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Cagliostro
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On 2012-03-14 17:39, Gulyás Imre Miklós wrote:
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On 2012-03-05 05:57, jfquackenbush wrote:
Just to note, it's ridiculously easy to get the aces on top of the deck from new deck order without doing anything at all odd looking to a brand new deck of cards. The move required is well within the ability of much lesser card magicians than Bill Malone.


I guess so..
but in that particular performance one of spectators shuffled the deck thoroughly before it was handed to Mr. Malone.

Check back. Didn't the camera break between the spectator shuffling the cards and Malone going into his routine? I would have to check but am almost positive it did. In any event, the Aces were on the top of the deck for the routine to work as presented.
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On 2012-02-19 16:38, JordanB wrote:
"... However, I think (and I think Jared would agree) a legitimate center deal is what Charlie Miller would refer to as an "intrigue move", with very little practicability for both the magic and hustling worlds.


A small aside for a very interesting thread: Charlie did indeed state openly that he had no faith in the Kennedy Center Deal as a practical tool for the card thief.
However, he was to eventually change his mind about this TYPE of sleight. In the early 60's Charlie had been planning to write a book of the material of Artanis. These
plans were dashed when Artanis died. But sometime after, Charlie met a protege of Artanis' who demonstrated to Charlie a Center Deal that, for the first time, convinced
Charlie that he was looking at the real thing, a practical tool in the card thief arsenal. He described the method in print in 1965. Charlie warned that mastering it would take a good year, but this was the real thing.
By the way he also described what he considered THE approach to a card table shift. Again, the source was this protege of Artanis. It is neither the Erdnase nor the clever shift described under Charlie's name in Ultimate Card Secrets. but it's in print and the fact that Charlie wrote them up should make these things easy to findfor those interested.
Cagliostro
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On 2012-06-23 16:18, Michael Landes wrote:
Charlie met a protege of Artanis' who demonstrated to Charlie a Center Deal that, for the first time, convinced Charlie that he was looking at the real thing, a practical tool in the card thief arsenal. He described the method in print in 1965. Charlie warned that mastering it would take a good year, but this was the real thing.

Well I guess that is pretty definitive. If Charlie Miller (who was essentially a magician) was convinced this Center Deal was the real “thing” (i.e., the real “work”), Smile and that it was in fact a practical, workable and undetectable method to be used at the card table, presumably against tough and observant players, than who could doubt that assertion. Surprisingly though, Tony Giorgio, who was a confidant of Miller and probably the only “magician” at the Castle who actually worked under fire and knew more about the “practical” real work than perhaps all the magicians at the Castle put together, never changed his opinion about the Center Deal being a useless and impractical move. Perhaps Miller coveted this method so greatly he did not show it to Giorgio, even though he evidently wrote about it for everyone else to see.

On the other hand, it may very well have been a visually deceptive center deal. But that means very little since there are many methods of getting the money that don’t require a year of practice and are more deceptive, less likely to be detected and have more practical application. A Center Deal is impractical on more than just the visual level, but that is usually the only level that most enthusiasts rate a gaff by.

As an example, a case in point would be the Walter Scott punch deal. This came out in manuscript form in the 1930s or thereabouts and was subsequently published in booklet form by Gamblers' Book Club, entitled "The Phantom of the Card Table" by Eddie McQuire. This method excited many magicians because it was difficult to do, titillated the imagination and had to be the ultimate work because Scott was after all, “The Phantom...” Wow, you can’t beat that. However, in the real world of hustling, for the most part this is all largely BS.

About that time another manuscript (which was also later published by Gamblers’ Book Club), entitled "Poker to Win" by Al Smith, described a “practical” ploy to be used in Draw Poker which Smith called the Three Card Trick. This method was not difficult to master, was very powerful, could bust any draw poker game over time, and was virtually impossible to detect. Additionally, there was no proof of cheating as there would be with a punched deck. I would say this method described by Smith, although not exciting, titillating or glamorous, and the concept behind it, has made more money for more hustlers than all the Walter Scott would be hustlers (and make-believe hustlers) lined up backside to belly button from here to the moon.

No disrespect meant to anyone here, but it seems like magicians (because they are hobbyists and have no practical experience in hustling) gravitate to the exotic moves and concepts which are mostly impractical and unworkable, at least the way they do them, and the hustlers just keep chugging along with the practical and workable and keep getting the money and therein lies the huge difference between the two.

---As an aside, don't take my response the wrong way, Michael. It was a good post on your part. However, you might want to reference where some of the things you allude to can be found which would add more credibility to your post.---
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The student of Artanis's that Michael alludes to is Dom Paolino. Charlie wrote up some of Dom's stuff in Genii magazine in his Magicana column. I think Michael got the year wrong (it was 1966, not 1965 that the center deal appeared), but other than that minor mistake his post is a good one.

Incidentally, Charlie may have been 95% magician, but the other 5% was card hustler. He messed around here and there and only narrowly missed getting caught up in a huge jackpot in the 1960s.

Jason
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bishthemagish
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Apparently, Ross Bertram thought that Allen Kennedy and his center deal was the real deal. As he says something like this in his book, the magic and methods of Ross Bertram - Allen Kennedy did the center deal better than anyone else and he was successful, made a lot of money and he was successful in beating all the leading card hustlers. However he stops there and goes on with the written text of how to do it.

