audiences and it works - VERY well.[/b]
[/quote]

Vlad_77, I fully agree with you.

The review on [b]Up The Ante[/b] by Paul Lelekis looks like he hurriedly wrote the review just for the sake of writing something so as to fulfill one of his duties. He [b]certainly[/b] doesn’t know what he is talking about.

[b]This is NOT a review but an IMPRESSION without rationale. That’s it![/b]

:xmas:
P.S. I have never bothered to read any of Paul Lelekis’ reviews. I read this one out of sheer curiosity since it was pointed out.
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 13, 2010 01:16AM)
Chaps, Am in China right now with limited access to the internet and I am not a member of the linking ring. Can somebody please send me a copy of the linking rings review of Up The Ante to peruse?

Surely, also, it would be morally right and ethical to inform somebody, at the very least, that you are about to review their work? Perhaps even ask their permission? Maybe open to debate but I, for one, as the author of this work was unaware that a review had even been conducted! I think that this is reprehensible! I certainly don't like the idea of somebody potentially 'throwing stones' at my work behind my back!

Thanks for the words of support again gents - I hope that not too much damage has been caused by Mr Lelekis.

Best

Martyn

PS The hotel bar in Beijing was agog at Up The Ante last night! Maybe the patrons hadn't read their copy of the linking ring yet.....!!!
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 13, 2010 01:23AM)
Chaps, Am in China right now with limited access to the internet and I am not a member of the linking ring. Can somebody please send me a copy of the linking rings review of Up The Ante to peruse?

Surely, also, it would be morally right and ethical to inform somebody, at the very least, that you are about to review their work? Perhaps even ask their permission? Maybe open to debate but I, for one, as the author of this work was unaware that a review had even been conducted! I think that this is reprehensible! I certainly don't like the idea of somebody potentially 'throwing stones' at my work behind my back!

Thanks for the words of support again gents - I hope that not too much damage has been caused by Mr Lelekis.

Best

Martyn

PS The hotel bar in Beijing was agog at Up The Ante last night! Maybe the patrons hadn't read their copy of the linking ring yet.....!!!
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 13, 2010 02:45AM)
Vlad and Ustaad, thank you for your support! Martyn, please pm a postal address or a fax number and I will send it to you immediately. Jan
Message: Posted by: caigy (Jun 13, 2010 05:05PM)
Martyn,

I doubt that Dominic, Ben Williams and the team at Magic Shop would put their name to 'Up The Ante' unless it was the top-notch routine it actually is.
Paul Lelekis is entitled to his opinion but I personally have more faith in proper informed reviews from people such as recognised card worker and magic creator Gary Jones, along with the real, everyday workers and enthusiasts, who post their contributions here on the Café.....I possibly wouldn't have discovered the beauty of 'Up The Ante' as quickly without them.
Keep em coming!

Paul Mc.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 14, 2010 03:10AM)
Paul, you hit the nail. Without going into details I've to say that in the "Linking Ring" I've read also very good reviews about things which are crap. Jan
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 14, 2010 05:11AM)
Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys! I have read the review, now, and it seems clear to me that he definitely has NOT read the manuscript or he did whilst under the influence of something! He makes a couple of factually incorrect statements which tells me that, if he has read it then he did so in a very cavalier fashion and has grasped the wrong end of the stick, so to speak. I was very 'miffed' to find that he states that I did not really understand the attendant principles like I should do and that this is not ground-breaking - personally I felt that this routine pushed the workings further than other, similar-working effects with the 'workings' occurring simultaneously on three different levels. Could he name other effects that boast the same?

On a personal note, the biggest let-down, though, was in Mr Lelekis NOT doing me the courtesy of telling me that a review of my work was underway. Although I do not expect to influence the outcome of a review I DO expect to know that a review is under way so that I might discuss any possible issues that the reviewer might have with the effect. To date, as far as I am aware, Me Lelekis has been the only reviewer discourteous enough to not mention anything to me.

Many thanks for the offer of a copy of the review, Jan, but I have already received it now.

Sorry, chaps, if I sound bitter but a lot of hard work can be undone with a few foolish strokes of a pen these days...
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 14, 2010 05:38AM)
Martyn,

You need to understand that Up The Ante is bringing AMAZEMENT to our audiences! I know you are feeling bitter, but, not only the guys here, but our audiences would tell you how fun this is and how blown away they are.

Okay, you and I are Beatles fans. Remember that Decca records turned them down, every record publisher in the UK turned them down. Epstein hit gold at EMI, but remember that the division of EMI that took them on was really a small part of EMI. Sir George Martin heard something special and the rest is history. The Beatles are the most influential act in all of show business and yet there are those who do not like them. But, HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of people have been touched deeply and profoundly by their music, and many of us ARE musicians BECAUSE of The Beatles. I am too young to have grown up with them. They were already legends when I "discovered" them. And you know what is so cool? As much as I wish I could meet McCartney and thank him, I have younger guys telling ME I am the reason they are musicians. Now, somewhere, and it may have happened already, somebody saw one of us do your effect, and perhaps in Germany or India or The UK or the US, somebody is perhaps thinking of joining in the madness that is this art we love so well! And YOUR work will be the reason! But again, look at the people here who are thrilled with this effect mate!!! Like all good magic, this effect has allowed our audiences, even for a brief time, to forget all the trials and travails and to believe for a moment that the impossible is POSSIBLE.

