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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Gambling Spot » » The Phantoms Of The Card Table (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ImpromptuBoy
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Hi Everyone.
I found this book very interesting in terms of content. Technique, it doesn't explain much. What's great about this book though, is the history it offers about card cheating and past cardsharks. I wish I would have met Walter Scott and have him teach me everything he knew. He was truly one of the very best card manipulators, if not the best. It's just that there are so many card guys out there (Glenn Bishop, Ortiz, Forte, Marlo, Vernon, Nash, Walter Scott, Carpenter, Piacente, Keops etc.), that it's really hard to decide who the best really was and is. All these fine gentlemen are very skilled, and are all good in their areas.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this book and I'll keep referring to it from time to time for years to come.
Those who have the book, what do you think of it?

Michael
sodman12
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I just ordered it and it should be in in a few weeks
you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but never all of the people all the time.
magician8
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Yeah, I read it too and I was amazed with all the cool facts and stories.



A.S.E
Bizarrist
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The Phantom of the Card Table was one of the first books I read and studied. When Phantoms of the Card Table came out I snaged it up and read it in one setting. I loved the book! It will really get your juices flowing.

After you spend a few years all wet and sticky be sure to track down a copy of Jeff Busby's Secrets of the Palmettos. It continues the story and reveals more secrets into the Phantoms work.

SW
The Most Beautiful Experience We Can Have is the Mysterious.
silverking
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I'd have to agree with SW......The Phantom of the Card Table, The Phantoms of the Card Table, and the Secret of the Palmettos, when taken as a whole truly teach 'the power of the peg'.

Before you begin to consider Walter Scott with too high an opinion of his skills, you'd need to read Busby's book. It not only continues the story, but goes into much more detail on the how/why of Walter Scotts legendary status, and whether it was deserved.....or even based on factual information.
chappers
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I have just finished this book and found it fascinating. In terms of technique I have found that the descriptions in the back are good and I tend to use Scott's method as it feels natural to me. I will certainly look into the Busby book.

FYI I am currently reading The magician and the Cardsharp which deals with Vernon's quest for the Centre Deal. Again a great story.
j0ndrums
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I highly enjoyed reading both Phantoms and The Magician and the Cardsharp. Both are great pleasure reading.

One (unlikely) thing in particular really stood out to me in Phantoms: Basically somewhere in the book it talks about how many different types/styles of second deal techniques there are, and how they all work great for different people based on hand size, dexterity, local climate, and even personal body chemistry.

At first I never understood how there could be so many different handlings of essentially the same move, each claiming to be WAAAYYYY better than the others. Now I understand that they're just better in that person's opinion and for their desired use. I've now allowed myself to ignore stuff that doesn't work for me and my style/personality, and not feel bad that I'm missing out on the next best thing.

Seems like a really simple and obvious concept, but for some reason a single sentence in that book keyed me to it.

I'm going to have to check out Busby's book...
Jon
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I, too, much enjoyed the book. But I found it also disappointing for two reasons:

1. The book NEEDS a REAL editor--the kind who corrects the occasional grammatical slip up which we all make. Such mistakes are acceptable in a forum or a blog or perhaps even a self-published manuscript. But in a book costing good money, I expect a modicum of editing. And "Phantoms" is sloppily written.

2. I find the "Phantom of the Card Table Revisited" very objectionable, as it blends Gazzo's thoughts into the text in such a way that McGuire's original text is impossible to discern without looking at the original. An annotated version of the McGurie text would have been MUCH better. Claiming to have preserved McGuire's text while changing it beyond recognition is dishonest. And boring. Again, a poor editorial decision which a quality editor might have vetoed.

But then, I'm picky. I also wish that Forte had sent me his books for a round of good editing. I would have done it for cheap, real cheap. Perhaps for the cost of his books?
Jeff
silverking
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Jeff, you inspire me to mention something further about the book/books.

In order to understand what really happened with Walter Scott you really need to read more than one book in order to 'read through' all the personal anecdotes and spin that exist in EACH of the books individually.
In other words, the books taken as a whole give the most complete story. Individually, there are major pieces of the story missing, and also there's often 'filters' applied depending on who the author is.

The three books I think offer up perspective on Walter Scott, in order of importance are:
1) 'The Secrets of the Palmetto's' by Busby
2) 'Phantoms of the Card Table' by Gazzo and Britland
3) 'Phantom of the Card Table' by Eddie Mcuire

In the end, you'll likely see what others have seen, and that's the fact that Walter Scott certainly did something interesting with the punch deal/second deal, but exactly what it was, and whether it was deserving of his 'legendary' status remains foggy.

There's a lot more research to be done on Walter Scott, and Gazzo and David Britland have dug the deepest with their research to date.
It's going to be difficult (not impossible) to get more information on Walter Scott than we've already got.
It remains a great story!
Paul H
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I would like to add that David Ben in his riveting biography of Vernon, explained the politics behind the Walter Scott drama very clearly. That is to say it made very good sense to me and it does indeed make for a great story.

Regards,

Paul H
silverking
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Good point Paul, you could definitely add David Ben's book to any complete list of books containing reference to Walter Scott.

Ben offers up additional insight that the other books I mentioned don't contain.
silverking
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My post above about Britland and Gazzo needs a proviso attached to it.

It should be pointed out that there are a lot of VERY qualified folks who have studied this topic in depth who feel that Walter Scott's skills were extremely overblown to the point of almost being fabricated.

There are those who feel that the Britland book is not an accurate account of some details of Walter Scott's life, and his skills with a deck of cards.

I'm trying to be polite, but it's worth noting for those who will read this thread upon searching for Walter Scott that some highly respected magic figures reject a lot of the material in the Britland book as being fabricated or stretched far beyond what the facts actually spell out. (some of the fabrication started decades ago and was simply repeated in the Britland book).