This book is where I learned the center deal, however I got some tips on how to perform it from another magician/card sharp!

I hope this helps.
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On 2012-06-23 22:31, JasonEngland wrote:
The student of Artanis's that Michael alludes to is Dom Paolino. Charlie wrote up some of Dom's stuff in Genii magazine in his Magicana column. I think Michael got the year wrong (it was 1966, not 1965 that the center deal appeared), but other than that minor mistake his post is a good one.

I agree Michael wrote a good post but simply needed further reference. Jason’s additional clarification really jogged my memory on some of this. I have acquired so much information and knowledge over the past 50 plus years, salted away in the dim recesses of my mind, that until someone writes or mentions something to bring it to the fore, it remains dormant.

As I recall from distant memory, Miller did write about a center deal in Magicana in the 60s and the name Dom Paolino vividly comes to mind. (It is not a name easily forgotten.) The center deal I remember went something like this: the bottom few cards were jogged to the right by the right little finger on the completion of the cut, they remained jogged to the right during the deal, the remainder of the deck was spread to the right to cover the jogged cards and the left forefinger was covering the front end of the deck to hide the jog or breaking from that angle giving the deck a somewhat “disheveled” appearance.

IF in fact that is the move in question, I did play with it for a while out of curiosity and decided, with respect to Charlie Miller, that it was a questionable move to employ in a worthwhile game. This is not to say it could not be employed in a game. Any move can be used depending on the game. In my opinion, Miller’s statement regarding the efficacy and implied practicality of this move is not definitive, except perhaps to other magicians, but certainly not to professional hustlers.

I recall it was a very difficult move and I had a hard time trying to control dealing the cards from the center one card at a time. That would take considerable practice and for me the end result was not worth the effort. There were so many better and more practical ways to get the money than using something like this in a game.

It seems like magicians in general seem to rate the efficacy of a move based upon how exotic or difficult it is to master. In my opinion, that concept is one thousand percent incorrect for practical gambling application. Although hustling a game can require some manipulative skill, in most cases it does not require extraordinary or great manipulative skill. Other, more important “skills” are required.

The jogging concept, in modified form, appears to have been subsequently written about by Marlo and others over the years.

@Jason:
Quote:
Incidentally, Charlie may have been 95% magician, but the other 5% was card hustler. He messed around here and there and only narrowly missed getting caught up in a huge jackpot in the 1960s.

Although I don’t know much about the “Castle” crowd and who if any tipped his proverbial toe into the gambling side on occasion (successfully or unsuccessfully), I recall that Giorgio wrote at one time that Miller could not get the money. He included in that category Vernon, Ose, Scarne, McDougall and others. He felt that the only magician that was capable, in his experience, was Francis Carlyle. Giorgio subsequently changed his opinion regarding Miller at a later date and as I recall said Miller did some hustling and was capable to some degree.

I also recall from Giorgio’s writings that he and Miller were going to write a book on gambling moves but Miller backed down. Evidently Miller was afraid of repercussions from some gamblers.

Additionally someone wrote (and I don’t remember where I got this from), that Miller worked in the “peek” for a while, upstairs at the Friars’ Club in Los Angeles with the guys that orchestrated and played the big Gin Rummy scam at that club and “took off” a number of Hollywood big names with that ploy. When the play was discovered it subsequently hit the national media. I personally don't know if this allegation is true or not, but if so it may have been Miller's biggest “hustling” money score.

Jason, thanks for jogging my memory on this.
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On 2012-06-24 12:45, bishthemagish wrote:
Apparently, Ross Bertram thought that Allen Kennedy and his center deal was the real deal. As he says something like this in his book, the magic and methods of Ross Bertram - Allen Kennedy did the center deal better than anyone else and he was successful, made a lot of money and he was successful in beating all the leading card hustlers.

No disrespect meant to anyone, but to me this is all will-o-the-wisp magician hyperbole and nonsense. Once again, and with no disrespect to anyone on this forum, very few magician who study this material have any idea as to what will get the money or not unless they have actual experience along these lines. The nonsense that has been foisted upon the magic community by Vernon and others is monumental in this regard. Not that I don’t respect these gents, I certainly do. But I respect them for their accomplishment in the magic community and their furtherance of the art of card table manipulation.

As far as their claims as to what does or does not get the money in a real game, that is all part of the “story” that “enhances” the moves. To put it bluntly, IMHO it is magician BS to “sell” the move or moves in question.

You can’t sell the moves being explained or the ability of the person being exalted if you say that he (Kennedy and also Walter Scott), were really small time neighborhood gamblers and could not get the money if they went up against the leading hustlers of their era. It has to be embellished to give it believability, glamor and pizazz. Who want to learn a move where the guy who invented it got his head broken five or six times using it. Smile

Guys, learn the moves because they are fun to play with and perform. But you might to take many of these stories and statements with a grain of salt, or maybe even with the whole salt shaker.
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On 2012-06-24 14:31, Cagliostro wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-06-24 12:45, bishthemagish wrote:
Apparently, Ross Bertram thought that Allen Kennedy and his center deal was the real deal. As he says something like this in his book, the magic and methods of Ross Bertram - Allen Kennedy did the center deal better than anyone else and he was successful, made a lot of money and he was successful in beating all the leading card hustlers.