So, we raise a pint to you!

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 14, 2010 05:52AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-14 06:38, Vlad_77 wrote:

[b]. . . this effect has allowed our audiences, even for a brief time, to forget all the trials and travails and to believe for a moment that the impossible is POSSIBLE.

So, we raise a pint to you![/b]
[/quote]

Cheers! :cheers:

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 14, 2010 06:47AM)
Vlad, you are so right...got to remember your words; very inspiring indeed.

It is not a bad review that upset me though; it is the blatant untruths inherent in it. Clearly the fellow cannot have read nor understood what UTA is about. There was me thinking that I had advanced the 'workings' and there is he stating that I do not understand the principles involved!!

Thankyou once again, Vlad, for all of your help. You have been a rock!

Best

Martyn
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Jun 14, 2010 06:11PM)
Remember, reviews are only the opinions of the reviewer!! I've had a couple of 'not so good' reviews of effects which have taken me all around the world! One reviewer said that one of my routines needed too much audience management, what he really meant was, he didn't have the nerve to do it so it was a rubbish effect in his eyes lol!

Martyn, do you have any other releases coming out soon?

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Caliban (Jun 15, 2010 05:38AM)
I've not seen Martyn's manuscript, but the effect, as Vlad describes it, is identical to a routine called Probablility Pack in Bob Neale's Life Death & Other Card Tricks.
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 15, 2010 06:36AM)
Caliban, Would you mind sending me a proper description of the effect that you mentioned please? I have not heard of, nor seen, this - I could then comment as to whether or not these are similar.

Regards

Martyn
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 15, 2010 06:42AM)
Hi Gary, How are you? Have been working on another collaborative effect for sometime but it is not ready yet. Needs 'tweaking' when I have the time, I think!

A bad review, I could deal with, part and parcel of the creative process - but one where the author hasn't done his work properly, that is not on! Oh well, onwards and upwards...!!! (literally, in my case!)

Cheers

Martyn
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 15, 2010 07:20AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-15 06:38, Caliban wrote:
I've not seen Martyn's manuscript, but the effect, as Vlad describes it, is identical to a routine called Probablility Pack in Bob Neale's Life Death & Other Card Tricks.
[/quote]

I have read the 'Probability Pack' effect/ routine. The Probability Pack might sound identical but the performance and handling of the [b]UTA[/b] routine is totally different, including the method of performance.

Once the deck has been shuffled by the performer and is placed on the table and passed on to the spectator(s), thereafter the effect is totally hands-off and the performer never ever touches the deck.

The complete routine is then performed by the spectator(s) including cutting/ riffle shuffling the deck; and that includes a sloppiest riffle shuffle a spectator can do. This is time when the effect/ routine gain its strength and total impossibility creeps in to the routine.

And that makes [b]Up The Ante[/b] a totally different, mindboggling and impossible effect/ routine.

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 15, 2010 07:48AM)
Hmm, Ustaad, just read the routine...the presentation is completely different, but the system exactly the same, various options for the stack, Gilbreath, one riffle shuffle, 6 pairs, 3 quartets, 1 additional pair, two times 13 cards. And it doesn't mater who is dealing the cards. So, I do not agree at all. But that's nothing against Martyn as special in card magic it is easily possible that different people invent same or similar handlings with different presentation without knowing about each other. We had this discussion before in this context concerning Lennart Green. Jan
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 15, 2010 08:06AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-15 08:48, JanForster wrote:
Hmm, Ustaad, just read the routine [b]...the presentation is completely different,[/b] but the system exactly the same,
[/quote]

Yes Jan that is exactly what I wanted to bring out - i.e. UTA has a completely different presentation. And, as I believe, it's THEE presentation that completely changes ones thinking and belief in an effect/ routine.

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 15, 2010 08:08AM)
Yes, that's it! :) Jan
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 15, 2010 08:14AM)
Thank you Jan. :)

. . . and I never perform the effect based on set sequence of events i.e. of 6 pairs, 3 quartets, etc. I keep changing the sequence of events.

I am happy to be here discussing with such great minds.

Thank you.

Best regards.

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 15, 2010 09:18AM)
Thanks, guys! I totally agree with the both of you that the presentation makes/breaks the routine. As written, the probability pack feels quite contrived and requires the performers handling. His setup requires the mirroring, too. So not really the same system in my book; Up The Ante has removed some of the inherent problems from Mr Neale's handling, albeit without a knowledge of there having been a problem in the first place! We have clearly thought along the same lines but I believe that UTAs setup to be the more sophisticated of the two and allows total audience freedom with the deck. You could not do this with the probability deck.