As always 'reader beware'!

(OK, politeness aside, there are those that figure Walter Scott was little more than a small time hustler whose reputation was manipulated to be far larger than it should have been by Eddie Mcquire for his own purposes. Decades later, the same thing was done in the Britland book, presumably to market the book......that's the impolite version).
Unknown419
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99% Of All The Hustlers Are Small Time

Quote:
It should be pointed out that there are a lot of VERY qualified folks who have studied this topic in depth who feel that Walter Scott's skills were extremely overblown to the point of almost being fabricated.

As always 'reader beware'!

(...there are those that figure Walter Scott was little more than a small time hustler whose reputation was manipulated to be far larger than it should have been by Eddie Mcquire for his own purposes. Decades later, the same thing was done in the Britland book, presumably to market the book......that's the impolite version).


Silverking what you're saying maybe true about Walter Scott and if it is what's the point?

This is my Testimony

My skills are overblown to some of these here readers too but I can do what I can do just like Walter was able to do what he could do. In his time and in this time his skill far exceed that of many manipulators that I know and there are still moves in Gazzo's book that he wrote about that Steve nor I still can't do.

We all have our specialties according to the arena in which we play but it doesn't make us any better or worse and yes I'm also a small time hustler only because I'm not playing in the right circle of players who can afford to lose big money so what does this mean? It only mean that some are more fortunate or hungry than others even though there are better hustler's out there.

As I play new card games like wild Texas Hold 'em I'm getting my lumps too until I learn how to play and cheat the game. This is what we all go through while learning to cheat at a new game. We overcome our obstacles by sitting, learning what will work and what don't while losing our money.

Well Doc why don't you cold deck the game? I can't because it's "Dealer's Choice" and I don't know what poker variant this dealer is going to play or the way the dealer is going to deal out his/her cards. Cold Decking doesn't work in this area unless I cold deck to myself and I'm too scared to leave an open deck lying in open view in my lap while I deal around the table...I don't have that much balls - - - do you?

Back To Small Time Hustlers

Yes some of us may be small time players to some of you but we live comfortably with our income and we don't have to work such long hours as ya'll do and then when we get our pay check someone take most of our money from us due to taxes etc.

Bottom Line: Yes I'm a small time hustler who's reputation can be manipulated to a degree if someone wanted to distort the truth but the fact is, is that my reputation proceeds me amongst my culture and those who have met me can testify to the ability of the moves that I can do and it's no lie. In other words, if Walter was a small time hustler so what. I know for a fact that if it wasn't for me reading his book and learning what it taught I wouldn't be making the little bit of money I do make today.

Note: The videos of the hustler's that I once posted are all small time hustlers as well but they were all good at what they could do.


Take Care

Respectfully,

Doc
silverking
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Doc, my post had the primary purpose of couching what I had previously written with the observation that there are very differing perspectives not so much on Walter Scott the man, but what folks have written about him.
My point was really that, although I own, read, and enjoy the Britland book.....there are folks out there who think of it as less than accurate.

My use of the term 'small time hustler' was intended to be more descriptive of what some folks think Walter was capable of (as opposed to the worlds greatest punch dealer). My use of the term wasn't intended to insult, I'm indebted to far to many folks who might fit that description who have helped me understand more about 'the work', yourself included Doc.

Also, I wasn't trying to imply that these are MY opinions (I'm still doing my own research on Walter Scott, and haven't formed such a strong opinion yet).

Worth noting too is that Eddie Mcquire may have started all of this and had it perpetuate without Walter Scott's full knowledge.
I got the impression from the Britland book that the fact that Gazzo was even looking for him was a surprise to Scott, who may not have known the extent that his legend (fabricated or not) had grown to. He certainly warmed up to the fact that Gazzo was interested in interviewing him, but only after he realized that he had become an underground legend over the years preceeding Gazzo seeking him out.

All in all it's a very interesting topic, and one that has MANY different slants on exactly what really went on and what skill set Walter Scott might have really had. (The Busby book 'Secret of the Palmettos' holds a very different, and much less flattering view Eddie's skills than the Britland/Gazzo book for example).

There certainly is the possibility absent any evidence otherwise that everything Gazzo and Britland wrote about Walter Scott is true.
It would be the rare book on gambling and hustling that could claim that, but there's no strong evidence either way that lets anybody say at this point in time exactly "how it was" with Walter Scott, which was really the point of my post.......

Peace Doc.
tommy
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The only pro I knew was my uncle Jonny Gough, who won fortunes playing soft games of Bridge and Gin with the rich and famous set. Getting into the right circle is what it’s all about in my opinion. Not many hustlers have what it takes to charm their way into this other world known as polite society.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Unknown419
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Silverking I understand what you wrote and that you didn't mean any harm, I was just letting the readers know that we live a good life but we are penny pinching all the way. Some days we might get a big lick, some days we get nothing at all and some days we just make enough money to pay the rent.

Bottom Line; Our salary is based upon our victims income.

Doc
tommy
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Soft card games, by that I mean not dealer dealt and casino like, are played by the rich and the poor but the rich play for more money. Home games are not necessarily low stakes as it depends on who’s home it happens to be. Of course there are fewer rich people than poor ones and consequently the rich soft games are more exclusive so to speak. Getting back to Walter Scott I don’t know of any of his moves that could not be used in soft games. How big a hustler he was would depend on the circle he played in I think. As I believe it more about than how skilful one is. Of course skill matters but I seen large lumps of lettuce taken by people with very little skill given the right circumstances.
Personally I think Walter was great and in the right circle might have won fortunes. Others might have exaggerated his skills and so on but I don’t Walter himself did, well perhaps a little. I think some knowing magicians know the moves but not the score. What specifically makes them doubt what Walter said.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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