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msc455magic
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Most of the best effects utilizing a memorized deck (MD) requires that the stack to be partially or completely destroyed at the end, making it difficult to follow up with additional memorized deck routines. In other words, the deck is setup just for one routine.

I have been told that Michael Close, Darwin Ortiz, and Simon Aronson all have material that retains full stack at the end. I find however, such effects lack the same impact as the ones mentioned in the first paragraph. Most of them are either location effects or divinations - or at most an "Any Card At Any Number."

I would appreciate if knowledgable users of the memorized deck can tip how they normally handle their MD. Do you normally open with it? Do you perform one MD trick before ruining the stack to proceed to non-MD work? Or do you use MD for several effects in a row before breaking finally breaking the stack?

Help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Charles
panimen
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I'm not exactly a knowledgable MD user, but I know that the location/divination effects can still pack quite a punch to the spectators. They are, indeed, the same concept of finding their card, but they're all different enough that the spectators won't feel like they're seeing the same thing over and over again. The ones that I perform that maintain the stack are:

  • Juan Tamariz's "All Of A Kind" (It's more than just a divination; you try to find the mates of their card in a "magician in trouble" way)
  • Darwin Ortiz's "Last Laugh" (An amusing little sandwich effect)
  • Juan Tamariz's "Face To Face" followed by "A Grand Triumph" (A mental divination and unexpected triumph)
  • Simon Aronson's "Invisible Card" (A funny demonstration with a visual ending, and as far as the audience is concerned, it's not a pick-a-card and find-the-card effect)
  • Juan Tamariz's "Mnemonicosis" (The spectator finds their card)

These are just a select few, but as you can see, even these stack-retaining effects will not be only seen as location/divination plots. So you don't have to steer clear from these. I personally start and end my memorized deck routine with the MD in tact. (That's because I use the Mnemonica stack and my closer puts the deck in new deck order, so it's ready to go back to my MD. Also, with this stack, I have the luxury of going in and out of stay-stack for even more variety of tricks)

To be honest, I don't perform many stack-breaking MD effects. There are only a select few, but those are usually performed as closers, or if the situation really calls for it, I'd use it in the middle of my routine and then eventually get back to the MD within a trick that forms the stack.

So you can still make a great routine using stack-maintaining effects (I have about 10 of those to choose from, because I can't decide which ones I like most). I'd personally recommend using the stack-breaking effects as closers for two reasons: one, they break the stack; and two, they usually get strong enough reactions that it'd be difficult to follow them with other tricks. But if you really want to place one into the middle of your routine, you can always get back to the MD with stack-ordering effects.

PS. Just out of curiosity, which stack-breaking effects do you wish to perform?
Cain
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Charles,

Quote:
I have been told that Michael Close, Darwin Ortiz, and Simon Aronson all have material that retains full stack at the end.


Hmmmm... On his memdeck DVD, Aronson -- motivated by remarks from Ortiz -- claims too many magicians rely on the memorized stack as a security blanket, afraid to destroy it. I'm sure all of those guys -- and anyone, really -- can finish without destroying a stack. But Aronson discusses the benefits of stack destruction and the value of deck switches, which Ortiz demonstrates in the routining on his DVDs. In fact, Ortiz almost blithely destroys stacks (see his version of the trick from Royal Road (Tantalizer?)). On his International Magic lecture DVD he quickly gets into his memorized setup from a brand new deck (a feature, he observes, crucially depends on your circumstances; he goes through many decks, so it makes sense for him to go from NDO to MD).

Quote:
Most of the best effects utilizing a memorized deck (MD) requires that the stack to be partially or completely destroyed at the end, making it difficult to follow up with additional memorized deck routines. In other words, the deck is setup just for one routine.


The problem with most thinking on the memorized stack is that people view at as memorized first and a stack second. This is a mistake. There are tricks requiring a stack, and then there are tricks requiring a memorized stack; the latter are not always more powerful than the former. Aronson's poker deal, for example, requires a set up that does not need to be memorized. The Christ-Aronson aces routine does not require any extensive stack memorization.

Personally, I think the dirty secret about memorized deck magic is that it does not have a deep bench, and that's fine. How many MD tricks do you want to perform? It's a tool, not a way of life. Right now I have only two effects in my active repertoire requiring memorization, but most of the tricks in the set take advantage of the stack's properties. I say all of this as a lead-in to my answer.