So three of us have now been thinking down the same road.....!!!!! aaargghhh!

Many thanks, Ustaad, for your e-mail.

Regards

Martyn
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 15, 2010 10:09AM)
One of the advantages of UTA is indeed that you've not to start with a mirror stack. You even can do it with a Si Stebbins stack what I do. Therefore look up again Reinhard Mueller's idea how to create a mirror stack while presenting a trick. I do it always this way selling it as a little warm up for myself. Jan
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 15, 2010 01:53PM)
In the Probability Deck the magician - the magician, note - performs a charlier shuffle and casually 'corrects' this with a spread/cut. He then divides the deck, at which point the spectator may take over and shuffle the deck.

In Up The Ante the magician uncases the deck and hands it to the spectator. The spectator cuts the deck, splits it into the ratios that he wants and he then performs as sloppy a shuffle as he desires/is able!

Methodology is similar - not identical - the results are identical but the effects leave very different impressions in an audiences psyche. As Ustaad noted, it is the complete openness in Up The Ante that gives it an air of rising impossibility. "If the magician never handled the cards and I shuffled then how the hell....?!!"
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 16, 2010 08:53AM)
This thread is a treat for those of us who embraced Up the Ante.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, please approach UTA as a routine with high-value opportunities for raising the bar when it comes to storytelling, audience management and conveying a sense that what is happening defies all rational apprehension. Reality bends!
Up the Ante is a routine, not a one-dimensional trick.
You can “jazz-magic” your presentation based on the audience and the environment.
This has been, for me, a treasure trove purchased at a scandalously low price.
I can go on, but fear this may sound like I am a shill.
Up the Ante is a genius-level effect that you can personalize into a sensational routine appealing equally to degenerate gamblers and star-crossed lovers.
Yes, yes, yes – it is that good.
Message: Posted by: Thetruthteller (Jun 16, 2010 03:33PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-14 06:11, captainsmiffy wrote:

On a personal note, the biggest let-down, though, was in Mr Lelekis NOT doing me the courtesy of telling me that a review of my work was underway. Although I do not expect to influence the outcome of a review I DO expect to know that a review is under way so that I might discuss any possible issues that the reviewer might have with the effect. To date, as far as I am aware, Me Lelekis has been the only reviewer discourteous enough to not mention anything to me.

[/quote]

I have a friend who reviews for one of the magic journals and I asked him about this. He told me that he never contacts the creator of an effect before writing a review. The effect must stand on its own merits. Communicating with the creator might influence his inital opinion of the work. He even gave up reading reviews in the magazines so as not to form a bias (pro or con) in case he is asked to write a review of the same product.

He only writes reviews for material that has been submitted to the magazine so he assumes that the creator is aware that it will recieve a review.

He is confident that Mr. Lelekis operates under the same guidelines as well and recieved your manuscript from a vendor.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 16, 2010 03:51PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-16 16:33, Thetruthteller wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-06-14 06:11, captainsmiffy wrote:

On a personal note, the biggest let-down, though, was in Mr Lelekis NOT doing me the courtesy of telling me that a review of my work was underway. Although I do not expect to influence the outcome of a review I DO expect to know that a review is under way so that I might discuss any possible issues that the reviewer might have with the effect. To date, as far as I am aware, Me Lelekis has been the only reviewer discourteous enough to not mention anything to me.

[/quote]

I have a friend who reviews for one of the magic journals and I asked him about this. He told me that he never contacts the creator of an effect before writing a review. The effect must stand on its own merits. Communicating with the creator might influence his inital opinion of the work. He even gave up reading reviews in the magazines so as not to form a bias (pro or con) in case he is asked to write a review of the same product.

He only writes reviews for material that has been submitted to the magazine so he assumes that the creator is aware that it will recieve a review.

He is confident that Mr. Lelekis operates under the same guidelines as well and recieved your manuscript from a vendor.
[/quote]

The only difference - and a crucial one - is that MOST reviewers actually read and TRY the effect.

Just saying ;)

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 18, 2010 02:26PM)
Hi All,

I just returned from another social get-together (an anniversary) and performed Up the Ante using my married couple routine.

They were elderly, sweet as a summer’s day. 60 years married and you could see that they are the rays of sunlight in each other’s lives.

I played to their long marriage, spoke about the passage of time and the eternal timelessness of love….it was 20% scripted; 80% jazz, impromptu, free-flowing.

I took the opportunity to play up the final reveal. As the final 26 cards were dealt onto a table for all to see (with a bit of verbal direction, they can be placed by two participants so they run sequentially from the Deuce to the Ace), the emotional resonance in the room went up several degrees. I spontaneously asked the wife and husband in turn to recall a moment from their lives together that held a special place in their heart. A memory, two cards placed on the table, a match…13 times…it was a delight, a barometer of their love. The incredible magic seemed to tease out their personal biographies…as if the secret book of their lives was opened for us to see…

By the time the matching Aces were revealed (I asked them to keep the last two cards in their hands and slowly turn them to face the guests whilst thinking of their 60 years of love), the couple was crying, along with every single guest in the room.

