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Learn the Shell Game, Three Card Monte and Fast and Loose!


Pop Haydn

“The School for Scoundrels” will be held in November with two classes–one on Sunday Nights beginning Nov 4th, and one on Monday Nights beginning November 5th. The classes are from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm for four consecutive Sunday or Monday nights. Fee is $160. Classes are held at the Magic Castle in the classroom by the Library.

The four classes are taught by Pop Haydn and Chef Anton, and are open to members and non-members. No prior experience or knowledge is required.

We cover the basic street swindles Fast and Loose, Three-Card Monte and the Shell Game, explaining the history, psychology, stratagems, moves, and application to magic of these ancient “games.”

We not only explain how to demonstrate these swindles in exhibition, but to actually play and win against all comers just as it would be done on the street. We believe that we have a lot to learn as magicians from the techniques and thinking of the street con artist. We need to call and hold a crowd, control their thinking and manipulate them into behaving the way we want them to, in just the same way as the street hustler setting up a monte game.

This course is educational and fun.

To sign up, call Nancy Magill at (323) 344-8793, or e-mail at magill@pophaydn.com. She will set you up.

Pop Haydn is a past vice-president of the Academy of Magical Arts, and a six-time performing “Magician of the Year” award-winner. He is the author of several books and DVDs on street short cons, and along with his business partner, Chef Anton, has been teaching this course at the Magic Castle for the past sixteen years.

Chef Anton is the two-time “National Trick Shot Champion at Pool,” and has twice been nominated for “Bar Magician of the Year” at the Magic Castle. Chef is the author of the Pool Hustler’s Handbook and several DVDs on magic and billiards. He and Pop Haydn have created a number of new ruses and moves for these ancient games which they have explained for the first time in this course and the videos and books that have come out of the School for Scoundrels.

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Richard Turner, live at the Magic Castle:


Richard Turner has a new Youtube channel featuring many of his card routines live at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.

To watch Richard Turner live at the Magic Castle visit his new channel here:  WWW.Youtube.com/CatchAThief52

Start with episode 1 above then move on to episode 2, 3 and 4.

Richard is up for “Close-Up Magician of the Year” this year at the Magic Castle. This is the act that won him the nomination. It is well worth checking out.

Richard Turner at the Magic Castle this week:


Richard Turner

My friend, Richard Turner is working this week at the Magic Castle. He is the foremost card expert in the world today, even though he is legally blind. His discipline and perfection is stunning. These photos show him in 1986 when he received his first black belt, and then in 2012 when he is 58 years old. There is only four ounces difference in his weight.

As a measure of the type of skill Richard displays in his work, let me quote Jon Raucherbaumer, an internationally recognized expert who is writing a biography of Richard Turner:

“The action of perfectly alternating playing cards, 26 and 26, is not easily named if the goal is accuracy. Even the noun “shuffle” seems inexact because it suggests clumsy randomness and asymmetrical mixing. Sure, the relative positions of the cards change, but the changes are cyclically predictable and in this regard, perfect…

“…But there are two types of this kind of Interlace: The Faro Shuffle and what can be called a Volitional Faro Shuffle. The physics of the Volitional Faro Shuffle in terms of what happens with and to the cards is identical, but the means of making this happen is different. The Faro Shuffle is semi-automatic because the two 26-card sections are butted together in precise ways and the cards will then automatically alternate. The Volitional Faro Shuffle depends on the operator’s volition. He must will his thumbs to precisely and alternately release cards until all 52 of them are interlaced. This is not automatic. It is a matter of pure dexterity and unerring timing.

“Richard’s high-lift, soft interlace table Faro Shuffles are done in less than one second. Formerly a fantasy in MacDouggal’s mind, Richard can execute a Volitional Faro Shuffle in 8.1 seconds.  

“If you think this is easy, try making love while standing up in a hammock and juggling seven ice-cream cones.”

Richard Turner, my good friend Johnny Ace Palmer and I were all named in the comic book the Spirit as magic teachers to the Spirit. It was very cool to be included in such incredible company:

Richard Turner is performing in the Close-Up Gallery at the Magic Castle in Hollywood until Sunday.  It is worth your time to make an effort to see this incredible and unique talent.

School for Scoundrels at Magic Castle Sunday!


Bob Sheets at School for Scoundrels

Despite the recent Halloween fire, the Magic Castle is planning to be open by this weekend, and our School for Scoundrels class will begin on Sunday night, November 6th, as planned.

There is still room for you to join this exciting class, but you must register by Friday.

It is open to both members and non-members of the Magic Castle, and no prior experience, skills or knowledge is required.

This course teaches the basic sleight of hand, psychology, history and importance to magic of the three basic street swindles: Three-Card Monte, the Shell Game, and the various games of Fast and Loose.

We believe that the street hustler makes a better role-model for the modern close-up magician than the card cheat which has been the model since the turn of the century.

We believe that street hustlers have much to teach that is of huge benefit to magicians, especially those who work corporate walk around, trade-shows, or private parties where they need to gather a crowd, hold their attention, control their thinking, and get them to do what they want them to do.

