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Topic: Sal Piacente's Expert Card Magic Lecture Notes DVDs vs. Darwin Ortiz's Scams & Fantasies with Cards
Message: Posted by: ImpromptuBoy (Apr 28, 2005 08:54PM)
Hi Everyone.
I can't decide which one to purchase. I thought the Sal Piacente DVDs were better.
Any thoughts?

Message: Posted by: J Wessmiller (Apr 28, 2005 11:23PM)
I vote Darwin's Scams and Fantasies. Not only because I think Darwin is more talented and has better material, but also because of the ethical issues involving Magic Makers and Sal's using effects without permission. For more information, see Michael Close's review of Sals DVD's in Genii magazine (maybe 4 months ago?).
Message: Posted by: emeprod (Apr 29, 2005 11:13AM)
Just don't believe everything you read in Mr. Close's reviews. Evidently, he mentions that Sal exposed a method of Steve Forte's without Steve's permission. Steve will be the first to tell you that Sal is one of his closest friends and that he has no problem with Sal teaching the methods or effects that are on the DVD.

This is obviously not a statement as to which DVD series is more enjoyable since I don't have all of Darwin's Scams and Fantasies DVDs. However, I don't see how you could lose getting either of them or both of them.
Message: Posted by: Paul H (Apr 29, 2005 02:12PM)
Hello Michael,

I have these DVD's and love both of them for different reasons. I am relieved to hear that Sal P may not have offended Steve Forte by tipping ideas and releasing material without his permission. In the light of this information, I would recommend starting with Sal Piacente as he has some excellent gambling and memory effects that you can enjoy working through without feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of creative routines. Darwin Ortiz has acheived another magnum opus with his DVD set which will take at least a decade to work with and do justice to. Hope this helps.


Paul H
Message: Posted by: niva (Apr 29, 2005 05:23PM)
Sal's other DVDs about the Three Card Monte and the Three Shell Game are also great. And they also revolve around gambling.
Message: Posted by: in flames (Apr 29, 2005 07:27PM)
I have both set and personally, I like Sal's DVDs better. Darwin is definately one of the best and so is Sal. I use more of the stuff Sal teaches. BTW Sal credits Mr.Forte many times throughout the dvds.

I hate Magicfakers as much as most of you do but I have to admit, 3 of some of my favorite dvds are produced by them.
1. Sal Piacente's Expert Card Magic Lecture Notes
2. Simon Lovell: The Methods Behind the Madness
3. Cutting Edge Cards and Coins with Jason Dean and John Born

Does anyone know if Sal is releasing a new dvd anytime soon?
Message: Posted by: ImpromptuBoy (Apr 29, 2005 08:49PM)
On 2005-04-29 20:27, in flames wrote:
Does anyone know if Sal is releasing a new dvd anytime soon?
I know he'll be releasing new DVDs in the future. Not sure when though.
Message: Posted by: niva (Apr 30, 2005 01:00AM)
Yeah I heard that too.
Message: Posted by: in flames (Apr 30, 2005 07:48PM)
I look forward to them. I'm curious to know if it will be a gambling DVD? I guess we will have to wait and see?
Thanks guys
Message: Posted by: wzrduvahhs (May 16, 2005 10:38PM)
As far as I'm concerned, Sal is the real deal. Can't speak for the Darwin DVD's but I don't believe Mr. Ortiz has ever had any real gaming experience. Sal has worked almost every station from the floor to the "eye in the sky". What REAL casino experience does Mr. Ortiz have? By the way, look for a new DVD real soon from Sal.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (May 17, 2005 12:54AM)
Info about Ortiz:
I have seen Darwin Ortiz live in England and he is not good:
he is [b]extremely[/b] great with Cards.

Go to Amazon.Com and search for Darwin Ortiz, several books on gambling shows up.
If he can write this kind of stuff he should probably have some knowledge about gambling.
Message: Posted by: Philip Chau (May 17, 2005 01:15AM)

I actually have all 4 of Sal Piacente's DVD (shell, monte & lecture) and 3 of Scams & Fantasies.
My personal preference would be Sal's DVDs. I guess I like his style more.
Darwin is a really good teacher too.

