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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Which is it? (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Glenn Morphew
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It really comes down to are you playing this game for cash or are you trying to entertain people? And, who is your audience? Is it lay people? Magicians? Sponsored Casino Nights?

If you currently play the shell game for cash, speak up because I'm assuming none of us do.

If you watch any of the mobs or guys like Gamblin Sam play for cash, the first thing you notice is they don't make the game look easy. They move move fast. They talk fast. Sometimes too fast. And they have the total focus and concentration of players because there is cold hard cash on the line. Often no one bets because the shells were moved too fast for the players to follow. That is a totally different game than we play as magicians.

We can try to romanticize it or delude ourselves if we want but it's a different game. For one thing, I'm a performer, working alone, without a crew.

It's true that "Confusion isn't magic." So if as magician's/entertainers our audience isn't sure where the pea is supposed to be, when it isn't there, we have no effect, we failed.

As an entertainer, I can fool and entertain people with any kind of shells or bottle caps out there. But if I want to fool other magicians and people "in the know," I have to use techniques and methods they are unaware of. It's that simple. And, I'm not saying it is my goal or it should be your goal to fool magicians or people who know the simple mechanics of how the game actually works. I'm just stating the facts.

I've probably seen the best magic performances of the shell game ever caught on video. I've seen Harry Anderson's routine, Frank Garcia, Whit Haydn, Bob Sheets, Bob Kohler, Phil Cass, Gary Oulette and so on. They are all great entertainers and they do great routines but... None of their routines fool me, because I can follow pea. I know what they have to do and when they have to do it. And, once you understand the mechanics of the game you don't get fooled by what you know. That's just the way it is. I'm happy I don't need to be fooled to be entertained. I just enjoy watching masters do their thing.

Sorry, I got off track there.

Regarding the bottom ridge design supposedly making the game easier to perform or masquerading as a short cut to replace skill...

Nothing could be further from the truth. Why would anyone think that?

You still have to secretly steal the pea, you just get to chose when. You still have to load the pea and you have to load it into a smaller area than a regular shell due to the bottom ridge. There's nothing easier about any of that.

The bottom line is, the bottom ridge design gives you options you don't have with any other shells on the market. Options, that if you desire, will even let you fool other magicians or "people in the know" simply because you don't have to make your moves when they think you do.

Glenn
Visit www.povmagician.com for
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silverking
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Any time an additional "gimmick" is introduced into play, it will most definitely create opportunities for deceit that don't exist otherwise.
For example, the "Sheets Stack", when added to a traditional Shell Game can create a multitude of mind numbing situations, and can fool magicians and those in the know.

Any time you introduce an element that the specs aren't aware of, you potentially add a layer of deception.

My stated position is that you don't need to add that layer of deception (via a gimmick) in the case of the Shell Game, and in fact would be better off to become expert at the game (through practice) sans any gimmicks at all.

(as a brief aside: the soft pea as a gimmick, noted in a post above, is a stretch IMO. A soft ball is part of the original short-con).

I think a THIRD, and preferred way to present the shell game has been overlooked in your description Glenn. That is the demo as entertainment.
In this scenario you're not hustling, nor are you presenting yourself as a magician showing the spec a magic trick.
You are instead an experienced, and knowledgable demonstrator, one who creates a combination of entertainment, history lesson, and "wow" factor all the while not presenting themselves as a magician.

Perhaps you're a reformed hustler, retired bunko man, or a game protection expert.
There are lots of profiles one can represent besides a magician doing a magic trick.

Anyway, multiple choices are a bonus - and certainly the marketplace has never had more (and different) shells to choose from as it has today.
benhart
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Silverking


You are right you have not sold me on anything. Al is the most up front guy I have ever deal with.

He goes way beyond. I have bought a pretty good size collection of shells from him and every time they were more than I expected them to be. I have to agree with everything Al and Glenn has stated to be a fact for me.
I don't know why you keep referring to the BRS as a gimmick. This is what makes them so clever, they can do everything without being gimmicked.

He is not telling you to do anything different or to buy his shells. I have both type shells from all different shell makers and I prefer the bottom ridge for many reasons. Which Al has made it pretty easy to understand what they can do. Why would he try to mislead anyone when he sells both type of shells? There is nothing wrong with him believing in what he has design for the magician.
He designed these shells to work better for the magician and I take my hat off to him. As they work much better for me.


Thank you, Al
silverking
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Do you know what a "Straw Man" is benhart?