Big Al Ackerman has a closer-quality trick that can reset, and it's the finale to his brilliant routine "Ackerman's Opener." This last trick utilizes the stack's properties (no memorization required), and he's six faro shuffles away from resetting. This is the MD effect that inspired me, but I went the Skinner route and took to a five faro stack. I think it captures the best of both worlds: it allows for a stronger effect than most constructed memorized stacks allow, and it resets. But the reset property is virtually negligible in my value hierarchy, at least for now.

You probably already know the most powerful memorized deck tricks. If you're not satisfied, then you might want to look for stacks (partial or full, not memorized) that reset. What memorization primarily allows for are impossible location effects, and the best impossible location tricks ramp up the conditions by allowing for shuffling (such as Everybody's Lazy), which makes resetting difficult. Stacks allow for impossible patterns (e.g., dealing everyone an incredible hand of poker, and yourself a royal flush, or Marlo's Matching routine, and so on).
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msc455magic
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Panimen and Cain: Thank you for your helpful suggestions.

Panimen: I think putting the deck into new deck order during a course of a trick is a very good idea. If you don't mind, would you please supply a few examples of routines that "sets" you up in new deck order? If not, that is fine as well because I know I still have LOTS of homework to do. And as for the stack-breaking effects I would perform, Aronson's Everybody's Lazy, Hartling's Unforgettable, and Ehler's fantastic Three-Card Location immediately jump into mind.


Cain: I see the benefits of deck switching, but I find it hard to do so as most of my performances are done on a spur of a moment rather than in a formal "close-up" setting. This is why I would much rather perform routines that open with a MD, and finally destroying it as I go on. Or on the other hand, setting up the MD during a trick, as suggested by panimen.

I agree that a memorized stack and a stack create different effects, but unfortunately I have not studied so much on the latter. As far as effects relying on stacks are there particular routines that you recommend me to begin with? I would prefer if they aren't related to "poker deals," as I am not a big fan in gambling demonstrations. Hopefully your suggestions will shed some light in my long journey with MD magic.

Also... where can I find "Ackerman's Opener"?
The Burnaby Kid
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Ok, so gambling demos are out. What sorts of tricks do you like to do? There are plenty of tricks that don't upset a stack too badly or even at all. There's a named card triumph out there that keeps the stack, if there are no sandwich effects published that keep a stack there ought to be, etc.
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Kjellstrom
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Quote:
On 2008-07-18 01:02, msc455magic wrote:
Also... where can I find "Ackerman's Opener"?


Learn from this excellent DVD:
ALLAN ACKERMAN'S LAS VEGAS CARD EXPERT & EVERY MOVE A MOVE DVD:
http://www.mymagic.com/dvd/dvd-ackerman.htm

Yes, this effect is one of the most powerful "long" card routines that yo can do for laymens... superb.

http://www.allanackerman.com/
panimen
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Quote:
On 2008-07-18 01:02, msc455magic wrote:
Panimen: I think putting the deck into new deck order during a course of a trick is a very good idea. If you don't mind, would you please supply a few examples of routines that "sets" you up in new deck order? If not, that is fine as well because I know I still have LOTS of homework to do. And as for the stack-breaking effects I would perform, Aronson's Everybody's Lazy, Hartling's Unforgettable, and Ehler's fantastic Three-Card Location immediately jump into mind.


A specific memorized stack is used in order to get to new deck order. In my case, I use Juan Tamariz's "Mnemonica" stack which gets to NDO as described as "Everything In Order" from his book.

Just in case, if I misunderstood your question, I'll throw this out anyway. In the "Encyclopedia Of Card Tricks", there is an effect called "A Subtle Game" that restores your MD stack (from a shuffled deck) under the guise of a card-calling game. In addition, my preferred method of getting into my memorized stack from a shuffled deck is through Juan Tamariz's "Memory Jumble" in his "Mnemonica" book. It is a card divination after the deck has been mixed face-up and face-down. He also describes several other ways of ordering a stack under the spectators' noses.


The following is not something I would personally recommend, but it can be workable. By not allowing the spectators to shuffle their packets in "Everybody's Lazy", it'd only take a few adjustments to restore your stack after the trick. Obviously this lessens the effect, but you can experiment and see if the reactions are worth the stack-retaining adjustment.

Just to point out, "Unforgettable" would work beautifully with "Memory Jumble" or any of the tricks that order half your stack (from a shuffled deck) described in "Mnemonica", since only a certain group of cards need to be in order. So technically, you may perform this effect after breaking your memorized stack already.

