How to Cheat at Everything by Simon Lovell

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by tian_ci, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. Simon Lovell is a guy who is a bit quarky, sometimes funny, and one heck of a card guy. He puts out his dvds through Magic Makers and somehow avoids all the controversy that derrives from being connected with that company. I personally don't care. I was first exposed to Simon through his 3 dvd Gambling set, which is an excellent source for 2nd deals, false cuts, fake shuffles, hopping da cut, bottom deals, etc.... Next, I was saw his "methods behind the madness" dvd and wasn't too impressed with the material, but I loved his character.

    I was highly delighted when I saw Simon Lovell's book "How to Cheat at Everything" for the mere price of, get ready, $18. (see bottom) This is a paperback reprint of his "Billion Dollar Bunko" hardback book which usually retailed for around $50.

    This book is a complete introduction into the world of scam artists, bar bets, rigged carnie games, street cons and hustles, gambling with cards, special moves with dice, and so on. Simon uses the character of "Freddy the Fox" to illustrate with stories different cons that have been used to make lots of money.

    Be warned though, this book is not an illustrated "how to" guide, complete with pictures showing how to do the certain sleights. Methods are roughly explained and might perhaps be missing a step or two just to throw you off if you do think you got what it takes to cheat people from their money ala Erdnase style. However, you will learn some nice bar bets and games that do have potential to get you free drinks and a couple of bucks.

    We do live in a world where people do and will cheat you. With this book you are given information how to be aware of such awful people and you will possibley learn a few things along the way too.

    As Simon says throughout the book, "Con men are not made, they are born."
    Just remember that.

    Simon Lovell
    How to Cheat at Everything
    420 pages

    Best price on the web comes from penguin magic at $14.21. That is one heck of a deal for the information you will learn from this book. Add to Cart now!
  2. Nice! I've always been interested in bar bets and such. Might have to pick this one up. Simon Lovell is great!

  3. This is one of the best priced books on the magic market right now. $15 for 400+ pages for an inside look at a world not much spoken about.
  4. I've heard pretty much nothing but good things about Simon Lovell, but the one time I actually saw him perform myself (he was the host for a magic show) I was incredibly disappointed. He was drunk and put on a horrible show that consisted of lots of bad jokes and hardly any magic. It was awful.
  5. Paul zenon He's got some good stuff on bar scams, street magic, and revenge. look around i got my book for 10 bucks
  6. Exitmat-
    That is Simon Lovell for you. His jokes are quarky and most of the time not very funny, but when you saw him, did the audience respond well or was that just your opinion? I'm just curious. I wanted to see his New York City show, but ran out of time.

    Regardless, this book is a must have, especially for the price.
  7. The four or so other magicians I went with didn't like his act either. In fact, I think one of my friends even told him the whole show was bad, including his act. I think he was too drunk to care or realize it was true though. I'm not saying the guy has a bad act or that he is a bad magician, just that he was on the night I saw him perform.
  8. When I saw Simon's show in NYC, I thought it was hilarious. His jokes were quite vulgar and he was very drunk, but he hilarious none the less. Then again, I do have a vulgar sense of humor and I can definitely appreciate foul language and dirty jokes. I guess it depends on the type of humor you have. By the way, watching him do second and bottom deals while highly drunk is pretty freaking impressive.
  9. Exitmat-thanks for your reply, I was just curious.
    That's a shame that he performs drunk, although, that could just be part of the act. He notes this in his book that it helps make the cheat look vulnerable.
  10. Foul language and blue humor don't bother me at all. It's not that his humor didn't fit my taste, he just wasn't funny. And this was the general consensus from everyone I went with (about four or five other magicians).
    It definitely wasn't supposed to be part of his act. He wasn't trying to cheat at cards, he was MCing a family magic show. If anything he was trying to hide the fact that he was drunk, not weave it into his act.

    Again, I'm not saying he's an awful magician and performer, just that he was on the night I saw him. Maybe the environment wasn't what he's used to, or maybe he just had one drink to many, but it wasn't pretty.
  11. Sorry how is this a review? I think the thread would be better off in the General Magic Discussion forums.

  12. David-
    How is this not a review? The contents of the book are discussed. Information is briefly given about the quality of the text. I do not see the point to rate things on 1-10 scale for a book like this nor do I feel like listing each con/bar bet by name and reviewing the methods or what not.

    Regardless, that's your opinion, so all is well. =)
  13. The great thing about this book is that it was originally published hard cover as a book for magicians only, not the general public. Of course, it was much higher priced. Now, as a paperback, it is available more widely and is much more reasonable. Highly recommended.
  14. You can find Simon Lovell hanging around the Fantasma Forums where he even moderates the cards forum.
  15. #16 Shanku, Feb 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2008
    Wait, so if I already own "Billion Dollar Bunko" I won't need this one? Is there anything added or different (apart from the title)?
  16. I reviewed this item in its original form for Magic Magazine. There is a lot of material in this book. If you have been studying bets and scams for years, some of it will be old hat. Even then, there will be some ideas that are probably new to you.

    The book is written in an unusual style. There are characters in the book and it has more of a narrative feel to it. Sometimes this gets in the way. For example, the section on NIM and one of the other math games seemed very interesting, but I found it really hard to understand. He would have been better off abandoning the gimmick and just going to the facts.

    There is a LOT of information here, and for $18 the price is very fair.

    As for Simon as a person/performer: I have known Simon for years. Some people love him, some people cannot stand him. When he is "on" he will have you rolling in the aisles. However, I know that many have seen him when he is not "on" and I can understand the strength of their opinions.

    He is a very talented sleight of hand artist, and when on his game, a brilliantly quick wit. He has his flaws, as we all do. Sometimes those flaws affect his work in a way which is unfortunate, to put it politely.

    Having said that, I consider him a friend and will always take the time to connect with him whenever our paths cross. We have had many HEATED disagreements and even a few very real fights. But his passion comes from a place of complete sincerity and that will always have my respect.

    Brad Henderson
  17. Thanks for your two cents Brad.
    Once again, I foudn the book for under $10 on ebay. That is a great deal. This book belongs in all our libraries if for anything, just to learn a quick little scam.

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