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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ebooks, PDF's or Downloads » » Review: "Up The Ante" by Captainsmiffy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Vlad_77
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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 Smile

Ahimsa,
Vlad
captainsmiffy
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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
Have you tried 'Up The Ante' yet?? The ultimate gambling demo....a self-working wonder! See the reviews here on the cafe.
insight
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Can the spectator shuffle in any manner they want? Or are they limited to shuffle in a certain way?

Regards,
Mike
Vlad_77
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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 Smile 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. Smile

Ahimsa,
Vlad
muse
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So Vlad, what's the method? You seem to have missed it in your writings
captainsmiffy
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....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
Have you tried 'Up The Ante' yet?? The ultimate gambling demo....a self-working wonder! See the reviews here on the cafe.
insight
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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
muse
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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!
John C
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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


good, leave it alone. they can riffle shuffle yea. Smile

j
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
JanForster
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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
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Vlad_77
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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


Hi Jan, Thanks for the kind words and also please accept my apologies Smile 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! Smile

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Vlad_77
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Quote:
On 2010-06-04 15:00, muse wrote:
So Vlad, what's the method? You seem to have missed it in your writings



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 Smile

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 Smile 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.
JanForster
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O.k., Vlad, enough is enough, stop giving away too much! Smile Jan
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captainsmiffy
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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
Have you tried 'Up The Ante' yet?? The ultimate gambling demo....a self-working wonder! See the reviews here on the cafe.
panlives
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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?!
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
gmeister
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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
Vlad_77
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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


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

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
Vlad_77
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Panlives,

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

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Ustaad
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On 2010-06-09 17:09, panlives wrote:

* 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.



Absolutely!

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.


Those are your very special requirements. Sorry, you will have to search elsewhere. Smile Smile

Quote:
On 2010-06-04 15:40, insight wrote:

* Not fully knowing the answer to this, I can't buy it.


I have enjoyed performing Up The Ante and have ALWAYS got great reactions & mileage out it. Up The Ante 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 Up The Ante 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. Smile

Smile
MAGIC is a SECRET, without the SECRET, there is no MAGIC.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke.
captainsmiffy
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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
Have you tried 'Up The Ante' yet?? The ultimate gambling demo....a self-working wonder! See the reviews here on the cafe.
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