Again, the following isn't something I'd recommend, but you can give it a shot. From what I recall, "Three-Card Location" involves the deck being separated into 2 or 3 packets, some cards being dealt/counted, and one of the packets being shuffled (Correct me if I'm wrong). It may be possible to retain the stack by correctly collecting the packets, having the spectator deal face-up, and as far as I can remember, you call out the cards in the shuffled packet, thus putting them back in order.

You get the idea though. It's possible to make stack-breaking effects retain your MD stack if you wish to perform more MD routines. Of course there will be sacrifices to the overall effects, but it's up to you to compare the reactions you get and to judge if the "stack-retainability" is worth it.
kosmoshiva
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As a side note: I find restoring from a shuffled deck an excellent tool in memorization and use it as a regular part of my memory drill.
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churken
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[quote]Most of the best effects utilizing a memorized deck (MD) requires that the stack to be partially or completely destroyed at the end, making it difficult to follow up with additional memorized deck routines. In other words, the deck is setup just for one routine.

I disagree that MOST of the BEST effects require destroying the stack. I use the Aronson Stack all the time, and although I do have routines that destroy the stack, most of the routines I use do not.

I think it is important to think of memdeck routines much like you would think of regular deck routines. You need to mix up your effects. For example you wouldn't normally do three different variations of Triumph (an excellent effect with a memdeck by the way) in a row. It would be too repetitive and the audience would become bored. Also, you wouldn't do a 37 phase Ambitious Card routine. Just a few phases of that routine are much better than a bunch. Again, after the card has risen to the top 4 or 5 times, the spectator knows what is going to happen. You get into 11 or 20 rises and it is like beating a dead horse.

So memdeck is sort of the same. You don't want to do four locations or 4 ACAAN's in succession. You need to vary your routines.

But, like a non-stacked deck of cards, if you change up the type of routines you are doing, you can indeed put together a set that is extremely strong.

For example - with a regular deck - you may begin with a Two Person Transpo followed by a Card Under Drink, and end with a Four Ace routine. All card tricks, but also very different effects. With proper routining you will make it even better.

With a memdeck you might do something like The Smiling Mule (Close) followed by The Plunger (Jay) and end with Mnemonicosis (Tamariz) or a Triple Poker Deal (Loomis). All are very different and are not perceived as the same trick. None of them destroy the stack. (I don't know that those are the exact ones I would choose, but are good examples).

Also, there are many non-stack effects that can be done with a memdeck without destroying the stack. Haunted Pack, Cards Across, Quick & the Dead, Wack you Pack, Triumph, Card to Wallet (or under drink or box), Multiple Selection Routines, etc.

Eric Mead has a couple of great articles on mixing memdeck and non stack routines as well as letting the spectator shuffle your memdeck in his book Tangled Web.

I don't know if any of this is coming across properly, but I hope you get what I am saying. The memdeck is a wonderful tool that really does have many applications if you search for them.

Of course, all of this is just my opinion. Take from it what you will.

Paul
Cain
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I did want to comment on Panimen's post in my original reply, but what I had planned to say was long enough.

Although we use different stacks, I thought it was interesting how Panimen and I conclude with New Deck Order. I think I've had a civil and informative argument with him on this topic, one where I resisted Tamariz's stack because it took more work to bring it NDO (a setup trick + running cards + using a table space for either an elaborate anti-faro OR a poker deal OR four(?) straight faros). A five faro stack is slightly easier, and for me more familiar due to Gertner's Unshuffled.

For my thinking, putting aside reset, you want a stack that has one built-in blockbuster. On his video Aronson makes an off-hand comment about memdeck creation, saying you want to pack as many effects as you can, but in my mind that's mistaken. One great effect is better than a dozen good ones. Mats is right about the about the video source. You can also find it in Ackerman's book LAS VEGAS KARDMA, but here I would actually recommend watching the video first.


Mnemonicosis is one of the two pure memorized deck tricks that I perform. When it hits hard against the right spectators, you are almost required to close with it, however, the open-ended nature of the trick makes an unreliable closer. I want a guaranteed hit.

All-of-a-Kind is another fantastic trick, and I would do it if my stack did not already have a Gambler v. Magician routine built in (the five-faro stack has many patterns, a strength and a weakness). This illustrates the difference between a memorized stack and a regular stack.

