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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Bill Abbott's Octopus Deck (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JamesBiss
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I've just stumbled upon Bill's new mentalism trick on http://www.thecentertear.com. I know him - and know him to be an evil genius - but I haven't seen it yet. Certainly the effect description looks great. Even for someone like me who vocally puts down "card tricks" ... for mentalists especially.

His previous products have been terrific. Cheeko The Mind Reading Monkey which he released a short time ago is brilliant in performance. I know. I've seen its impact on audiences on several occasions.

So has anybody had a chance to work with his new effect?

Cheers,

James
James Biss
Jean-Luc.R.
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Two decks and a full routine for $100. I am really interested to know more about this. Mr Abbott always produces good items and ideas.


Anyone have this yet ?
MaGiCoH
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I am interested too.

Waiting for reviews...
     ´ H `

"Seeking the purest mentalism"



http://www.omentalista.com
Jean-Luc.R.
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Who has this mysterious and intriguing deck ???
MaGiCoH
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Anybody ??
     ´ H `

"Seeking the purest mentalism"



http://www.omentalista.com
Mesquita
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No reviews?
"Siempre somos tres me acompaña la luna y me sigue mi sombra" René Lavand
Cody S. Fisher
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I saw Bill perform this at F.F.F.F. a few weeks ago...and immediately bought one! The octopus deck is a multiphase "think of a card" type trick with a kicker ending.

So what do you get for your hard earned $$$? You get a VERY well written set of instructions and two very special bicycle decks. Bill even includes a "card guard" to protect your octopus deck when not in use. I must admit...the octopus deck is VERY clever...definitely not something that you would make on your own. (That's why I bought one!)

One final thing that I feel is a major benefit of this effect is the flexibility. For a "full-timer" this is very important to me. I like my routines to be flexible. With the routine that is provided you have the option to do 1-3 phases independently of one another...also you can use as few as 2...but also up to 6 volunteers. In other words you can make this play as long or short...or as big or small as you want...depending on your venue.

This is about all I can say about it...the ad copy for this effect pretty much sums it up. I hope this little review helps...

Cody S. Fisher
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tincture
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Are there multiple cards that may be thought of?

-Tim
Mesquita
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Thanks Cody S. Fisher!

All the best,

Mesquita
"Siempre somos tres me acompaña la luna y me sigue mi sombra" René Lavand
Bob Farmer
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I have a long-time interest in this kind of effect and method and at some point I'll write a detailed review of Bill's deck. However, in short, to be frank, it's not very good. The pumping sequence is primitive and a great pump idea by T.A. Waters is wasted by use in the wrong place. The credits overlook key work in this area by Simon Aronson, Lewis Jones, Leo Boudreau and others -- work that if considered could have made this a much better trick.

The three-part routine comes down to this:

1. The magician holds the deck. Two spectators look at cards (i.e., they think of a card they can see). The magician asks three questions (not two as advertised) and the cards are named.

2. The spectators hold the deck and look at cards. No questions are asked and the cards are named (or can be predicted).

3. The spectators hold the deck, take cards without looking at them. No questions are asked and the cards are named (or can be predicted).

From experience with other decks of this type, I know that part 1 is a killer trick. If you're going to follow with something it must be much better and different. A prediction would work here, however, 2 looks, to the spectators, about the same as 1 (though magicians would note the differences), so there is no point in doing 2 (unless you use it as a prediction).

If this was a $15 or $20 manuscript, it would be casually interesting, but for $100, it's not worth the money. If you're interested in this kind of effect, Richard Osterlind's "Radar Deck" is much cheaper and much more effective because you read the minds of 4 people and that's difficult to top.
Bill Abbott
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Thanks for the review Bob.

Here's my review of your review...

If the Octopus was simply a pumping deck, like that of Osterlinds Radar Deck, Kennedy's Mind Power Deck, or Hilfordd's Cassandra Deck, I would agree with your mini-review. But, it's not.

The magician does only ask two questions in part one Bob. Re-read the directions and the script provided.

Because this routine was developed 'in the trenches' as well as the library, I can safely vouch for the impact and effectiveness of part 2 on real human beings. Sadly you neglected the fact that the deck is actually 'tossed' to two different participants and not displayed in the hands of the magician to individuals in the front row as in the first sequence. The scripting also creates the change of pace and the motivation to do this. There is no pumping whatsoever in this phase. I would argue that this IS better and different than part one. So would my audiences.

Each phase builds to appear more and more impossible. Phase two and three are inexplicable to lay audiences (and to the majority of magicians I have performed this for at lectures). To say there is 'no point' in these sequences or that 'it looks the same' as part one is ridiculous to say the least.

You're not purchasing a manuscript.
You're buying a routine, script and a deck that takes five hours to make by hand.

I'm incredibly biased, proud and tired from constructing decks so this response might appear harsh.

Good night.

Bill Abbott
slydini62
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Well said Bill....I concur....
darkseance
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I have to admit, this really does sound impressive, I would invest in it but I don't use cards in my shows much, if I do I already have the perfect effects for me. but again it does sound excellent!
Bob Farmer
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Bill, there are three questions, not two and there have to be three because of the math involved in the structure you're using (better methods don't require three). In your script they are as follows:

1. "Rebecca, you're not thinking of a red card are you?" (page 5)

2. "Who's thinking of a face card?" (page 5)

3. "Would you say your card was a high card?" (6).