No disrespect meant to anyone, but to me this is all will-o-the-wisp magician hyperbole and nonsense. Once again, and with no disrespect to anyone on this forum, very few magician who study this material have any idea as to what will get the money or not unless they have actual experience along these lines. The nonsense that has been foisted upon the magic community by Vernon and others is monumental in this regard. Not that I don’t respect these gents, I certainly do. But I respect them for their accomplishment in the magic community and their furtherance of the art of card table manipulation.

As far as their claims as to what does or does not get the money in a real game, that is all part of the “story” that “enhances” the moves. To put it bluntly, IMHO it is magician BS to “sell” the move or moves in question.

You can’t sell the moves being explained or the ability of the person being exalted if you say that he (Kennedy and also Walter Scott), were really small time neighborhood gamblers and could not get the money if they went up against the leading hustlers of their era. It has to be embellished to give it believability, glamor and pizazz. Who want to learn a move where the guy who invented it got his head broken five or six times using it. Smile

Guys, learn the moves because they are fun to play with and perform. But you might to take many of these stories and statements with a grain of salt, or maybe even with the whole salt shaker.


Great post.
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bishthemagish
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On 2012-06-24 12:45, bishthemagish wrote:
Apparently, Ross Bertram thought that Allen Kennedy and his center deal was the real deal. As he says something like this in his book, the magic and methods of Ross Bertram - Allen Kennedy did the center deal better than anyone else and he was successful, made a lot of money and he was successful in beating all the leading card hustlers.

Quote:
On 2012-06-24 14:31, Cagliostro wrote:
No disrespect meant to anyone, but to me this is all will-o-the-wisp magician hyperbole and nonsense. Once again, and with no disrespect to anyone on this forum, very few magician who study this material have any idea as to what will get the money or not unless they have actual experience along these lines.


Thank you for "your" opinion. Now I am going to give you "my" opinion of what Ross Bertram wrote in his book. It is a discription of how to do a center deal. Possibly the Kennedy center deal as worked out by Dai Vernon as Bertram says that Vernon's hands were used in the photographs.

Quote:
On 2012-06-24 14:31, Cagliostro wrote:
The nonsense that has been foisted upon the magic community by Vernon and others is monumental in this regard. Not that I don’t respect these gents, I certainly do. But I respect them for their accomplishment in the magic community and their furtherance of the art of card table manipulation.

As far as their claims as to what does or does not get the money in a real game, that is all part of the “story” that “enhances” the moves. To put it bluntly, IMHO it is magician BS to “sell” the move or moves in question.


Speaking as a magician in my opinion the center deal "does get the money" when used in a demonstration. Not only can it be entertaining it is also part of magic history and legend if presented right.

However in my opinion to be used in a game "today"? One also has to consider that the rules, games people play and protocols have "changed" since those days when Walter Scott and Allen Kennedy were playing cards. However I would say Walter Scott who was a vaudeville performer - I don't think he would have had a hard time finding a game just because people in vaudeville and show business in those days played cards - often between shows.

I know this to be true because my Dad was a vaudevillian and he played cards.

Quote:
On 2012-06-24 14:31, Cagliostro wrote:
Guys, learn the moves because they are fun to play with and perform. But you might to take many of these stories and statements with a grain of salt, or maybe even with the whole salt shaker.

I learned the move to use in a performance (not to cheat people at the card table). And it does still get the money in the way I use it. However I do not find what Ross Bertram or Dai Vernon or any magician that learned and used the center deal and published interesting story around it to be false.

As I said the rules, games and protocol have changed quite a bit since Walter Scotts and Allen Kennedy's day. I think one should take the time difference and what games were popular then and now and how they played them into the consideration when talking about things like the center deal.
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@bishthemagish above, June 24th 2012, 5:57pm:

Sorry if I offended you. My comments were not directed to you personally, but to Vernon’s (and other magicians’) hyperbole that surrounds these somewhat legendary "greats." I remain firm in my statements and that conclusion and would write the post exactly the same way again. If your opinion is otherwise, that’s fine with me.

Did Scott and Kennedy play cards? I’m sure they did. Did they employ chicanery when they played cards to get the money? I’m fairly certain they did.

Did they both “take-off” all the top card hustlers that they encountered with their moves? I find that very doubtful in the extreme. In fact, I find it absurd. However, if you believe otherwise, that’s okay with me also.

Just to clarify. The slang expression “Getting the Money,” in the gambling context refers only to cheating to obtain money, not to “earning” money working at a job or doing demonstrations for pay. If you want to use it in a different context, that's okay with me also.

As you can see, I'm a very agreeable guy.

Cheers. It is time for a Martini. You might want to loosen up and have one too. Smile
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On 2012-06-24 19:34, Cagliostro wrote:
Sorry if I offended you. My comments were not directed to you personally, but to Vernon’s (and other magicians’) hyperbole that surrounds these somewhat legendary "greats." I remain firm in my statements and that conclusion and would write the post exactly the same way again. If your opinion is otherwise, that’s fine with me.

I am not offended, I find your posting interesting and I just added my opinion as food for thought.