Charles,

Are you planning using a memorized stack in a table-hopping environment? Personally, I do not use deck switches, and I've never done the subtle game set up. If the stack gets destroyed, then I fall back on impromptu stuff.

The other memorized deck trick I perform is a version of Ehlers' Three Card Location. It's written up in KARDMA in a way so that you have partial stack destruction (more like disruption), but this can easily be overcome. Bill Malone has a version, and the revelations are slightly more varied on his recent set of DVDs (I think its on the third disc), see "Hands Off Memory Test." Driving through Utah I stopped at a magic shop (really the backroom of an insurance office), and I bought Ehlers video for three(!) dollars. Apparently this guy had bought the rights to the video from Magic Makers. I had seen it online for a too-good-to-be-true low price. This guy had stacks of them, and I think you can order it through his website. If I recall correctly, in the video Ehlers' stack is not destroyed. I think this trick is actually better than Everybody's Lazy in itself, but it has two added bonuses: 1) You maintain your stack; 2) Your spectators mix and handle the cards. From here I go into NDO.
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panimen
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Quote:
On 2008-07-18 11:31, churken wrote:
Also, there are many non-stack effects that can be done with a memdeck without destroying the stack. Haunted Pack, Cards Across, Quick & the Dead, Wack you Pack, Triumph, Card to Wallet (or under drink or box), Multiple Selection Routines, etc.

That's a great point. There are impromptu effects out there that you can perform just as you would with a memorized deck and not break the stack. However keep in mind that many impromptu tricks gain their strong reactions from the fact that the spectator shuffles, so you obviously have to stay away from those if you want to retain the stack.
Quote:
On 2008-07-18 11:36, Cain wrote:
Although we use different stacks, I thought it was interesting how Panimen and I conclude with New Deck Order. I think I've had a civil and informative argument with him on this topic, one where I resisted Tamariz's stack because it took more work to bring it NDO (a setup trick + running cards + using a table space for either an elaborate anti-faro OR a poker deal OR four(?) straight faros). A five faro stack is slightly easier, and for me more familiar due to Gertner's Unshuffled.

The NDO revelation really does get amazing reactions. Of course I love how it allows you to reset the stack afterwards, but even if that wasn't possible, I'd still close my routine into NDO because it's just that strong and it has the sense of "going back to where I started".
For those interested, several adjustments can be made so that the procedure to NDO wouldn't seem as lengthy. For example, in the midst of the faros, you can perform stay-stack effects (I like to perform the first two phases of "Marlo's Matching Routine". Also the "Face To Face" + "A Grand Triumph" that I mentioned before can also work with stay-stack at this point) and by the time you're done, you'd only be a couple of faros away from NDO. I'm not sure though if stay-stack applies to the five-faro stack (I think depending on the NDO), so this may just be directed to Tamariz stack users.
Quote:
On 2008-07-18 11:36, Cain wrote:
For my thinking, putting aside reset, you want a stack that has one built-in blockbuster.

That's an excellent tip. The NDO revelation is only one example. If you can get into stay-stack, you can end with all the phases of "Marlo's Matching Routine" or Martin Nash's version of it. Also, I know Aronson's and Tamariz's stacks can be quickly setup for Simon Aronson's "Shuffle-Bored", and I'm sure there are ways to set it up for any MD.
msc455magic
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panimen: I too, have thought about not letting spectators shuffle in Three-Card Location and Everybody's Lazy, but the problem is exactly as you mentioned - it detracts from the overall impact. But I guess I will never know unless I try it on my audience.

As a beginner in MD magic, I feel the hardest part so far is not in learning the tricks itself, but rather stringing them together into a nice seamless routine that FLOWS.

Also... where can I find "Marlo's Matching Routine"?


churken: I agree with your disagreement with my statement. As I was typing it, the only effects I had in mind were those from my limited knowledge of stack/memorized tricks. Sorry for the misinterpretation.

You also made a great point that adding variety is key to MD magic. When I first thought about it, I considered stacks & memorized stacks to be on one level, and impromptu/other tricks to be on another level by itself. It's sort of like not being able to put the one and one together to make two. You get the idea.

Speaking of variety, I am also very hesitant to add effects into my repertoire if I already have similar versions in my "impromptu/other" category. A good example would be "Triumph." I already do John Bannon's "Last Man Standing" coupled with Kimlat's "Culligula Triumph" to great success. So why add yet another version? This also applies to many of the great tricks out there utilizing a memorized deck or stack.