They kissed, we all cheered and the magic was all about them.

I would have paid a lot of money for a magical routine so powerful and adaptable to the situation that it could elicit real, genuine tears. I didn’t – I paid a relatively small amount of money for something that just today played bigger than any routine I have ever performed.

My friends – if you value the opportunity to create great stories, Up the Ante is your best, secret weapon. It will make you pay attention to the participant(s) and the wider audience with a mental acuity that few “tricks” require. As a result, your magic will become stronger.

And guess what? I have a week end gig for a coterie of cigar-smoking Poker playing buddies. I am already formulating this story: “As a card mechanic, I have seen many strange things in my time, but none so inexplicable as ‘this thing’ an old sharp showed me in a Las Vegas casino hotel room way, way north of the glittering strip. I lost a lot of money that night and paid a small fortune more to learn the secret of doing something that defies every law of nature. It took me 4 years to master; 5 hours a night, studying things called optical shuffle tracking, and how blinking our eyes affects the cognitive infrastructure of what we see and therefore, what we do; and a bunch of other really weird and esoteric stuff. I almost lost my job; my wife almost divorced me. But I finally cracked the secret. And here…right now…is what the old card sharp showed me…”

Up the Ante is magic because it creates the opportunity for you to make the magic fit the mood. It makes you as the performer feel as engaged and stunned as the people who see it performed.

I have given a taste of two routines/scripts. I have developed a half dozen more –and again, all have multi-dimensional variations that are entirely spontaneous, sparked by the real-life situation at that moment in time. People start talking, laughing, joking, and opening up about their lives…

...and it all comes out of a regular deck of playing cards. No gimmicks, no bad angles, nothing but the power of making real magic emerge from real people.

What an amazing routine.
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 19, 2010 01:51AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-18 15:26, panlives wrote:
Hi All,

I just returned from another social get-together (an anniversary) and performed Up the Ante using my married couple routine.

They were elderly, sweet as a summer’s day. 60 years married and you could see that they are the rays of sunlight in each other’s lives.

I played to their long marriage, spoke about the passage of time and the eternal timelessness of love….it was 20% scripted; 80% jazz, impromptu, free-flowing.

[b]I took the opportunity to play up the final reveal. As the final 26 cards were dealt onto a table for all to see (with a bit of verbal direction, they can be placed by two participants so they run sequentially from the Deuce to the Ace), the emotional resonance in the room went up several degrees. I spontaneously asked the wife and husband in turn to recall a moment from their lives together that held a special place in their heart. A memory, two cards placed on the table, a match…13 times…it was a delight, a barometer of their love. The incredible magic seemed to tease out their personal biographies…as if the secret book of their lives was opened for us to see…

By the time the matching Aces were revealed (I asked them to keep the last two cards in their hands and slowly turn them to face the guests whilst thinking of their 60 years of love), the couple was crying, along with every single guest in the room.

They kissed, we all cheered and the magic was all about them.

*** I would have paid a lot of money for a magical routine so powerful and adaptable to the situation that it could elicit real, genuine tears. I didn’t – I paid a relatively small amount of money for something that just today played bigger than any routine I have ever performed.[/b]

My friends – if you value the opportunity to create great stories, Up the Ante is your best, secret weapon. It will make you pay attention to the participant(s) and the wider audience with a mental acuity that few “tricks” require. As a result, your magic will become stronger.

And guess what? I have a week end gig for a coterie of cigar-smoking Poker playing buddies. I am already formulating this story: “As a card mechanic, I have seen many strange things in my time, but none so inexplicable as ‘this thing’ an old sharp showed me in a Las Vegas casino hotel room way, way north of the glittering strip. I lost a lot of money that night and paid a small fortune more to learn the secret of doing something that defies every law of nature. It took me 4 years to master; 5 hours a night, studying things called optical shuffle tracking, and how blinking our eyes affects the cognitive infrastructure of what we see and therefore, what we do; and a bunch of other really weird and esoteric stuff. I almost lost my job; my wife almost divorced me. But I finally cracked the secret. And here…right now…is what the old card sharp showed me…”

Up the Ante is magic because it creates the opportunity for you to make the magic fit the mood. It makes you as the performer feel as engaged and stunned as the people who see it performed.

I have given a taste of two routines/scripts. I have developed a half dozen more –and again, all have multi-dimensional variations that are entirely spontaneous, sparked by the real-life situation at that moment in time. People start talking, laughing, joking, and opening up about their lives…

[b]*** ...and it all comes out of a regular deck of playing cards. No gimmicks, no bad angles, nothing but the power of making real magic emerge from real people.[/b]

What an amazing routine.
[/quote]

Beautifully presented - :beatingheart: :beatingheart: :beatingheart: [b]Story Of Their Love[/b] :beatingheart: :beatingheart: :beatingheart:

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful presentation story/ routine.