Quote:
On 2012-06-24 19:34, Cagliostro wrote:
Did Scott and Kennedy play cards? I’m sure they did. Did they employ chicanery when they played cards to get the money? I’m fairly certain they did.

Did they both “take-off” all the top card hustlers that they encountered with their moves? I find that very doubtful in the extreme. In fact, I find it absurd. However, if you believe otherwise, that’s okay with me also.

Did they "take off" all the top card hustlers that they encountered? Good question and if I may add - how many really good card hustlers were there in those days? Thousands, hundreds under 100? In the book Illusion show David Bamberg talked about card hustlers he saw and how crude the methods were back in those vaudeville times.

If Walter Scott had the punch and could make it work just as Allen Kennedy if he could do the Center deal and make it fly in the games of his day - during a time when many other card hustlers were using crude methods that David Bamberg talked about. I think that this should also be considered in the conversation. We are talking about days that have gone by - a time long ago.

I find the stories of Vernon, Bertram, and others about culling, Dad Stevens, Walter Scott and Allen Kennedy and the center deal to be interesting. Perhaps exaggerated at times but no less interesting and I do not find them false. Taking into consideration the time in which these people were suppose to have been doing these techniques.
Quote:
On 2012-06-24 19:34, Cagliostro wrote:
@bishthemagish above, June 24th 2012, 5:57pm:

Just to clarify. The slang expression “Getting the Money,” in the gambling context refers only to cheating to obtain money, not to “earning” money working at a job or doing demonstrations for pay. If you want to use it in a different context, that's okay with me also.

As you can see, I'm a very agreeable guy.

Cheers. It is time for a Martini. You might want to loosen up and have one too. Smile


Cheers also thanks for a good conversation.
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On 2012-06-24 15:07, critter wrote:
Great post.

Thank you. I glad you enjoyed the post and appreciate your compliment.
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On 2012-06-24 21:11, bishthemagish wrote:
Did they "take off" all the top card hustlers that they encountered? Good question and if I may add - how many really good card hustlers were there in those days? Thousands, hundreds under 100? In the book Illusion show David Bamberg talked about card hustlers he saw and how crude the methods were back in those vaudeville times.

Interesting comment. One could also ask, do top card hustlers (not stumble bums or make believe low level hustlers and has beens, but top hustlers, spend their time associating with magicians and explaining their ploys?

In 1953 I read a series of articles in the "National Police Gazette" written under the pen name of Tony Marone. He alluded to be a hustler during prohibition, and hustled during the late 1920s up to the mid-1940s. Based upon what he wrote and the knowledge he conveyed, he was definitely not a crude or low class hustler. He was a real pro.

Additionally, in "Sharps and Flat," which Maskelyne had published in 1894 or thereabout, the methods he described were anything but crude. In fact, he described some top gaffs and work with cards that are still being used today. The lowest level, or the crudest level of hustling in his opinion, were the sleight of hand manipulators, those who dealt second, bottoms, (and by extension center dealers and punch dealers), ran up hands and used various forms of manipulation. He stated these people ALWAYS got caught.

It has been my experience that what he stated in the late 1900s, has become more and more true over the years. Further, Maskelyne stated that a smart hustler that used marked cards does not deal seconds to take advantage of the knowledge conveyed. Rather they use their superior playing ability and the knowledge the marked cards convey to win the money. Even the magicians’ hero, Steve Forte, stated in "Phantoms of the Card Table" that the punch is used to give information as to the value of the top card in professional games, not to use a Walter Scott type punch second deal.

I also want to add that I personally knew and trained with some of the top Vegas hustler in the 1960s. These were the guys who were ripping and tearing in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Based upon the methods I saw them using under fire, and the methods they had employed in the past and conveyed to me, and comparing them with the methods alluded to have been used by Kennedy and Scott, I would have to say these guys would not only NOT been fooled by these two guys, but instead would have eaten them alive.

I can state categorically, top hustlers, those that are active and have really been there, don’t use these sleight of hand methods alluded to by Vernon et al, and further don’t associate with, or hang out, with magicians or gambling hobbyists/enthusiasts.

My background is in gambling, both in casino as well as private game gambling, not in doing magic tricks, demonstration or learning about gambling ploys in theory. Whether anyone agrees with my observations or not is irrelevant to me. But what I write about has been my experience over 50 + years around professional level gambling, both casino and private. I’ve known and learned from some of the absoulte best, but you won’t read about any of these guys in Genii magazine or similar publications.

Those that believe otherwise, that’s okay too. I am not here to convince anyone of anything. My posts are only meant to be of some benefit to a very small minority on this board, not for the majority.
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[quote]On 2012-06-24 23:08, Cagliostro wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-06-24 21:11, bishthemagish wrote:
Did they "take off" all the top card hustlers that they encountered? Good question and if I may add - how many really good card hustlers were there in those days? Thousands, hundreds under 100? In the book Illusion show David Bamberg talked about card hustlers he saw and how crude the methods were back in those vaudeville times.

Quote:
On 2012-06-24 23:08, Cagliostro wrote:
Interesting comment. One could also ask, do top card hustlers (not stumble bums or make believe low level hustlers and has beens, but top hustlers, spend their time associating with magicians and explaining their ploys?

