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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Your best shell game or monte story... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Erik Anderson
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Des Moines, Iowa
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A number of us have posted on the various shell game topics. It strikes me that there could be some great stories from those of us out there working it.

So what is your best (or worst) experience doing the 3 shell game, 3 card monte, or swindle type routine?

Whit, we're ALL 'gonna' be really disappointed if you don't have something to say about this. Smile

I will start with an experience I had a year or so back.

I was performing at a fundraiser for a group that serves adults and children with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MR/DD) and their families. It was a casino night where people buy raffle tickets and play money to be used in the various games. All proceeds going to the charity. They could play the casino to win more play money which they could then use at the end of the night to bid on items donated by local merchants.

I was set up at one end of the room demonstrating old-time swindles such as the 3 card monte, the shell game, and a very old game called Fast and Loose. For once I got to really run them as swindles and control how much they won and lost, and how fast they did it. It was great fun. I had a BLAST!

A good portion of the people there were adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MR/DD). Throughout the evening adults with MR/DD would come up to the table to play the games. And, more often than not, they would have a “handler,” a family member or some other person as an attendant to help them play the games. When this happened, I would play them for a while with moderate wagers and they would end up winning a bit more than they lost. I would point this out and they would get more and more excited about playing.

Finally, in true con artist form, I would entice them into making a really big bet get them to bite on the wrong card or shell. That’s when the real fun began. Without fail, their well-meaning “handler” would intervene to keep the MR/DD player from making such an obvious mistake. They would practically sprain their wrist trying I would stop them cold, moving their hand away and saying, “Sorry this is a player’s game not a watcher’s game! The wager is already on the table.”

Well, they would shoot me a look that could kill houseplants (Many of them would even say something about it being unfair, and how could I take advantage of people with MR/DD that way?) They were convinced at that moment I was the scum of the earth. Then I would turn over the shell or card that was bet on and show that the MR/DD player had actually won.

At this point two things happened. First, the player with MR/DD was ecstatic that not only had they just won a lot of “money,” but they had also just “outsmarted” all the other “normal” adults there. Second, all the other adults watching realized that the REAL swindle had been on THEM. The look on their face when they realized how completely they’d been taken was PRICELESS.

I do so love this game!

Okay, now I want to hear your stories.

:cups:
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
B-MAN
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Luxembourg
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I have read a lot of magical things on this web site
but your story is truly MAGIC. Thanks, that has made my day.
" No matter what you accomplish in this life.... the size of your funeral will be determinded by the weather " Gizzard

G.B.T.S.
JHodgeCMI
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Washington State
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Erik, that was truly inspiring!

Mr. Haydn, we know you have some great stories--do you care to pen a few?

-Jay
DAK
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Erik,

That's a great story! Really looking after your audience and making sure everyone had a good time. It reminds me of the tag line David Devant used "all done by kindness"!

Kindest Regards

Dominic
Erik Anderson
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Des Moines, Iowa
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Quote:
On 2004-01-19 13:15, DAK wrote:
It reminds me of the tag line David Devant used "all done by kindness"!


I prefer "Lead them down the garden path and kick them over the edge." ...and I mean that in the kindest possible way. Smile
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
bishthemagish
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As many of this group already know my first restaurant job was Houdini’s pub and I was hired by Bill Malone. This was back in the 70’s and I had a great time entertaining there.

This was where I worked out many of the effects that I still do today. In those days my closer was the shell game. But I was also heavy into card magic.

Bill Malone was a good friend of Ed Marlo and so was another great close up magic that did cards well Bill Dennis… Bill Malone got Marlo to come down and asked us each to do a magic trick for him. He asked me to do the shell game.

I said fine so I got out the shells and Bill got Marlo and they sat down at the bar. I did the routine and I think I fooled him with the ending because Marlo laughed and was surprised. (Bill Malone was there).

Marlo also told me that he liked it especially the ending and said that it was the first ending that made sense.

I was flying high. I respected Marlo a lot. I had a lot of his books and did some of his ideas.

Then Bill set me up - if anyone knows Bill Malone he has a magicians sense of humor. He said do your matrix for ED Glenn. So I went into my pockets and I got out Matrix.

I did it with big coin loads at the end and this ending was inspired by a routine that Buddy Farnan showed me.

The smile left Marlo’s face. Marlo was a magician that did not like the big loads because he felt that it made the spectator’s watching the effect forget the routine. If you do a routine for them and then do the loads most likely they will forget the routine. (And Marlo does have a point).

Bill Malone hit the floor with laughter because he set me up he knew Marlo didn’t like big loads and he set me up as a gag.

Ed Marlo was also a guy that thought if you were worth his time he would make sure you saw his point. So every time I sat down at the table with Bill Malone and the other magicians Marlo would bring this point up again. And then we would have the same conversation about it all over again. (Bill Malone was laughing at this all night).

And I wanted to talk card magic.

I had the feeling that I should have quit when I was ahead. I talked about this to Bill Malone years later in Chicago and he still laughs about this.