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 19, 2010 02:53AM)
Hi Panlives, great to see somebody putting out their own take on Up The Ante; the routine is clearly ripe for individual creatism and I thank you for pushing that aspect of it to the fore. I don't suppose that you have ever been filmed performing it, have you? Would love to see this in action.
Message: Posted by: edh (Jun 19, 2010 09:49PM)
Hey Capt'n. I really enjoy the " up the ante" thanks for this.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 20, 2010 05:08PM)
Hi All,
My performance for the Poker room was interesting – a solid success, based on “WTF” reactions and other profane expressions of incredulity.

In response to a query – no, the plots I outlined in previous posts are not complete scripts. They are rough sketches that do rely on the performer having some facility with impromptu verbal skills.

For example, something I left out in my description was how I framed the triplicate reveal of 4 packets in a row, each containing all four suits. For the occasion described above, it was natural to speak of the four suits symbolizing the four seasons and by extension, the four seasons of our lives: the unabashed exuberance of Spring; the verdant fulsomeness of Summer; the melancholy of Autumn and the difficult times we have to endure – the Winters of our discontents. On the third reveal, I end with the promise of a new Spring so as to complete the circle of life on a positive note.

This approach, by the way, also allows the performer to speak about how a deck of cards has its roots in the misty, unrecorded past of the Far East and Central Europe.; how the deck, to this day, is a metaphor for life: 52 cards representing the number of weeks in a year, the four suits (as mentioned) are the four seasons; two colors (red and black)- matching the two halves of the year (summer solstice and winter equinox); all of the spots on the cards in the deck totaling 365, the number of days in a year.

But it is important for me to emphasize that the magic plays big on its own merits, as the performer never has to touch the cards once they are introduced to the table. The magic is all done by the participant(s) in ways that clearly contradict all common sense and natural laws.

You can have a terrific amount of wicked fun presenting Up the Ante as a study in statistical probability. In fact, I have – to a group of student engineers.

Performed “straight up” or gilded with a routine/story of your choosing, Up the Ante is a pedal-to-the-metal winner.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 20, 2010 05:22PM)
May I add that because Up the Ante has such powerful intrinsic story-telling and narrative possibilities, I suspect Vlad’s Tarot routine will be a sought-after gem for magic and magick practitioners!
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 20, 2010 05:51PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-19 03:53, captainsmiffy wrote:
Hi Panlives, great to see somebody putting out their own take on Up The Ante; the routine is clearly ripe for individual creatism and I thank you for pushing that aspect of it to the fore. I don't suppose that you have ever been filmed performing it, have you? Would love to see this in action.
[/quote]

Hi Captain,
The 60th wedding anniversary performance was recorded by a few guests using phones and other mobile devices – however, the footage is sub-standard as the performance was never meant to be staged for sound, lighting, multiple camera angles and editing.
Having said that, it may end up on YouTube one of these days
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 21, 2010 05:40AM)
Panlives...your enthusiasm is unbounded! Great to see! And I think that you are right in that Vlads Tarot idea sounds awesome. Can't wait to see it! Do let me know if you do get your take of it on to youtube, too. I can just picture the 'WTF' moment, too, at the poker room that you mentioned! I have seen many, many of these whilst working Up The Ante!
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 21, 2010 12:02PM)
Martyn and Panlives,

I am working out a method now for the Tarot routine. I will PM the "business" to both of you once I am satisfied with the working and the scripting. Martyn, obviously, this is YOUR routine, so, if you like the Tarot presentation and wish to include it in a future manuscript, by all means do so! You have given us a KILLER effect and if my routine is satisfactory to you, then I shall be honoured :)

This is going to take a bit of working though, because I have a specific approach in mind that is vexing me at the moment. So, stay tuned ;)

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 21, 2010 10:08PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-21 13:02, Vlad_77 wrote:
[b]Martyn and Panlives,

I am working out a method now for the Tarot routine. I will PM the "business" to both of you . . . .[/b]
[/quote]

And [b]ME[/b] :worry: :exclaim:

No! :no:

Nevermind. :bwink: :)

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 22, 2010 02:43AM)
....can't wait to see it, Vlad! Don't know whether or not I can purchase a tarot deck here in the UAE. Next layover am on the hunt for a magic shop!
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 22, 2010 08:58AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-21 23:08, Ustaad wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-06-21 13:02, Vlad_77 wrote:
[b]Martyn and Panlives,

I am working out a method now for the Tarot routine. I will PM the "business" to both of you . . . .[/b]
[/quote]

And [b]ME[/b] :worry: :exclaim:

No! :no:

Nevermind. :bwink: :)

:xmas:
[/quote]

Namaste!

Yes lol AND you my friend!

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 22, 2010 09:13AM)
Wow! Thank you so much Vlad. :) :) :)

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: caigy (Jun 22, 2010 11:29AM)
I am working out a method now for the Tarot routine. I will PM the "business" to both of you . . . .[/b]
[/quote]

And [b]ME[/b] :worry: :exclaim:

No! :no:

Nevermind. :bwink: :)

:xmas:
[/quote]

Namaste!

Yes lol AND you my friend!

