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Topic: Pick Your Poison by Erick Olson (Review)
Message: Posted by: Bendy (Oct 5, 2020 11:38PM)
"Pick Your Poison" is the latest release from Erick Olson and Bill Abbott Magic. It's a 'grown up' version of a classic effect where there are three choices given to the spectator and regardless of their free choice, it is a match for your prediction. This has been done with choices ranging from cards, to colors, to any number of other objects, (such as golf tees, poker chips, etc.). I literally don't know any magician that doesn't know this effect, or that hasn't at some point in their involvement with magic, performed this effect. Erick Olson has taken some very well-made props and has expanded the impact and use of this effect.

The premise: You present three paper drink coasters, (typical build and quality to those you find in many restaurants and bars), in a case. Also revealed to be in the case, (which has a clear "window" front to it), is a $20 bill. One coaster has, "WHISKY" printed on it, one has, "BEER" printed on it, and the other has, "WINE" printed on it. You tell your spectator, (client, customer, friend, 'mark', etc.), to select one of the three drinks displayed on the coasters. But before they make their choice, you tell them you know which drink they'll choose and, if you're wrong, they get to keep the $20 bill that's in the case, (the case and bill stays in full view until after they make their selection); but if you're right, they have to buy you a drink. You can say a bit about what 'most' people do or what various choices mean, psychologically; but you tell them to make their choice, which they do out loud. Regardless of what choice they make, (and it is a free choice among the three coasters), it is revealed that you did, in fact, know what drink they would choose.

What you get: You get a large, full-color envelope with cool artwork on one side. On the other side of the envelope is the instructional video link and password, as well as a listing of the chapters/time stamps in the video; so you can easily find what you need. Inside the envelope, you receive all the performance-ready props needed to begin performing right away: A round, thin vinyl case, (looks like leather), that's just large enough to easily fit all three coasters and the bill. The case fits easily in your jacket pockets, or even in the back pocket of your jeans. The case has a snap closure and a plastic "window" front to it. There is also a small "lip" above the snap closure on the case, which has a round eyelet, allowing you to hang the case off of a hook, or attach a chain or other similar item to it.
You receive three coasters made from very thick, hard paper stock. These coasters are of the exact quality and thickness you're likely familiar with if you've been in a bar or restaurant in the last 15 years or so. Very well made, authentic looking/feeling coasters. One choice is written on each coaster. One for whisky, one for beer and one for wine. The font on the coasters is classy, eye-catching, and printed in black and gold. It looks very similar to what I've seen in Irish-themed and British-themed pubs here in the States.
You receive a fake $20 bill, but it is so well done that you cannot tell by looking at it. It's movie-quality prop money. It doesn't feel like a $20, but it stays in the case and there won't be any question about whether it's a real twenty or not. It's very well done. (You can also supply your own, real $20 if you'd like; but Erick has gone the extra step of having a very good quality prop made so that you don't have to. The fake twenty also has a trick-related statement printed on the back of it; but, again, you can write what needs to be on the bill, on a real $20 bill, and put it in the case. But you won't need to. Erick made sure you could perform this right away, with no need for additional monetary sacrifice beyond purchasing the trick.

The video instructions provide not one, not three, but FIVE performances. It provides you with an explanation of the method and setup, plus a walk-through of how to reveal your prediction and end clean for each of the three available choices. It provides some tips and ideas for the various revelations, as well as suggested handling for walk-around, (you won't always need a table); and a kicker for one revelation that involves a cool production.

But wait! There's more: 1089. Yeah. As a bonus, the "1089 Force" can be used with one of the coasters. It's built-in and completely inconspicuous. Erick goes over what that is and how/where to reveal it and there is a single performance of just the 1089 effect.

For anyone familiar with this effect, you know exactly what to expect just from watching the promo trailer. Easy to do and requires no sleight of hand. I've always thought this particular effect was 'okay', but nothing really worthy of carrying around or performing once I learned some solid coin sleights. But what Erick has done with a classic effect, is to make it more organic, more 'adult', and more fun. He's really expanded its effectiveness, in that you can perform this at a party with friends, at the office, (there's no actual alcohol involved), at restaurants and bars, or at any other social gathering. You can even do this for people who don't drink - because there is no alcohol involved. And when I say Erick has 'expanded its effectiveness', I mean that it can now be performed by seasoned magicians, in a variety of settings, without it looking like it just came from the 'beginners' section at the local magic shop. Also, it is so easy to do, that it can be marketed to more than just magicians. Erick has written a couple of books on bar bets and "Pick Your Poison" would be a great companion to the data in those books for anyone wanting to actually try to get free drinks, or just have some fun.

For all its simplicity, I like it. It's a classic, and I'm pleasantly surprised to find that I now WANT to perform this effect for the first time in close to 20 years now. The props are all very well made, with the fake $20 and all three coasters being made in the United States. It's available from Bill Abbott Magic for $29.95.

Message: Posted by: pulpscrypt (Oct 6, 2020 08:18AM)
Excellent review thank you.
Message: Posted by: dooblehorn (Oct 11, 2020 11:18PM)
Thanks, Bendy, great review! My only question is, can you have different results each time, since you say it's a free selection?
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Oct 12, 2020 05:37AM)
Yes, but you can't repeat the trick for the same crowd, and there would be no need to.
Message: Posted by: Bendy (Oct 15, 2020 11:27PM)
[quote]On Oct 11, 2020, dooblehorn wrote:
Thanks, Bendy, great review! My only question is, can you have different results each time, since you say it's a free selection? [/quote]

This is a classic, simple effect and you may have seen or performed something similar before. You're covered regardless as to what they choose. That's all I can say without giving away the method. But, yes, the spectator has a completely free choice from any of the three available choices. But as others have mentioned...this cannot be repeated for the same spectator.
Message: Posted by: videoman (Mar 3, 2021 11:47AM)
Very tiny nitpick I know, but Whisk(e)y is spelled with an E in the US and Ireland, so perhaps using Rum or Vodka would have been a better choice.
Lest anyone claim that no one will notice, spelling OCD is not that uncommon. But Iím sure I could make the spelling issue an entertaining part of the presentation. Heck, maybe Erick even covers that in the tutorial.

But other than that a very nice update of a classic effect. A nice item to keep on my bar at home.
Message: Posted by: Joe S. (Mar 3, 2021 04:03PM)
Even MORE nitpicky... but both are correct. The spelling is determined by where the whisk(e)y is produced, not sold.

"Whisky" is preferred spelling of whisky from Scotland (aka Scotch). And since Scotch is the BEST whisky... it wins!

Message: Posted by: John C (Mar 7, 2021 09:50AM)
Regardless of splilling I purchased it and have a lot of fun. You can change it around to your liking an even use different revaels.