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[quote] On 2004-08-06 15:43, bishthemagish wrote: Erdnase And Three Card Monte As many of the magicians know me they would know that I am a big fan of Erdnase and the book “Expert at the card table”. My favorite copy of this classic is the book Revelations because it has Dai Vernon’s comments on the original Erdnase work. One of the things that is covered in the book is the classic game called Three card monte. I remember seeing Dai Vernon do this when I was a kid on television. I asked my Dad (The Late Billy Bishop) about the effect and he said it was a swindle and then handed me the Book “Expert at the card table” and told me that it was in that book. That started a love for the old swindles of three card monte - the shell game - and the chain of chance often called fast and loose. As an adult I still read Expert or Revelations and have formed an un-popular theory as to what kind of a man Erdnase was. For many a magician have said that he was probably a card shark. My theory is of course is that he was a magician… He may have played games of chance as written in the book but that hardly makes Erdnase a card shark. But I feel that he did not make a living cheating at cards and being a card shark was not his profession… One of the statements in the book Expert at the card table is written at the end of the chapter that is about three card monte… Erdnase calls the tosser the dealer and the marks players. To me most of Expert at the card table the copy reads like a magician playing the part of a card sharp. The reason I feel this when I read the book is that it seems to write about coming from the point of view of an entertainer. Not a card shark with the attitude of that this game will “get the money”. Even when he writes about the crimped corner it is not about using it to get the money. He doesn’t write about how good the ruse is to up the bet of the player or the mark… Rather stating that “when the perfect confidence is inspired, and the cupidity of the player temps him to cover the odds”… This reminds me of a magician doing and explaining the crimped corner to an audience rather than a card shark writing how to use this to get the money. And there is no mention of how the monte mob sets up the game on the streets… Protects the dealer or tosser and sets up the mark. In fact - the fact that you can bet with the game of three card monte and how to really use this game that is one of the kings of con games - betting is hardly mentioned - and used in the text as an outline - perhaps as a reference point? Erdnase writes… But there is not one single card feat in the whole calendar that will give as good returns for the amount of practice required, WILL MYSTIFY AS GREATLY AND CAUSE AS MUCH AMUSEMENT… Or bear as much repetition as this little game… Again it reads to me like a magician writing and talking about the entertainment value of doing this effect as a demonstration. Calling three card monte a card feat - not a card shark stating how much money can be made. And the fact that in those days a good monte player or tosser could make more money faster with this game than any other game in the whole calendar of card games… I myself never went after the sub culture of magicians market until I produced my DVD on card magic. Until then I kept to the shadows not letting other magicians know how good I was. My audience was the paying public not the magicians. For my own reasons I have let the magician public know about my skill because if I don’t other magician will take credit for it. As they did with my Fathers rope tie and some of his other ideas. Before I decided to get more known to magicians not many people heard of me even though I have had a successful stage performing life for over 20 years and have had over 30 years performing in over 87 different restaurants. I feel that Erdnase was taking credit by publishing the book… But the success of the book was very limited. The book could have been the first part of his promo. I feel that Erdnase did not know how to promote himself and did not know how to promote his book. Or he was not successful at promoting himself or his book. He may have tried but had he been good at it we would know more about the man called Erdnase. Most of the people that had more success and made more money with “Expert at the card table” came after the self published copy that Erdnase published. And if he was a card shark why couldn’t Erdnase go out of that hotel room and walk down the block to a saloon and do three card monte for about three hours and get the money? Why couldn’t he get a job in any saloon doing three card monte. According to the history I have read saloons in 1902 had people that delt poker for the house. And had people that delt faro and had people doing three card monte. These people were employed by the saloon or had a deal with the saloon… Whit Haydn talks about one guy that did just that who did it in a tent saloon with permission from the saloon. This is stated on his new Three card monte DVD set that is produced by the School Of Scoundrels… Why couldn’t Erdnase get the money that way - instead of writing a book that is a slow sell to get the money. Why would he do a slow sell - If he needed the money? I don’t think that real cheating was in his nature… And he was a magician Like Vernon and Miller… You may not think that “the theory I propose has any weight at all”… But I do! [/quote]
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