I don't know about the past - but the observation was made by David Bamberg. And his info was from observation rather than meeting them and learning their secrets. Before he made a living as a magician and an illusionist he worked doing cold readings and making money doing that.
Quote:
On 2012-06-24 23:08, Cagliostro wrote:
In 1953 I read a series of articles in the "National Police Gazette" written under the pen name of Tony Marone. He alluded to be a hustler during prohibition, and hustled during the late 1920s up to the mid-1940s. Based upon what he wrote and the knowledge he conveyed, he was definitely not a crude or low class hustler. He was a real pro.

Additionally, in "Sharps and Flat," which Maskelyne had published in 1894 or thereabout, the methods he described were anything but crude. In fact, he described some top gaffs and work with cards that are still being used today. The lowest level, or the crudest level of hustling in his opinion, were the sleight of hand manipulators, those who dealt second, bottoms, (and by extension center dealers and punch dealers), ran up hands and used various forms of manipulation. He stated these people ALWAYS got caught.

It has been my experience that what he stated in the late 1900s, has become more and more true over the years. Further, Maskelyne stated that a smart hustler that used marked cards does not deal seconds to take advantage of the knowledge conveyed. Rather they use their superior playing ability and the knowledge the marked cards convey to win the money. Even the magicians’ hero, Steve Forte, stated in "Phantoms of the Card Table" that the punch is used to give information as to the value of the top card in professional games, not to use a Walter Scott type punch second deal.

I also want to add that I personally knew and trained with some of the top Vegas hustler in the 1960s. These were the guys who were ripping and tearing in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Based upon the methods I saw them using under fire, and the methods they had employed in the past and conveyed to me, and comparing them with the methods alluded to have been used by Kennedy and Scott, I would have to say these guys would not only NOT been fooled by these two guys, but instead would have eaten them alive.

That again is your opinion. I met and knew a person that dealt the punch, he was also a pool hustler. He would use both methods. He would use the punch (nail) as readers most of the time because that was enough. But every once and a while if it was worth it to him he would use the second deal. Also he would use a second not to improve his hand - but to blow another hand in the game so they wouldn't get the hand.

By the way you would have never found this guy's name in Genii mag as well.

Quote:
On 2012-06-24 23:08, Cagliostro wrote:
I can state categorically, top hustlers, those that are active and have really been there, don’t use these sleight of hand methods alluded to by Vernon et al, and further don’t associate with, or hang out, with magicians or gambling hobbyists/enthusiasts.

I already said that I met a punch worker that did deal the punch in games. And he did know his stuff.
Quote:
On 2012-06-24 23:08, Cagliostro wrote:
My background is in gambling, both in casino as well as private game gambling, not in doing magic tricks, demonstration or learning about gambling ploys in theory. Whether anyone agrees with my observations or not is irrelevant to me. But what I write about has been my experience over 50 + years around professional level gambling, both casino and private. I’ve known and learned from some of the absoulte best, but you won’t read about any of these guys in Genii magazine or similar publications.


My background is in magic however because I am in show business (45 + years) I played cards for a number of years. I also knew a lot of magicians that also played cards. I have never gambled in a casino I have only played cards in privet games. Or in a privet game after a show in the bar.
Quote:
On 2012-06-24 23:08, Cagliostro wrote:

Those that believe otherwise, that’s okay too. I am not here to convince anyone of anything. My posts are only meant to be of some benefit to a very small minority on this board, not for the majority.


I still think that one must consider the time in which these people worked. As I said above things can change over the years.
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Okay bishthemagish. Let me put it this way one last time.

I really don’t understand what the point of contention is here. I did not say that one cannot use a punch deal in a game and successfully do so if one has the grift sense to apply it properly. It depends on the game and the people involved. One can still do that today. One can do almost anything, including some very crude things. Depends on the game, the people involved, the stakes and how frequently that person wants to get caught.

My contention was the quote, not made by you but by Ross Bertram that: “Allen Kennedy…was successful in beating all the LEADING card hustlers.”

I’m not saying he did not beat some card hustlers. Hustlers come in all shapes, sizes and degree of knowledge and ability. Some are complete stumble bums and would not know a second deal from a pink elephant; others are triple sharp and can go over almost anyone’s head.

Since I have personally known and associated with a number of top card hustlers, I don’t believe Kennedy could fool TOP card men with a center deal or could they be fooled for very long with a punch deal. I seriously doubt you would fool me with that nonsense and I’m fairly certain there are some on this forum who would not be fooled either. Why? Because these are NOT top moves or gaffs. You may not understand that, but they are not.

So to clarify one last time, Scott or Kennedy could not fool top card men with their ploys for very long. If they did encounter any card men of this ilk, it would probably be a wink and a nod in the game and no one would get hurt. That’s how it works in the real world.

Could they beat some local games and so forth? They probably could, depending upon the game. Have times changed somewhat since then? Of course, mostly because there is less opportunity to use these type gaffs because of the widespread availably of casino and card room games where one does not deal the cards himself. But once again, taking off top card hustlers with that nonsense is silly. If anyone would be taken off in encounters of that type, it would no doubt be the center or punch dealer that got “creamed” and they would probably conclude they played unlucky.