School for Scoundrels at the Magic Castle in Hollywood will begin on Sunday, November 6, and continue on Nov 13, 20, 27, and also on Mondays, November 7, 14, 21, 28. School for Scoundrels is a course taught at the Magic Castle every November since 1996.

Pop Haydn and Chef Anton (two-time national trick-shot champion at pool), teach the class together, with guests such as Bob Sheets and Doc Eason.

The course attracts lawyers and law-enforcement personnel, as well as magicians, students of gambling and history, and many who just find the subject fascinating–you don’t need to be a member of the Magic Castle to sign up for this course, and no previous knowledge or skills are required.

The course is $160 for the eight hours–two hours a night, once a week, for four weeks.

You can switch nights from Monday to Sunday or vice-versa–each week the same lesson is taught on both Sun and Mon at 7:00 pm.

Contact Magic University, and talk to Mark or Nani Wilson at (800) 367-8749 to sign up for the course.

$160 for all four nights.

School for Scoundrels at the Magic Castle:


Pop Haydn

Pop Haydn

School for Scoundrels at the Magic Castle in Hollywood will begin on Sunday, November 6, and continue on Nov 13, 20, 27, and also on Mondays, November 7, 14, 21, 28. School for Scoundrels is a course taught at the Magic Castle every November since 1996.

Pop Haydn and Chef Anton (two-time national trick-shot champion at pool), teach the class together.

The course attracts lawyers and law-enforcement personnel, as well as magicians, students of gambling and history, and many who just find the subject fascinating–you don’t need to be a member of the Magic Castle to sign up for this course, and no previous knowledge or skills are required.

The course is $160 for the eight hours–two hours a night, once a week, for four weeks.

You can switch nights from Monday to Sunday or vice-versa–each week the same lesson is taught on both Sun and Mon at 7:00 pm.

This course teaches the basic sleight of hand, psychology, history and importance to magic of the three basic street swindles: Three-Card Monte, the Shell Game, and the various games of Fast and Loose.

We believe that the street hustler makes a better role-model for the modern close-up magician than the card cheat which has been the model since the turn of the century.

We believe that street hustlers have much to teach that is of huge benefit to magicians, especially those who work corporate walk around, trade-shows, or private parties where they need to gather a crowd, hold their attention, control their thinking, and get them to do what they want them to do.

Contact Magic University, and talk to Mark or Nani Wilson at (800) 367-8749 to sign up for the course. $160 for all four nights.

AJ the Unusualist:


Pop Haydn with "AJ the Unusualist"

Had a great time Sunday night at the Magic Castle with my friend Ajit Badrinath,  aka “AJ the Unusualist.” Ajit is joining the ship Paradise for Carnival Cruise Lines in Long Beach this week. He will be doing close-up circulating magic on the ship on a six-month contract. AJ is from  Mysore, Karnataka, India, where the magnificent Mysore Palace is located, and now lives in Bangalore.

AJ does his magic with a theme of the American Old West and gambling.

It was a good week at the Magic Castle. AJ got to see shows in the Palace with Tom Burgoon, Joseph Tran, and Mystina, and David Sandy in the Parlor. We had some interesting discussions with Tony Picasso and Jay Leslie, and AJ did a close-up set to a large group at the Palace Bar Close-Up Table, and was very well-received.

We look forward to seeing AJ when he gets back into Los Angeles.

A warning from Berlin Police:


Shell Game with Matchboxes. Barcelona

This is an interesting warning for tourists in several languages and cartoons about the dangers of playing the shell game:

Shell Game Berlin Police

 

New Senior Pitchmen DVD


Here are Bobby Reynolds, S. David Walker and Wally Nash talking about the Medicine Show pitch at the 2nd annual Senior Pitchmen Reunion in Las Vegas in 2010.

Nancy Magill and I video-taped four hours of interviews at the first convention in 2009, and that became the Senior Pitchmen Reunion DVD available from www.scoundrelsstore.com

This clip is from the second annual convention DVD, the Senior Pitchmen Reunion 2010. We will be releasing this DVD in the next month or two.

Magill did all the camera work, and I did the editing and titles.

We want to thank Gene Haaheim for letting us be a part of both of these wonderful get-togethers and record them for posterity.

This is a convention of pitchmen–the guys who sell watches, puppets, svengali decks, flower bulbs, kitchen gadgets, miracle cleaners, knives and dusters on the street, in carnivals, in stores, on television and on the internet–all of them over 60 years old.

These are guys who spent a lifetime hustling, drawing a crowd, and pitching the product.

Pitchmen are not only a fascinating, unique and attractive life-style and sub-culture, they are a fountain of information on how to survive and prosper in this most basic of entreprenurial fields. But their knowledge is also helpful to magicians, salesmen, emcees and others who need to know how to draw and hold a crowd, how to control their thinking, and how to sell them a product.

Henry David Thoreau:


“All voting is a sort of gaming, like chequers or backgammon, with a slight moral twinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions, and betting naturally accompanies it.”

Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, 1849

Hoorah in Pool Hustling:


“Sometimes the best way to get up a game is to walk in from nowhere and make a preposterous claim about how good you are and aggravate people into challenging you for high stakes. That’s called hoorah. You hoorah someone into playing.”

— John Gollehon, From: A Gambler’s Little Instruction Book

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