Cain:

Quote:
On 2008-07-18 11:36, Cain wrote:
One great effect is better than a dozen good ones.


Strongly agreed! This said for example, I try to have only one version of a single card divination... one version of a double card divination... and one version of a triple card divination. Once I get the best versions of each divination, I find the rest to be a bit superfluous... maybe it's just me, but I try to take the best versions of each without duplicating too much of what I do.

As I said, most of my performances are done on a moment's notice either by my friends or family, so I would much prefer if I start with a MD. Similarly, if the stack gets destroyed, I would continue with impromptu material as I think it's too much of a burden to setup the whole deck again. If it's over, it's over for that particular performance.

I have not seen Bill Malone's version of Ehler's trick, but Ehler's version from Kardma is fantastic! The downside obviously, is that it breaks the stack. But as panimen stated above, I can choose not to break the stack entirely if I don't let the spectators shuffle. Obviously if you have benefits, you have sacrifices.
churken
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Also, keep in mind that there are many effects using partial stacks. Both Aronson and Tamariz cover this extensively.

So if you do an effect that destroys just cards 1-17 you still have cards 18-52 in stack order and can use them for great effect.

You seem like you have a better than newbie grasp on memorized deck work. Keep pushing and you will be rewarded greatly.

Paul
panimen
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Quote:
On 2008-07-18 12:59, msc455magic wrote:
Also... where can I find "Marlo's Matching Routine"?

I only know of it from Allan Ackerman's "Advanced Card Control" series in the faro shuffle volume (volume 6 I believe, if I'm not mistaken). I'm sure someone else has more info about it. I have yet to see Martin Nash's version of it, but I'm fairly certain it can be seen in his "Very Best Of Martin Nash" videos or his "Award Winning Magic Of Martin Nash" videos (I believe it's part of his "Ovation" act).
msc455magic
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churken:

Quote:
On 2008-07-18 13:32, churken wrote:
Keep pushing and you will be rewarded greatly.


Thanks for the encouragement. I should also mention that this is about the fourth (or fifth) time I tried to learn the MD. I have given up all on the previous times due to various difficulties...but I am determined that I won't let it slip by again this time!

panimen: Thanks for the source. I will try to get hold of it.
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I know the Aronson stack order and make sure to keep it up to date by drilling it when I feel that I need to. It took me forever to learn it after all. Yet I haven't really been as impressed by many of the MD effects I have seen as I have been by other "regular" effects. So I haven't really practiced any MD effect to any extent. There are so many magic tricks to choose from out there.

None of the built in effects have really grabbed me either although they are clever. I even think that the built in poker deal is weakened by being too perfect.

So far I haven't really found a lot to use the stack for. I'm starting to think that the best use for it may be to enhance other tricks, such as instead of a spectator physically choosing a card, they can just name one. It would hardly seem like you even handle the deck. (You could even use ND order for that but spreading the deck and showing it's "random" state first would disprove that possibility and probably make whatever follows even stronger.)

I have to admit that I kind of skipped past many MD effects the first time around because when I had finally learned the stack, I was in terrible fear of losing it. So I didn't watch stack destroyers objectively. But now reading this I realize that this doesn't worry me anymore. And I don't think it should worry you either. You know plenty of regular effects too, right? And letting the spectator shuffle after a while will strengthen the routine a lot anyway.

If I was to name one trick I really like among those I have seen/read, it would be Two Beginnings by Simon Aronson. Which doesn't destroy the stack. That is an example of the type of possibility that has impressed me the most so far; Spectator A merely mentions a card he/she THINKS of (key word there) and spectator B freely points to a card in the spread. Which turns out to be the thought of card. You didn't do anything and it is very magical.

How I would use the MD at this stage in my life (and I'm not an knowledgeable user so I really shouldn't have ranted on for so many paragraphs at all probably), is to start by talking and doing a few shuffles and cuts, have someone mention a card and then produce it somehow or fail to do so and discover to my surprise that it is in my wallet and I have clumsily forgotten to take it out and add it to the deck.