Vernon, Bertram and others had an agenda to bolster their image that they really knew the real work and were on the leading edge of top gaffs and moves that other magicians did not know about. It was almost a game with them. Vernon loved to play this one-upmanship game. Others magicians simply followed suit so they could show they were also "in the know."

I really don’t want to be impolite but there is no other way to say it. If you were actually acquainted with top card hustlers and the methods they were using back then, and are currently using now, we would not be having this conversation. You background did not give you that type exposure and knowledge. That is pretty obvious based upon our conversation here.

But if you think otherwise based upon you’re your extensive experience of 45 years in show business and playing cards for a few years, that’s okay with me. We have different knowledge bases and experience in this area and apparently never the twain shall meet. Just don’t play in private games for big money. Smile Oh c’mon. Just joking.

There really isn’t much else to say except, “cheers.”
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Just something to throw in here-
From what I've read, Vernon didn't tell gamblers that he was a magician. He often claimed to be a riverboat gambler because he knew they wouldn't talk to him if they knew he was "just a magician."
Well, take that for what it's worth anyway.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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Quote:
On 2012-06-25 23:24, Cagliostro wrote:
Okay bishthemagish. Let me put it this way one last time.

I really don’t understand what the point of contention is here. I did not say that one cannot use a punch deal in a game and successfully do so if one has the grift sense to apply it properly. It depends on the game and the people involved. One can still do that today. One can do almost anything, including some very crude things. Depends on the game, the people involved, the stakes and how frequently that person wants to get caught.

My contention was the quote, not made by you but by Ross Bertram that: “Allen Kennedy…was successful in beating all the LEADING card hustlers.”

I’m not saying he did not beat some card hustlers. Hustlers come in all shapes, sizes and degree of knowledge and ability. Some are complete stumble bums and would not know a second deal from a pink elephant; others are triple sharp and can go over almost anyone’s head.

Since I have personally known and associated with a number of top card hustlers, I don’t believe Kennedy could fool TOP card men with a center deal or could they be fooled for very long with a punch deal. I seriously doubt you would fool me with that nonsense and I’m fairly certain there are some on this forum who would not be fooled either. Why? Because these are NOT top moves or gaffs. You may not understand that, but they are not.

So to clarify one last time, Scott or Kennedy could not fool top card men with their ploys for very long. If they did encounter any card men of this ilk, it would probably be a wink and a nod in the game and no one would get hurt. That’s how it works in the real world.

Could they beat some local games and so forth? They probably could, depending upon the game. Have times changed somewhat since then? Of course, mostly because there is less opportunity to use these type gaffs because of the widespread availably of casino and card room games where one does not deal the cards himself. But once again, taking off top card hustlers with that nonsense is silly. If anyone would be taken off in encounters of that type, it would no doubt be the center or punch dealer that got “creamed” and they would probably conclude they played unlucky.

Vernon, Bertram and others had an agenda to bolster their image that they really knew the real work and were on the leading edge of top gaffs and moves that other magicians did not know about. It was almost a game with them. Vernon loved to play this one-upmanship game. Others magicians simply followed suit so they could show they were also "in the know."

In my opinion Vernon's interest in gambling was how to use whatever he used in magic. And in my opinion that is the interest that many magicians have in gambling or card sharp moves. It is also my interest as well as the "history" of it as it relates to magic. However I still feel that one must take into the consideration of the techniques (center, second deal, the punch) - the games that they were playing back then - where they played - and the way that they played them because the protocols of the games and what games were popular were different.

For instance, Vernon once said on a video tape that when Allen Kennedy demonstrated his center deal, Kennedy dealt it out on the his kitchen table in five card stud. And he dealt himself the dealer three aces (two face up one in the hole).

For a magician telling the story I find it interesting. But to little information because it says little about how Kennedy moved with the center in a real game. However the story talks about that doing a center deal “is possible”.

However if Kennedy used it in a real game, for money the story tells little of what games he used it - and how, when. In my opinion there could be more to the story that what was told.
Quote:
On 2012-06-25 23:24, Cagliostro wrote:
I really don’t want to be impolite but there is no other way to say it. If you were actually acquainted with top card hustlers and the methods they were using back then, and are currently using now, we would not be having this conversation. You background did not give you that type exposure and knowledge. That is pretty obvious based upon our conversation here.

My background has given me a wide knowledge of the subject matter. From the way that you have been posting I would say a lot more than you think!

As I said I am not interested in the top hustlers of today and if they think what magicians do or say is BS. My interest today is in the classic moves of a by-gone time, the history and how they were used and if they were used a long time ago.

Quote:
On 2012-06-25 23:24, Cagliostro wrote:
But if you think otherwise based upon you’re your extensive experience of 45 years in show business and playing cards for a few years, that’s okay with me. We have different knowledge bases and experience in this area and apparently never the twain shall meet. Just don’t play in private games for big money. Smile Oh c’mon. Just joking.

There really isn’t much else to say except, “cheers.”

I wouldn't assume that.

Cheers!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Cagliostro
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On 2012-06-26 15:47, bishthemagish wrote:
Quote:
In my opinion Vernon's interest in gambling was how to use whatever he used in magic. And in my opinion that is the interest that many magicians have in gambling or card sharp moves. It is also my interest as well as the "history" of it as it relates to magic. However I still feel that one must take into the consideration of the techniques (center, second deal, the punch) - the games that they were playing back then - where they played - and the way that they played them because the protocols of the games and what games were popular were different.