I've not commented on Al as a human being in any of my posts.
I have not said anywhere that Al isn't an up front guy.
I've not said Al doesn't go "way beyond".
I'm glad you accept everything Al and Glenn state as a fact, I prefer to think for myself.
I'm glad you are happy with your Bottom Ridge Shells, I really am. I didn't imply that you (or anybody else) wasn't, or wouldn't be happy with them.
You're the first person to use the word "mislead", so perhaps you'd best be the one to explain whatever it is you're talking about.
I've not once stated or implied that there's anything wrong with Al believing in what he's designed.

Now, did you have a point you wanted to make that reflected your own thinking.
Try and stay focused on the conversation taking place, and further refrain from emotional efforts to try and steer the conversation someplace it simply isn't going.

This is a thread about Shells, not people.......please remember that before posting again.
Glenn Morphew
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Silverking my friend,

What have I said that isn't fact? Smile

Glenn
Visit www.povmagician.com for
The Rub-a-dub Deluxe Suite
The Morphew One Hand Top Palm
Bob's 3 Shell Boot Camp and more...
benhart
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Silverking

Yes, I know what a "Straw Man" is.
I base all of my opinions on my own.
I never said you commented on Al as a human being on any of your post. These were just my opinions.
I also have found Glenn makes good sense on all of his post on the café, not just here.

When you mislead someone you have misled them. Typing error. Big deal.

This is my own thinking, I think you just don't want to except it.
silverking
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Quote:
On 2014-02-13 00:28, Glenn Morphew wrote:
Silverking my friend,

What have I said that isn't fact? Smile

Glenn

Glenn, I certainly didn't mean to imply that you deal in anything less than facts...my point being that I like to do my own analysis, and form my own opinions.

Peace.
MatthewSims
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Quote:
On 2014-02-12 22:16, silverking wrote:
To be clear, I'll simply reflect on a comment I made above.

I wrote above: "To consider the bottom ridge shells as superior or desirable, one must first accept the poetic conceit that there's something flawed in the use of a soft pea and a classic shell.
I don't accept that premise, so I see anything proposing to "fix" a nonexistent problem as merely a distraction.
"


That's just the thing, there IS a flaw. One cannot hand out the pea and shells to be examined because as soon as the shell is moved an inch the pea will pop out. The fact that you have found a way around this (not letting people examine the props) does not take away from the existence of the flaw.

And as for people not being allowed to examine the props, why not? Because they will figure out how it's done with a regular set of shells. If you are playing it for the real scam and presenting it as a confidence game, then an excellent way to build confidence is to let people examine the props (if they ask). Not allowing people to handle them is clearly a red flag.

My humble thoughts.

Matthew
Glenn Morphew
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Those are some pretty solid humble thoughts Matthew. The way I see it, it's not very easy to poke holes through them.

Glenn
Visit www.povmagician.com for
The Rub-a-dub Deluxe Suite
The Morphew One Hand Top Palm
Bob's 3 Shell Boot Camp and more...
MatthewSims
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Also, for those who are continuously referring to the Bottom Ridge Shells as gimmicked shells, there is simply no logic behind this thought. A gimmick is something that is brought into play (sight unseen) into the situation at hand. A stripper deck, swami gimmick, impression device, etc.

Gimmicks also run the risk of being detected, thus revealing the inner working of the effect at hand. The Bottom Ridge Shells prevent this very thing from happening. Thus, it is in no way a gimmick, but simply the evolution in clever design of shells.
silverking
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I was posting in this forum, If right you win, if wrong you lose... where the moderators describe the forum as a place for "Serious discussions on Three Card Monte, Fast and Loose, The Shell Game and other such scams."

You're parlor magicians talking about parlor magic and magicians guilt.
My mistake - I thought you guys were serious, and that this was a serious discussion about the top and ball (as per the description of this forum).

I'd give up my shells for good before I'd ever hand them over to anybody in order to "prove" I was magically making a pea move around a table by having it de-materialize and re-materialize through M*A*G*I*C.

If you view a pea popping out of a classic shell as a "problem", we've probably run out of quality conversation Smile

Do you do the animal balloon twisting part of your act before or after you do your shell routine?.........
MatthewSims
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Silverking, you did not answer the question.

"What is wrong with handing your shells over for inspection?"

Your posts are littered with assumptions. No one has mentioned of any such presentation of the pea "magically dematerializing". That presentation would be quite horrendous to watch if I say so myself. I would strongly encourage anyone who considers such an approach to a classic such as the shell game to reconsider the structure of their presentation. The thought comes to mind of the amateur magician wearing the dreadful tie with playing cards on it. Again, just my humble thoughts.