Ahimsa,
Vlad
[/quote]

Vlad,
I have always liked your ideas! :)
Can I be included please?

Paul Mc.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 22, 2010 11:58AM)
I plan on tightening up narrative templates for the “Married Couple” and the “Card Sharp North of Fremont” routines and PM the manuscripts to the Captain (and Vlad, of course). To the best of my knowledge, structuring this as an interlaced, 2-person participatory routine in the context of a relationship is original to me.

Vlad is right – a supplemental PDF download filled with user-driven routines is a smashing idea!
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Jun 22, 2010 04:45PM)
Well, chaps - am in on the idea of a supplemental pdf; need to collate lots of material and we will be onto something! Splendid idea!
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 23, 2010 08:39AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-22 17:45, captainsmiffy wrote:
Well, chaps - am in on the idea of a supplemental pdf; need to collate lots of material and we will be onto something! Splendid idea!
[/quote]

I am in – others?
Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Jun 24, 2010 11:43AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-23 09:39, panlives wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-06-22 17:45, captainsmiffy wrote:
Well, chaps - am in on the idea of a supplemental pdf; need to collate lots of material and we will be onto something! Splendid idea!
[/quote]

[b]I am in – others?[/b]
[/quote]

:ohyes: :ohyes: :ohyes:

:thanx:

:xmas:
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 25, 2010 03:37PM)
Ok.

This great card routine has given me too much and I feel the compulsion to give something back.

Captain, Sir, I will begin working on my scripts and handling.

Let’s all hope we see an expanded release with experiences, anecdotes, thoughts, variations and multiple routines in due course!
Message: Posted by: insight (Jun 28, 2010 04:32PM)
Thanks for your review, Vlad. It will prevent ocular atrophy! :)

Regards,
Mike
Message: Posted by: Failed Magician (Sep 11, 2010 01:55PM)
Where can I buy the PDF?
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Sep 11, 2010 03:37PM)
I seem to be chasing you all round the Café tonight sir!! Either google it or go to the magicshop.co.uk (merchant of magic).

Let me know if you are getting any trouble finding it.

Hope that you like it; feel free to pm me if you want to discuss it anytime.

Cheers

Martyn
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Sep 12, 2010 09:13PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-28 17:32, insight wrote:
Thanks for your review, Vlad. It will prevent ocular atrophy! :)

Regards,
Mike
[/quote]

My pleasure Mike! (Sorry about the ocular hemorrhaging though. ;))

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 13, 2010 12:31PM)
Vlad, the only reason I got this was on your recommendation. I had no idea it existed! Then, when I got it, I tried it, as I didn't believe it would work. It sounds impossible.

OMG! It works, every time! I have NO idea how. I just followed the instructions. My own Bicycle deck, I bought at the supermarket!! Impossible! I did it several times! This is incredible! I'm really not good at cards, either. I don't even have to handle the deck! Man, just when ya thought you'd heard it all...if, and I mean IF anyone's interested (I hope not, I want this for myself!), go here:

http://www.magicshop.co.uk/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Up+the+Ante&osCsid=1ulcbf7ojgiqqb80he0pvk6072&x=8&y=13

I still want to know WHY this works. A cut and shuffled deck should not DO this! Thank you Vlad, and Martyn! This is a miracle!

Doug
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Sep 15, 2010 04:04PM)
...another satisfied customer!! Glad that you are enjoying it, Doug. Now go and have a blast with your audiences, like I do!! So much fun to be had! Would love to hear how it is going 'in the trenches' so to speak.

There is a thread running in the card section with some good ideas for developing the routine a little further, I have just noticed.

Best

Martyn
Message: Posted by: monello74 (Sep 15, 2010 04:16PM)
Hi all,
I had a chance to see Up To Ante. What I can say is that this is strong, very strong... If you want an unbelievable effect where you will be able to astonish everyone then this effect is for you.

I highly recommend it.

Bye,
Tommy
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Sep 16, 2010 12:12AM)
Thanks for your testimonial, Tommy. Appreciated. (I think that his last word was 'Buy', urging you all to purchase it but that the spell-checker inadvertantly changed it to 'Bye'!! Only joking....but that shouldn't stop you all from buying it though....!!

Buy....Bye

Martyn
Message: Posted by: poonchingyip (Sep 16, 2010 10:22AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-03 23:48, Vlad_77 wrote:
The Café's own Captainsmiffy a.k.a. Martyn Smith but only in the most nefarious pubs in Ol' Blighty, has created something that I think many here would love. Imagine some situations where, for example, you are ready to perform your KILLER pokerblackjackbridgebaccaratgofisholdmaid routine that even the great Darwin Ortiz himself could only DREAM of. You glibly ask the question "Does anyone here play poker?" And you hear those words that have lain waste to greater men than yourself: "I have no idea how to play poker." So, you can either bust out the sponge bunnies, explain poker, or do....

Up the Ante. This effect is really excellent in its own right but, I find it to be perfect because while it does have a gambling theme, there are no "rules" that the audience has to know.