I have no disagreement with any of that.

On 2012-06-26 15:47, bishthemagish wrote:
Quote:
For instance, Vernon once said on a video tape that when Allen Kennedy demonstrated his center deal, Kennedy dealt it out on the his kitchen table in five card stud. And he dealt himself the dealer three aces (two face up one in the hole).

For a magician telling the story I find it interesting. But to little information because it says little about how Kennedy moved with the center in a real game. However the story talks about that doing a center deal “is possible”.

Once again, I have no disagreement with that. (This is getting boring, all we do is agree.)

On 2012-06-26 15:47, bishthemagish wrote:
Quote:
However if Kennedy used it in a real game, for money the story tells little of what games he used it - and how, when. In my opinion there could be more to the story that what was told.

There could be more to the story. There also could be less. (We only half agree here).

On 2012-06-26 15:47, bishthemagish wrote:
Quote:
My background has given me a wide knowledge of the subject matter. From the way that you have been posting I would say a lot more than you think!

As I said I am not interested in the top hustlers of today and if they think what magicians do or say is BS. My interest today is in the classic moves of a by-gone time, the history and how they were used and if they were used a long time ago.

Okay. I have no problem with any of that. We are not in that much disagreement. However, we definitely have different knowledge and experiences and that is not an assumption. However, this is good because we can get give friendly opinions and perceptions from both sides of the aisle so to speak. Those are the elements that make a forum of this nature beneficial and enjoyable.

Rather than my continuing on with my further elaboration, I am going get use some additional comments from a gambler who turned magician and was acquainted with other hustlers of that era. This gentleman really had “been there” and was acquainted with many old time hustlers of that era. That follows below.
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I don’t want to belabor the point or engage in overkill, but Tony Giorgio wrote an interesting article in the May 2005 issue of Genii magazine entitled, Did Walter Scott Go for the Money? I wrote a review and commentary on this article shortly thereafter and while a number of readers of this forum have seen the Giorgio article, I’m sure many have not.

In any event, here is my review for those who may have an interest. Keep in mind this is Giorgio’s opinion with my specific comments in parentheses. My posting of this review is not meant in any way to criticize other peoples’ opinions or beliefs. These are all just opinions based upon our individual experiences and presented to further the discussion. Take it for what it is worth.

Quote:
Giorgio’s states his conclusions about Scott are “based up the tapes and transcripts of the Gazzo/O’Connor interviews with Scott; the transcript of a filmed interview with Scott; and (Giorgio’s), personal acquaintance with Gazzo, John Scarne, Mickey MacDougall, Dai Vernon, Charlie Miller and Francis Carlyle; and approximately 70 years of associations with gambling cheats, grifters, and magicians."

(The concept of “getting the money” refers to being able to effectively cheat “under fire” in serious money games, or stated another way, “being capable.”)

Giorgio believes that “the plethora of gambling experts and bedroom hustlers spawned by videos, books, and the Internet are generally misinformed and have no concept of how to get the money.

Further, Giorgio mentions that Scarne, MacDougall, Vernon, and Miller were not capable of getting the money. Miller evidently was the most knowledgeable of the group, but lacked the audacity to move under fire, although Giorgio refers to Miller working at one time “tipping dukes” in a “peek joint” for a notorious gin rummy hustler.

(Interestingly, Charlie Miller and Giorgio started writing a book which they believed would be a definitive treatise on card cheating, however, Miller expressed an irrational fear that his revelations would be met with violent retaliation by card and dice hustlers and the work was abandoned.)

According to Giorgio, after meeting with Scott, Miller concluded that Scott was just another magician exposé artist who probably never went for the money. At another point in time, Miller concluded that Scott may have been a card hustler, but not a major leaguer.

Dai Vernon had the same opinion of Scott and observed that Scott’s reputation was not created by card cheaters but by magicians. Further, both Miller and Vernon concluded that no serious card hustler would put on a blindfold before demonstrating his work, and that Scott’s presentation of the blindfold poker deal would only have fooled magicians.

Giorgio next deals with inconsistencies in many of Scott’s statements, such as traveling from coast to coast at age 17 (in 1912), fruitlessly searching for someone who could do a second deal (the second deal was well known in the 17th century and there was no scarcity of second dealers in 1912); Scott said he always worked alone but later said he worked with partners; Scott said he never wanted anything to do with a card cheater or a thief, but later said he only robbed the rich and no one else.

Scott also stated that Vernon brought card men to “defeat him.” Francis Carlyle was one of the visitors brought by Vernon to meet Scott, and according to Giorgio, Carlyle was the only magician/card man he ever met who actually moved under fire. Scott then claimed that he gave Carlyle a “good beating.” Giorgio questions what the term “good beating” means, but concludes that if Scott meant he fooled Carlyle he would find that unbelievable.

(Scott’s reference to giving other card men “good beatings” seems somewhat irrational and petulant to me and appears to signify a slightly childish personality.)