I met Ed Marlo several times over the years and he was always nice to me and we did talk magic on occasion. And that is my story about the shell game, meeting Ed Marlo and one of my adventures with Bill Malone…

I hope you enjoyed it,
Best ahead,

Glenn Bishop
http://www.mrhypnotist.org
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Bradley Morgan
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Toluca Lake CA
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Those are really funny stories. I am just getting into doing the shell game and hope to tell a funny story one day. LOL

Best Brad
"I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones." - Einstein
bishthemagish
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One of my first professional shows was booked at the state street mall in Chicago. This was back in the 70's. We were teamed up with other entertainers to do street magic as street performers. My partner was a vent named Bob Rumba.

Anyway, my closing routine was the shellgame. This was a year or so before I added the cups and balls to my close up act.

Well someone saw me doing the shellgame in the streets and called the cops. The cops pulled up and wanted to run us in.

Bob being a vent started to have his vent dummy Quenten the ape insult the police men. He called on the crowd to boo the coppers. The vent doll told the coppers to climb back into their pig pen and drive off. The cop turned to the ape vent doll and said hey you that will be enough out of you!

I almost fell over with laughter. The cop talked to the vent doll like it was alive!

After noticing me in a Tux and with a large magic table that I did magic on. And after watching two shows they said good buy to us and drove off.

Bob and I wanted to be arrested for the publicity. Perhaps getting a picture of us all in handcuffs in the newspaper Quenton the ape included.

I think back on that time and laugh...

Bob introduced me to Bill Malone and I started at Houdini's Pub about a month later... That was a fun time!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Peter Woerde
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One time I got to do the shell game for real at a fundraiser party. There were also some nice prices to be won, so occasionally I had to let someone win.
People could buy chocolate coins to play with. One guy was trying to be funny and placed a coin in front of every shell. I showed all three shells empty, and pocketed his coins while I said: "If you cheat, so will I."

The best part of the whole experience was that I could really understand the psychology of the game. At first people bet on the shell where the ball should be. After a while, they figured the ball wouldn't be there, so they started betting on other shells. The fun part was, I could sence in advance when that would be the case, so I would play the game fair. But now, those people who bet on the "wrong" shells basically started to be my shills, because people who were watching saw that they would have gotten it right and started betting as well.

I can't wait to go to the same party this year to deal a bustout blackjack game.

Peter
Samuel
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Erik Anderson, I just must say that I truly LOVED your story...

You are a fantastic person! That was... breathtaking!
Samuel

Magic is everywhere
mike gallo
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I was once walking down Times Square in New York City. I got to watch an actuall hustle. Well anyone living in NYC knows how hard it is for the cops to bust any type hustle because of the look outs. Well after about 15 minutes of watching this guy (who btw was fantastic!) these 2 really scrufty lookings drunks come stumbling by. As they passed by the hustler, one of the drunks grabbed the hustler by his walnuts Smile as the other put a gun to his head and told him to get down on the ground. Well, all I see is this gun...hell, I was on the ground before the hustler! Turns out it was 2 vice cops making bust!!! It was really a shame as this guy was soooooo good!

Mike
magicmonkeyphoto
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Wow! Mike, do you remember how long ago that happend? That must have been a crazy experience.

Lincoln
http://www.lincolnworld.com/products -- For high end mentalist utility devices, ideas, and props for professionals and serious hobbyists. You can follow me on Instagram @Lincolnworldmagic and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LincolnWorldWatchers
Greg Arce
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I had the experience many years ago in Miami. I was standing in a long line that was waiting for the DMV to open. A guy sets up a small place near me and starts tossing the cards. Soon several people join in and sort of win and lose as if it's a real game... of course, they are partners. Well, the guy in front of me is watching and he decides he can tell where the card is. He joins up and in a matter of about ten minutes loses everything he has and his wife is screaming at him. The whole game vanishes including the 'real' people.
He even fell for the bent corner thing which I thought only works in a magic effect. I was afraid to say anything because there were about six in the gang and who knows how many others were looking out.
I just stood there in shock watching it happen.
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
mike gallo
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Wow! Mike, do you remember how long ago that happend? That must have been a crazy experience.


That happened in the late 80's...and calling it a crazy experience is an understatement...like I said...when that gun came out, I produced a load of my own...LOL. After I realized that it was the cops...I was sort of ticked off...I wanted to watch longer...this guy was GOOD!!!

Mike
Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2004-06-14 19:42, mike gallo wrote:
I was once walking down Times Square in New York City. I got to watch an actuall hustle. Well anyone living in NYC knows how hard it is for the cops to bust any type hustle because of the look outs. Well after about 15 minutes of watching this guy (who btw was fantastic!) these 2 really scrufty lookings drunks come stumbling by. As they passed by the hustler, one of the drunks grabbed the hustler by his walnuts Smile as the other put a gun to his head and told him to get down on the ground. Well, all I see is this gun...hell, I was on the ground before the hustler! Turns out it was 2 vice cops making bust!!! It was really a shame as this guy was soooooo good!

Mike


Jeez... that really makes me second guess whether or not I want to demonstrate 3 card monte when doing street work.
mike gallo
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Jeez... that really makes me second guess whether or not I want to demonstrate 3 card monte when doing street work.

If you do decide to do it...my advice would be to where an atheletic cup...that covers half the problem...!

Mike
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