So, I will begin my scribblings by giving you, in the good Captain's own words the effect. Grab a pint all, this is going to be a fun ride.

EFFECT: Imagine if you will that a spectator is able to cut, deal and shuffle your cards, without you touching them whatsoever and yet you are able to make the most unbelievable bets upon the outcome of his dealing of the cards to the table! There is no sleight of hand and this works with totally un-gaffed cards! You are able to bet that the first several pairs dealt face-down to the table will contain both a red and a black card. When you have had enough of challenging your opponent in this way, you then propose that the next group of cards dealt will contain one card of each suit! This is repeated a few times before you make the final, outrageous wager that, if thirteen face-down cards were dealt then that group will contain an ace right through to a king – thirteen different cards in all! Amazingly you are able to repeat that feat a second time.
If you did not possess a reputation as a card-sharp before this routine, you certainly will at the end! Remember that you did not shuffle or indeed even handle the cards!

Folks, that is PRECISELY what the audience sees. Furthermore, there are NO gaffs, and NO sleights. The audience DOES cut the cards, the audience DOES shuffle the cards. It is truly a hands off effect that plays VERY strong. Any of you that perform Simon Aronson's Point Spread" will love this effect. The two are quite different, but, as in Point Spread, there are no rules, just an impossible demonstration of wizardry that, because of its construction, builds suspense and which each step, the impossibility of what you are claiming to bet on becomes insanely fun to the audience. Now, to some nuts and bolts.

This is NOT an impromptu effect. This is not in my opinion a weakness. This effect is one of those that I believe the great Theo Annemann and Stewart James would have LOVED. I do feel however that I needed to point this out for the impromptu only folks so they can decide whether to read on. I would urge you to however, as this effect CAN be used for those special occasions like the table you wowed earlier in the night and they want an encore. Perhaps there is a client you wish to impress. Of course, in a formal show, this is definitely a set piece.

I would not open with this effect because there is a lot of dealing. Now, DON'T run away. The dealing is NOT the old down and under stuff. In fact, the dealing is not only motivated, it is an intrinsic part of the build up to a dazzling display at the end. Remember, with each step, you are challenging the audience to up the ante, that is, bet AGAINST you. And remember, you are have NOT touched the cards except to take them out of the case. This is one of those rare effects again where the dealing gets the audience INVOLVED. Phil Cass talks about this sense of involvement in gambling routines in his Three Shell Game DVD. Up The Ante plays very well in this respect.

Martyn has a keen eye for detail. His instructions are clear, and he makes certain you understand what is going on at each step in the process. The manuscript is very clear in a nice font that is very easy on the eyes.

Some who read Martyn's observations at the end may disagree somewhat with one assertion he makes regarding the method - I am one of them. Purchasers will know exactly what I mean when they read. However, this does NOT detract at all from the effect, but, I felt I needed to comment on this. He IS right in that there is much more exploration that should be done, and on THAT I wholeheartedly agree.

The real beauty of this routine is that you can present in so many ways. In fact, and I hope Martyn is reading this, I am working out a presentation using Tarot cards. Martyn also gives you some tips on how to shorten the effect if you so desire. I think this is important due to the nature of the effect. If you are performing this for somewhat inebriated punters at the pub you may want to shorten it. Conversely, this is also a PERFECT effect for the pub. Think of the ULTIMATE bar bet!

So, the "xtreme card guyz" will not like this effect. A pity, but there you have it. There is absolutely NO room for jugglery and other jiggery pokery in this effect. Any manipulation of the cards by the performer will ruin it immediately. Strictly impromptu workers will have to decide if they wish to add this beauty to their repertoire.

This one is DEFINITELY going into my repertoire. Point Spread is great, but, you still need to do a little explaining about point spreads for that effect to achieve maximum impact. Up The Ante is a straight ahead killer gambling routine where the stakes and the impossibility of it all rises and builds.

I do hope that those of you reading this will give it a try. It is strong, well structured, and I can see this as a - to borrow a term from Harry Lorayne - a "pathway effect" in that I sense there are as yet unexplored avenues for this effect.

Thanks for reading this. Oh, and apologies to the sponge bunnies ;)

Ahimsa,
Vlad
[/quote]

Where can I buy this product thought?? It sounds so AMAZYING. =D

- Arthur
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Sep 16, 2010 11:36AM)
Arthur,

About 5 posts up there is a link to the magicshop.co.uk from where you can purchase this; otherwise pm me if you have any difficulties. Let me know how you get on with the effect. Am always available here on the Café when I am not flying.

Cheers

Martyn
Message: Posted by: caigy (Sep 17, 2010 02:57PM)
This is so good, that although I have had the download for quite a while, I just had to buy the booklet version as well!!...an absolute pleasure to watch and perform.

Paul Mc.
Message: Posted by: Dominic Reyes (Oct 4, 2010 02:23PM)
Great idea to put together an expansion booklet for UTA. I'd be happy to look at building it into the ebook version and distributing it to everyone who has alreay purchased the effect.

I love seeing such a great routine working so well for everyone. Makes it all worthwhile!