Then Two Beginnings to show that even they have strong mental powers. Then some stack destroying trick followed by a change of pace as they get to shuffle the deck. Etc...
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Cain
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Ackerman has a superior version of the matching routine on a recently released disc CLASSIC ACKERMAN. I do not have it, but someone posted a link for the demo in the Workers section. Ackerman uses a tetradistic stack, which has two incredible built-in properties: 1) the finale mentioned for "Ackerman's Opener" 2) The ability to get into Marlo's Matching Routine (you could also do Steve Forte's "Sal Piacente's Memory Opener"). When I began to understand MD magic, and realized I wanted a grand full-deck closer, I knew it was between the Tetradistic stack, the Tamariz stack, or a five-faro stack. Aronson's most diabolical efforts are stack-independent.

Panimen: Yes, a five-faro stack is in stay-stack (and naturally cycles through staystack), however it's an off-color mirror: the spades w/hearts, diamonds w/clubs. I would have guessed that the Tamariz stack is the same way, but I'm probably mistaken.

Charles: I'm the same way about resisting any trick overlap, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet. If there is an excellent impromptu trick that does not disrupt a stack (classic Triumph), then you might get more mileage out of it by incorporating into a MD set. Also, if your primary working environment is one where reset does not matter, then I do not understand why stack you place a premium on stack maintenance. As I said, reset is a virtually negligible feature for me (at least for right now). It has come in handy on very rare occasions, but the whole motivation, as with Panimen, is to have a killer finish (NDO).
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Quote:
On 2008-07-18 15:46, Cain wrote:
Panimen: Yes, a five-faro stack is in stay-stack (and naturally cycles through staystack), however it's an off-color mirror: the spades w/hearts, diamonds w/clubs. I would have guessed that the Tamariz stack is the same way, but I'm probably mistaken.

Oh I see what you mean. This is because your five-faro stack is based on the American NDO, whereas Tamariz's stack is based on the European NDO (which is a standard stay-stack).
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The Amazing Noobini: I am not extremely familiar with the Tamariz stack as of now, but my progress is slowly building through time. You pointed out that you haven't been as impressed with MD effects as with other effects. I have to disagree here because one of my reasons to learn it is because I was once fooled very badly by Barrie Richardson's handling of "Any Card At Any Number." I was totally fooled and HAD to learn how it was done.

The MD is definitely good in terms of enhancing other tricks, but it is certainly as good in itself. There are just things you can't do with a normal deck of shuffled cards. Also, now is a good time to steer from sleight of hand to "sleight of mind" Smile


Cain:

Quote:
On 2008-07-18 15:46, Cain wrote:
I'm the same way about resisting any trick overlap, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet. If there is an excellent impromptu trick that does not disrupt a stack (classic Triumph), then you might get more mileage out of it by incorporating into a MD set.


I agree. After looking through the effects MD offer, a lot of them can already be done in my impromptu category. As you said, I think it is time to step back and take in whatever routines that fit in my set.

Quote:
On 2008-07-18 15:46, Cain wrote:
Also, if your primary working environment is one where reset does not matter, then I do not understand why stack you place a premium on stack maintenance.


Reset is fine for me. I just don't want to perform one or two tricks and then break my stack. I prefer to do several routines before breaking it, as to make my setup in the beginning a little bit more worthwhile.

Quote:
On 2008-07-18 15:46, Cain wrote:
It has come in handy on very rare occasions, but the whole motivation, as with Panimen, is to have a killer finish (NDO).


Not trying to cherry-pick here, but are there any routines apart from "Ackerman's Opener" that ends in NDO? I agree that NDO ending is one of the most, if not the most powerful endings to card magic.
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Profile of The Amazing Noobini
Just after I posted yesterday I went out to a bar to have tea and read Darwin Ortiz' Strong Magic. On one of the first pages I read he says that only magicians think that finding a card that is merely named is stronger than finding one that has been physically selected. Whereas in reality it is weaker to the spectators. If they have named the card they will think (and I'm paraphrasing) "sure you found it, I told you what card it was". It is more miraculous to them if they think only they know its identity. So I was probably wrong about that being a great effect enhancer in itself.

I agree that ending with a color separated deck is as strong as it can get. That is my ending too. But I fear that if you keep a stack going for that long and then suddenly reveal it as being color separated, they will make the conclusion that it was an arrangement all along.

So maybe in that case it would be better to let them shuffle at some point and then switch the deck. Or let them shuffle and reach the end by other means such as a color separation. I have read several threads making the same argument in the past, but at the time I didn't agree with it because it wasn't what I wanted to hear. Smile Now that I know about deck switches and color separations I am tempted to agree. If ending on a color separation, they must shuffle. Although an effect like OOTW where they themselves separate the deck may add the same strenght, I don't know.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
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