Actually, I always like to go for the basics first.
So I would say if I'm interested in gambling stuff, I find Richard Turner's The Cheat very informative in a lot of basic moves, then I'll go for Expert Card Magic, then Scams & Fantasies.

Message: Posted by: mook (May 17, 2005 06:20PM)
I met Sal several times and must say that he is one of the most knowledgable person I have ever met. Out of all the casino consultants on Game protection (including Darwin), Sal is the only one that actually worked in all positions on the casino floor (dealer thru pitboss) as well as survaillance. He has over 20 years experience in the business and has worked on both sides of the table, (this does not include Forte because he is retired).
Darwin gets a lot of business but not much repeat ones from the casinos. I have seen both lecture at the world gaming conference in Vegas and learned a lot more from Sal in the first 10 minutes of his seminar. Darwin opened up with a card trick and talked about scarne.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (May 18, 2005 01:39PM)
See Darwin live:

Date: Monday, June 13th. 2005
Location: Holiday Inn Express
South 10th Street
South Side, Pittsburgh
Time: 7:30 p.m
Message: Posted by: CardStudent4Life (Jun 16, 2005 07:22PM)
I'm selling my copy of the first dvd of Sal piacente's Expert Card Magic Lecture notes. PM me if you are interested
Message: Posted by: Martino (Jun 17, 2005 09:45AM)
Darwin needs to read his own books imho.
Message: Posted by: Lukenp (Jun 17, 2005 10:46PM)
I went to the darwin's lecture in pittsburgh. It was incredible. My opinion about sal is that he is not nearly as good a card magician as darwin is. Darwin is more well known. More experienced and more knowledgable. I think and I think a lot of other people as well think magic makers makes and produces some of the worst videos. THere teaching is very bad. JUST MY OPINION.
Message: Posted by: Nik_Mikas (Jun 18, 2005 08:17PM)
On 2005-04-29 12:13, emeprod wrote:
Just don't believe everything you read in Mr. Close's reviews. Evidently, he mentions that Sal exposed a method of Steve Forte's without Steve's permission. Steve will be the first to tell you that Sal is one of his closest friends and that he has no problem with Sal teaching the methods or effects that are on the DVD.

Actually, I believe Steve said something along the lines of, "Do you want me to stop what I'm doing and start making card tricks so you can keep putting out DVDS?" to Sal. He was pretty ****ed. And more than one trick on those DVD's are Forte's, they just aren't credited.
Message: Posted by: Mago Gregorio (Jul 3, 2005 10:45PM)
What about the level required to produce D Ortiz effects in Scams & Fantasies ? Do you need to be expert in Faro shuffle or an intermediate level is sufficient to learn the tricks ?
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Jul 4, 2005 03:43AM)
The Ortiz material is geared for the intermediate through expert(learn a stack, perfect pinky counts, perfect faros, perfect doubles and the list goes on and on). Sal's dvd is within the grasp of someone with more a much more limited sleight arsenal as even the Gilbreath principle is explored. Both are recommended, however, regardless of skill level. If you can afford both then get them and start learning.
Message: Posted by: vinsmagic (Jul 4, 2005 12:00PM)
Sal is a personal friend of mine.his lectures on gambling and mentalism are the very best......Sal is the real deal , his material is for the real world Ortiz is excellent but his material is for magicians not the real world, apples and oranges..
Sal will be comming to San pedro california in the near future for a two day lecture on gambling and mentalism I also expect Mickey Silver to be on hand doing perhaps his first lecture on coins..
Il will keep every one posted when I know this will happen for sure..
the godfather
Message: Posted by: Paul H (Jul 9, 2005 03:51PM)
Hi Vinny,

I do envy you. Its not the first time I wished I lived in the USA. I am a great fan of Darwin Ortiz and think he is a creative genius with card magic and gambling routines. But somehow I too have the impression that he is an excellent entertainer and a magicians magician with a wealth of gambling moves rather than a casino gambling expert whose knowledge has been slowly built up over years of working full time in the industry.


Paul H