Bravo smiffy!! :)
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 7, 2010 01:21PM)
Hi, Dominic!

An expansion booklet? Wow. I can't see how this could be made any more astounding. I've never seen anything like this. It really shouldn't work. I keep wondering if it's going to fail at some point. Nope. Nails 'em every time! Ya know, Dominic, I would be curious to see your expansion! PM me if you like!

The only real work, is memorizing the instructions to give the spectator. It all seems so random! Wow, if you were really "Upping The Ante", you'd make a LIVING doing this! Ha haa! Let me "ditto" that, Bravo, Smiffy!

Doug
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Oct 8, 2010 06:19AM)
Dominic,

Thanks for the offer of help here. Am very interested in getting this 'expansion' into print - there are some good-sounding ideas floating out there from some very clever magic-minded people and I would love to collate this material for an anthology about Up The Ante....

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Doug! BTW, lots of pilots that I fly with think that I should give up flying and earn some serious dosh taking Up The Ante to the various 'dens of inequity' around this world where it would fry lots of people!! (Trouble is, I like flying too much!)

There is another thread just started up here by Barry Fernelius..

Cheers

Martyn
Message: Posted by: Oscar999 (Nov 30, 2018 02:40PM)
This is a pretty old thread that I stumbled upon quite by accident.

But when I saw the subject of these posts I felt compelled to share this one quick story about "Up the Ante."

A couple years ago I was at a function with a group of magicians performing for under-privileged children. Well, that's what we were supposed to be doing, but the kids got a last minute detour to another function, so we were all just hanging out in the park, doing magic for each other.

a friend of mine busted out this trick, Up the Ante.

As someone who's seen it from the audience's point of view, I can tell you it just keeps building and building and building and WHAMMO! I was FRIED.

I told my friend he wasn't leaving the park until he shared the secret. I just could not fathom how it was done. Thankfully, he did share ... and it was still amazing. That's just one fine routine.

Oscar
Message: Posted by: Tom G (Dec 1, 2018 07:33AM)
This is a great effect, he was working on some updates and new ideas.
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 4, 2018 07:49AM)
[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, Oscar999 wrote:
This is a pretty old thread that I stumbled upon quite by accident.

But when I saw the subject of these posts I felt compelled to share this one quick story about "Up the Ante."

A couple years ago I was at a function with a group of magicians performing for under-privileged children. Well, that's what we were supposed to be doing, but the kids got a last minute detour to another function, so we were all just hanging out in the park, doing magic for each other.

a friend of mine busted out this trick, Up the Ante.

As someone who's seen it from the audience's point of view, I can tell you it just keeps building and building and building and WHAMMO! I was FRIED.

I told my friend he wasn't leaving the park until he shared the secret. I just could not fathom how it was done. Thankfully, he did share ... and it was still amazing. That's just one fine routine.

Oscar [/quote]

did you buy it?
Message: Posted by: Oscar999 (Dec 10, 2018 12:49PM)
@John C ... regarding, "did you buy it?"

No. I did not. But I don't perform it either. The point of my post was how amazing the routine looked and how it builds to a seemingly impossible conclusion.

Oscar
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Dec 17, 2018 01:31PM)
Hi Oscar,

Thank you for your very kind words regarding up the ante. I just love performing this effect and am so glad that you saw it from the spectators perspective.

Let me know if you would like a copy

Regards

Martyn
Message: Posted by: sjrw (Dec 30, 2018 02:32PM)
Martyn, do you have any news about the expanded edition?
Message: Posted by: CartoucheNL (Mar 16, 2020 12:35PM)
@captainsmiffy,
I was just wondering what your thought is on replacing the spectator riffle shuffle with (Lennart Green's) Rosetta Shuffle. This shuffle can be executed by virtually everybody and it seems to me that it just looks way more chaotic.
I have just recently discovered Up The Ante and when I realised what the method had to be, I had a really big smile on my face. What a beautiful use of this not so well known principle. In fact, I think that if you don't know the underlying principle it is quite impossible to reverse engineer.
Well done!
Message: Posted by: sjrw (Mar 16, 2020 01:00PM)
I always used the Rosetta for this. Most of my friends can’t riffle shuffle and it’s a perfect solution which (I agree) has a tactile and visual feeling of chaotic mixing.
Message: Posted by: ipe (Aug 19, 2020 06:15AM)
Any idea on how to present it as a mentalism demonstration?
Message: Posted by: taoist (Oct 24, 2020 08:41PM)
UTA final display transposed into Mnemonica (or stay stack) without a deck switch...anyone?

Since a spec is allowed to genuinely shuffle the deck in UTA, I know this would be a hard-hitting project to somehow get the cards into a published stack — hopefully Juan's stack as that's what I use!
Message: Posted by: captainsmiffy (Nov 23, 2020 04:43PM)
That's an interesting question, but not one that I can figure out, yet as the genuine shuffle will produce a known set of cards, albeit in an unknown order. Ie you can predict what cards will come out; not in which order.