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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The September 2003 entrée: Whit Haydn » » The Law and Con Games » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Hallahan
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Inner circle
New Hampshire
3223 Posts

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In the second post made by Harry Murphy in the topic: "The Side walk shuffle" here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......;forum=6

Mr. Murphy writes about how he was performing the Three Card Monte for entertainment in the late 1960's, and he wound up spending the weekend in jail in El Paso. Monday morning the judge let him go when he performed other magic in court.

That post is one of my favorite posts in the entire Café. It teaches a very important lesson, a lesson that I didn’t know at all. It is humorous (sorry Harry, I realize it is probably NOT funny to you!) and it is a real world street experience from a very experienced magician.

It bothers me that there was an assumption of being a cheat when it was a performance for entertainment.

Are Three Card Monte and the 3 Shell Game the only games the authorities automatically assume are gambling? Is it that way in most of the U.S.A.?

I wonder if you have any other similar stories about yourself or other magicians that you could relate.

Beyond the obvious, "Don't perform this in the street.", is there any other advice you can give about performing con games that is not obvious?
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
Whit Haydn
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As that thread explained, no street perfomer should ever set out a set of shells or leave three bent cards on his table. You can be busted right away, before you can explain.

The Fast and Loose is generally not recognized by police, but if there are any complaints, or they see money changing hands, that would be different. I know people who have played it at Ren Faires for real money and not been bothered by the Faire people or the cops.

I'm not sure any kind of con game is a good bet for the street anyway. People have enough trouble getting over their natural suspicions of any street performer, much less a magician, and a con game might make them more skittish.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

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When I was working for an auto race team, we were celebrating a win at a large restaurant somewhere in the mid-west.

As per ususal I started to do some close up, card tricks, etc.

One of the team sponsors (a very rich chinese gent) grabbed the cards from me and started to Toss the Broads... and was actually TAKING MONEY from his friends.

Naturally, I just sat back and kept quiet.

The waiter came over and said, "Hey, put those cards away you can't do that here...no cards."

So what did "he" do?

Whipped off his belt and started to play ***ing the Garter... and continued to take the money.

Later, talking to him, turned out he owned two casinos in Macau (as well as a couple of bordelos). And 10% of the world's rice, etc. etc.

Once a con man always a con man. Smile Smile Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Whit Haydn
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Pete:

I see you couldn't get away with "Pric-king the Garter." The auto-bad language censor on this board is ever vigilant. Maybe you could call it by one of its other names "The Strap," "Fast and Loose," "The Belt Game," "The Old Army Game," etc. Great story.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The September 2003 entrée: Whit Haydn » » The Law and Con Games » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
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