Scott later talked about buying cold decking machines and using strippers. Giorgio states that throughout the transcripts Scott alleged he cheated the cheaters and repeatedly claimed he never got caught cheating. Giorgio then refers to the hustler’s adage that if someone says he was never caught cheating, then he never moved under fire. Giorgio clarifies this statement by saying, “That is not to say that someone who moved under fire on only a few occasions never got caught, but to employ sleight of hand without ever being caught is a virtual impossibility for a journeyman card or dice hustler.”

(It is interesting to note that Maskelyne wrote in Sharps and Flats (1894) on page 114, “The best gamblers…play with fair cards only; and, by being wonderfully keen card-players, make their brains win, instead of cheating with the pack. They play in partnership (secret), and are invincible… The next best class are those who play marked cards well, many of them using cards that no one not acquainted with the work could find out in a lifetime… Then after these, come the class of ‘second dealers,’ bottom dealers,’ and men who habitually do work with the pack to win (that is to say, use sleight of hand). These men always get caught in the long run.”)

By his own admission, Scott was a magician in his earlier days, and traveled with a musical group which featured Hawaiian guitars and taught guitar in various schools over a period of 47 years.

Giorgio concludes that, “I have no doubt that Walter Scott knew and mingled with card and dice hustlers, and may have actually participated in some card cheating, but based upon his magic background, his blindfold demonstrations, his theatrical flair, his vehement condemnations of card cheaters, his claims of having fooled Charlie Miller and Francis Carlyle and his exaggerations and hyperbole, I do not believe that Walter Scott ever made his living cheating at cards.”

(Previously, in May 2004, I wrote a review of Phantoms of the Card Table by Gazzo. In it I concluded: “In my opinion, Scott did hustle to a certain degree, but I doubt that he was a top notch hustler. It appears he played in neighborhood games, probably in local clubs and at local affairs, maybe traveled to outlying games occasionally, and so forth, but I personally think he would get ‘creamed’ against top card men in a high stakes game, assuming he could afford to play in such games. They would simply make it impossible for him to use his moves, change the deck every 30 minutes or so, and beat him with techniques he could not overcome. He would either lose his money or be forced to give up and leave the game.”)


This is a good article and interested readers may wish to procure a copy of Genii magazine to read it in its entirety.

Given the time, I will locate some further reviews and commentary on the Kennedy Center deal.
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Here is an interesting addition to the Walter Scott mystique that is little known.

In the GBC reprint of The Phantom of the Card Table by Eddie McGuire, McGuire raves about how Scott fooled some of the leading magician of his day with his punch deal. It was a demonstration at Al Baker’s house in which Al Baker, Cardini, Leo Horowitz, T. Nelson Downs, Max Holden and Eddie McLaughlin were present. (Vernon was not present at the time.) It was after this “blindfold” deal demonstration, which supposed wowed all these expert magicians, that Max Holden passed the “crown” of being the most expert exponent of wonderful card table magic (or some such designation), from Vernon to Scott. This irked Vernon to no end. (Those who are not acquainted with the story can read about it in McGuire’s book which sells for about three dollars and can be obtained from Gamblers’ Book Club.)

However, there is more to the story than recounted by McGuire. According to Jeff Busby, in his book, The Secret of the Palmettos, Scott’s demonstration for the New York magicians at Al Baker’s house, on June 14, 1930, was a set-up. According to Busby, Scott, McGuire, Baker, Downs and McLaughlin joined together in a plot to devastate their New York targets: Horowitz, Cardini and Holden. It was Baker who introduced the “gaffed” (edge marked and punched), decks for Scott's use.

Evidently, three years before the New York demonstration, in June of 1927, Downs and McLaughlin traveled with Faucett Ross to spend a week with McGuire and Scott, in which they exchanged moves and ideas. So Downs and McLaughlin were in on the methods that Scott used on the night of the “big” New York demonstration.

Scott evidently used scratch (edge work on the cards) plus a punch deal to do the demonstration. The scratch enabled him to see how far down in the deck his desired cards were, and he could anticipate when to go into his punch deal because of the edge work. It the cards were not close enough to the top of the deck to be dealt on the next round, he would have the deck shuffled and then check again to see if his desired cards were close enough to be dealt. If not, he would have the deck shuffled again, "just to be sure they are all mixed." He wore a blindfold to conceal the fact that he was looking down at the deck to see his edge work.

In all fairness, I should mention that back then most magicians were in the dark as to gamblers methods. What was common knowledge among hustlers was a complete mystery to magicians. Of course, in today’s climate, with the tremendous exposure of gambling “moves” and methods, magicians are much more in the know and knowledgeable magicians would not have been fooled by Scott. Bishthemagish’s statement is well taken when he commented, “However, I still feel that one must take into the consideration of the techniques (center, second deal, the punch) - the games that they were playing back then - where they played - and the way that they played them because the protocols of the games and what games were popular were different.” I would further add to this the lack of knowledge magicians and the general public had in those days regarding gambling methods.

Finally, I don’t want to irritate any sensitive magicians on the BB, but if Scott was such a great card hustler, why did he associate with and share his moves and methods with magicians? Almost without exception, active top card hustlers, (not amateurs, stumble bums or make-believe hustlers), both private and casino, don’t want to know or associate with magicians, exposers, demonstrators or erstwhile gambling experts. They would have little or nothing to gain by doing so, and a great deal to lose by such association.
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