You can call them questions, statements or just musings, but you have to get three responses from the spectator one way or the other.

Incidentally, because of the unsophisticated structure of your pumping system, you can get three "no" answers in a row here so you end up looking like you're guessing, not reading minds.

With two people, the correct pumping system is the one devised by Simon Aronson where you NEVER get all nos (hence the title, No Nos Fishing). You have used a pumping system good for one person (a one bit system) and doubled it up, rather than using a two-bit system (which works better because you need less questions).

Three bit systems work even better (i.e., three spectators).

You also seem completely unfamiliar with the advantages of Orville Meyer's Principle of the Majorities (which, with only 6 cards, works great). In fact, using that idea, you don't even need a banked deck, you can do it impromptu with any deck.

Basically, you haven't done your homework and your method is inferior. For $100 I expect more. I don't argue that it takes a long time to make a prop like this, and that's an expensive exercise -- but it's simply not a very good trick when you're done.
RLFrame
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Bob,

Interesting discussion. Can you tell me if and where the principle of the majorities can be found?
Thank you.
Bill Abbott
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Bob,

I appreciate your opinion and your knowledge.
I apologize for last night's post in response to your thoughts about the deck.
You're undoubtedly correct in your statements and entitled to your opinion.
My family and I are in the middle of moving to a new location early next week and the stress
level is high to say the least.
Your review was the straw that broke my back and when I should have stayed silent,
I responded in anger and frustration.

Sincerely

Bill Abbott


Posted: May 17, 2006 9:02pm
--------------------------------------
FYI

I stand behind the Octopus Deck 100%
It is a professional prop and routine that makes an exceptional impact on any audience.
I know this from experience.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments feel free to PM me or post them here.

Bill Abbott
Marvello
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Quote:
On 2006-05-17 07:12, Bob Farmer wrote:

I don't argue that it takes a long time to make a prop like this, and that's an expensive exercise -- but it's simply not a very good trick when you're done.


Thanks for the info Bob. I like a lot of Bill's other effects, but I think I will pass on this one for now, or at least until it is developed further.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Jamie D. Grant
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Hi All,

While I don't have the Octupus deck yet, I would like to attest to Bill Abbott's excellent products so far. I think I've got most of his products to date and am extremely happy with all of them (not something I can say for everyone else, I'm afraid). Not only are his thoughts and ideas worthy of purchase but he obviously cares about his magic and his customers. I look forward to picking this up soon.

My 2 cents,

Jamie D. Grant
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Guillaume Vallée
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Hi All,
Thanks to this thread I bought Octopus and received it two days ago.
Though I have not performed it professionally yet (I will tomorrow) I am very very happy.

I was looking for a good TOD suitable for close-up, this one beats my first hopes !

Octopus is the right name imo.. a multiple tool.

Bob, you’re certainly right that the pumping phase’s presentation explained in the booklet can be improved, (can you tell us if some of the methods you cited can be used with this deck ?) but we cannot summarize this lovely tool to this point.

As Cody said one of the strong points is the flexibility.

I think many people who will buy this product will want to purchase another one in case they would lose it.

The whole routine is very easy to do, I tested it this afternoon with my family and it was a great pleasure to see their eyes during the revelations..

You can present the act as pure thoughts reading, precognition or clairvoyance : you have choice.
The presentation proposed in the instructions is progressive, very well structured and with a nice climax at the end.

It plays as it reads.

Thank you Bill, thank you very much!

All the best,

Guillaume Vallée
Necromancer
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First, let me say that I think Bill Abbott's a great guy, and I'm a fan of his presentations. Second, I must mention that I consider Bob Farmer one of the geniuses of modern magic.

And now, just to muddy the waters of this discussion even further, consider this:

You fan a deck of cards for all to see. It appears absolutely normal. Ask for the help of three spectators from the audience.

Place a rubber band around the middle of the deck and hand it to the first spectator. Ask her to riffle the deck, look at one card and remember it. Next, hand the deck to a second spectator and ask her to also look at one card. Ask the second spectator to set the deck aside, as there is no reason for you to touch the deck in any way.

With deep concentration, you are able to correctly name both of the spectators' selected cards! (Without pumping. And both cards are different.)

Now for third spectator. Hand her a sealed envelope. Then, pick up the deck (the same deck used previously), remove the rubber band and explain that you will slowly deal through the face down deck, one card at a time. The spectator is asked to say "Stop" at any time.

The card she stops you on is the exact card she gets. (No funny business here. The choice is totally free and absolutely fair.) You turn the card around so all can see. Ask the spectator to open the envelope and remove the card inside. The card she selected matches your prediction exactly!

This effect is $100 as well. It's a tossed-out deck approach with zero pumping and a strong prediction climax: Bruce Bernstein's Psi Deck.

Discuss Smile

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), and contributor to the ebook GOLD: When It HAS To Be Performance GOLD -- all at Penguin.
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