You speak of coming here to discuss serious quality conversation regarding the shells. However, you end your post with a rhetoric that is silly nonsense, degrading and rude. It ultimately echoes, "amateur".

Since when are you better than a balloon artist?
MatthewSims
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Might I add a suggestion? Put down your shells for a while and read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". This is not a sarcastic remark, but genuine. Heck, it might even help you to win some money playing the game Smile

With a smile
Matthew
silverking
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If you're handing out your shells for examination, you're obviously doing so for a reason.
Like any magician who hands out their props for examination, it's done to "prove" there's no hidden traps or mirrors.....to prove it was "magic".
The need or desire to hand out equipment for inspection being the domain of the insecure amateur, I choose to have no part in such buffoonery.

BTW, do you use the monkey shells or the pirate shells?
shellgame-al
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Most people know it is not magic! Just good sleight of hand. Which it is just that.
Manufacture of 3 Shell Game Sets & 3 Disk Monte Sets
3shells.com and magicswindles.com
MatthewSims
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I'm afraid your conversation has turned into that equal of a NASCAR race, in which no turns of new direction are being made, but rather you are merely making circles. A dog chasing his tail.
jakeg
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I haven't gotten involved in this conversation, but, my take on it (for what it's worth ... bubkus), is this:
If I was going for another set of shells, or my first set, would I buy the ridged shells? Absolutely
Having several sets of shells, would I spemd the $ to add them to the ones that I was siily enough to buy already? No. My routine works for me with the shells that I've been using.
If I was to make any changes it would probably be to bottle caps, which, in my mind make a lot more sense today than walnut shells, if you are presenting it as a game and not as a demo.
By the way, I got my first set, which were thimbles, from Karl Norman. They look like small brass bells. I prefer the shells.
Another thing, this obviously is a forum of opinions. To attack somebody because their opinion is different than yours, is rediculous. There are no absolutes.
Dave V
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Personally, if you're comfortable with standard shells, I would not change to these. By their nature, you're reversing you ingrained "muscle memory" and *not* stealing the pea when your body says you should.

If you're starting out, a collector, or doing it for your own entertainment, then sure. Go for them.

The most important phrase jakeg said was "My routine works for me..." and that pretty much says it all.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
dennis8
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I would like to hop in on this discussion. Because I really think it's an interesting one.

First of all I would like to clarify that English isn't my native language so forgive me if I make mistakes. On this matter I would like to complement silverking, for the way of speaking(writing) and formulating himself is something I wish I was capable of doing myself.

As for the book MatthewSims is refering to : Dale Carnegie - how to win friends and influence people, this is truly a good book for anyone.

Now for my opinion or thoughts on the shells. I have the SFS Street Shells, and the Bottom Ridge Walnut shells. As the discussion was on the ridge and how it looked gimmicked, I think differently of this. Let's say the bottom ridge is seen, this could also mean the bottom of, in my case, the street shells beiing seen. Now as to say the ridge looks gimmicked, for a game where the pea is going out of the shell it was under for me the street shells look more gimmicked. I say explicitly for me, perhaps your opinion is different wich is great then we are both right.

But to think about it, the notch in the back of most (walnut) shells, I don't believe for a second people really don't understand why there's the notch. (hole)

So as people would see the ridge, they believe that would keep the pea inside. Wich to me is great because when I show the pea is gone I turn over the shell wich is empty.

I wich I could elaborate any further but I have to go. If anyone wishes to discus this, great I'll check back later. If it's completly unreadable (a lot of comma's I know Smile then I'm sorry and I'll try again.

Oh and by the way, I am in no way a professional, so perhaps you guys have better points. But these are my thoughts anyway.. Smile

Have fun..
silverking
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There's a notch in classic shells because walnuts hang from their stems, and like on a real walnut shells, the notch is where the stems attach to the nut.

To not have it there would be "fake".

If you're going to point out gimmicks in classic shells, I'd be far more inclined to point out the Chanin Dip in many of the current crop of shells. It's definitely a gimmick.

But most importantly (to me) is the comment above that notes if a person was to change tools, and move away from using classic shells, it might be a far more "authentic" undertaking to move to bottle caps, it's bottle caps and discs that are truly representative of the short-con as it's practiced today.

Al makes some beautiful bottle caps. And they have bottom ridges.....which in this case look like the threads on a normal bottle top.
I have a set of Al's bottle caps, they're the best bottle caps money can buy.
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