Editor’s Note: This article is the sixth in a new, weekly series by Jason England: MYSTERIUM. Each article in this series will be posted on Wednesday at 11:00am EST – every post on a different subject. This week, Jason shares several cheating moves and techniques he saw while hosting the 2013 World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas.
Hosting the World Game Protection Conference
As most of the readers of this new column know, I’m a magician with a serious, long-term interest in gambling moves. By “gambling moves”, I mean of course the techniques and principles that card, dice and roulette cheaters use to win money in both private games and in casino games.
This interest of mine has resulted in me hosting for the past two years in a row, the World Game Protection Conference here in Las Vegas, Nevada. As host, my duties include introducing the speakers to a large (over 400 attendees) audience and ensuring the day proceeds smoothly. I also facilitate Q&A sessions between the speakers and the audience. From time to time, I’ll chime in and participate in discussions where it’s appropriate, but only if I feel I have some insight into the subject matter at hand.
The 2013 conference ended this afternoon (it’s very late on February 27th as I type this) and I thought I’d give those of you who share my interest in “real” – as opposed to “theatrical” – cheating moves and techniques a glimpse into what I saw and learned over the past 3 days. (more…)
Editor’s Note: This article is the fifth in a new, weekly series by Jason England: MYSTERIUM. Each article in this series will be posted on Wednesday at 11:00am EST – every post on a different subject. This week, Jason talks about how to manage performing for “difficult” spectators.
It’s better to maintain control than try and regain it.
As I type this, I’m sitting on a cruise ship docked in the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina, at the very southern tip of South America.
While I’ve been on the ship the past few weeks, I’ve been performing close-up magic shows for approximately twenty guests at a time in a small theater that’s been set up on board just for these performances. It’s very much like performing at the Close-up Room at The Magic Castle, only without the raked seating. Still, the room is intimate enough that sight lines are not a problem and I don’t need a microphone.
Over the past fifteen or so shows, I’ve begun to realize that I don’t have a lot of the problems that other, less experienced close-up performers often have with non-magician spectators. Until I gave this some thought recently, I had always shrugged off my success with “good” spectators as mere luck. Now that I’ve been thinking about writing an article once a week however, I’ve begun to analyze my act a bit more and I think I realized something these past few weeks: I’m not lucky at all. (more…)
Editor’s Note: This article is the fourth in a new, weekly series by Jason England: MYSTERIUM. Each article in this series will be posted on Wednesday at 11:00am EST – every post on a different subject. This week, Jason describes a practical way to practice and master The Bottom Deal.
The Bottom Deal is a classic sleight-of-hand card movement that enables you to covertly deal the bottom card of the deck while in play. With practice, the move can be done without detection.
Come Sail Away – A Practical Way to Practice and Master the Bottom Deal
I no longer have a set practice schedule. These days I find that frequent performing, even if they are only informal performances for friends and family, is enough to keep my physical skills with the cards reasonably sharp. I do still practice quite often. It’s just that I no longer need to sit down for formal practice sessions every day like I did when I was first starting out in magic. (more…)