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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The Solution - The Easiest, Fastest Memorized Deck Ever - by Atlas Brookings and Raven Gairloch (53 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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neoinwonderland
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Quote:
On Nov 3, 2015, ddyment wrote:
Again, it would be particularly helpful if those who review this book could let us know just how long it took them to memorize the stack (exception cards and all) to the point where they could do it reliably in public.

Incidentally, I have much (mostly good) to say about the value of algorithmic stacks in my essay on the topic of full-deck stacks.


Actually I spend more time reading the method then I did learning the stack. Reading included I think it is safe to say that on average people could have it down in a few hours (below 5) if they really take a moment to study the thinking behind the method. Apart from the exceptions, most of it comes natural. The included mnemonics for the exceptions help to get them down pretty fast as well. There are only 2 random exceptions that you "just have to remember". Which makes this extremely easy to learn.

I am one of those people who doesn't mind "stalling" time during a performance so I would have to say I feel comfortable to work everything out in my head on the spot, if you don't like stalling and want to perform "fluently" this learning time might be underestimated.
Daniel Meadows
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I put it down to Raven's teaching rather than anything special about me Smile

Naturally it would need a lot more work to make sure I had it down cold but I found the underlying rules quite intuitive.
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Atlas
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Thanks for your reviews Daren, Neo and Daniel - I'm glad you're enjoying The SOlution.

Rolyan, let me know if you're still having trouble and I'll do what I can to walk you through it.

Best,

Atlas
Chris K
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Ok, it's been almost 2 months since my last post about the Solution. I don't have a lot of time so I'm going to do a flow of thought kind of review & share my experiences. I'll be happy to answer any questions as I won't get into very many details (I feel like mentioning memorized deck is already talking about methods and would be more comfortable in Inner Thoughts but this is where the thread is). I'll also write a bit about my personal experiences with memory deck effects (in a generic, author only way, if that makes sense).

Ease of memorization: Reading through once, I had thought I was able to put 85% of the deck together. Unfortunately I was incorrect. The real number was 86.5% of the deck, I had trouble placing 7 cards out of the deck. To be honest, it took a couple of evenings toying with a deck during down times to feel totally comfortable. I essentially had issues with (and please delete/modify this if too much information is given, but I think it's pretty vague unless one has the book), the placement of some of the exception cards as well as the non-tier 3 cards that went into tier 3. I don't know about any of you but over 86% memorized after a single read-through is pretty good for me, so I was happy.

Playing with the deck: Prior to doing any effects, I toyed with the deck for a week. I took a deck of cards, put it in order, then numbered the back. I also added marks for those "exception" cards to really hammer home (to myself) those portions where I was having issues initially. I went through the deck in order several times, first face-up then face-down. I then did a real triumph shuffle and went through the deck, flipping and mixing the deck face-up/face-down all the time. This helped me get comfortable with the shortcuts.
- NOTE: I found that, after a while, I needed to practice with converting card to number without looking at the card. Looking at each card, I would do the thing to figure out the position number and I didn't want to get too comfortable with using visual clues. I highly recommend both of these approaches. I went through the effects in the booklet and tried them (some were modifications of how Atlas and Raven practiced) and personally preferred my approach.

Effects: There are a lot of memorized deck effects out there. Actually, let me be a bit more precise, there are a lot of effects that take advantage of knowing the order of the cards ahead of time (as opposed to effects built into memorized decks and/or known stacks). After reading through the Solution again (including the effects), I brought out a few other references. Namely stuff from Darwin Ortiz, Doug Dyment, Barrie Richardson, and Martin Joyal. The approaches to mem deck effects from those authors (and a few others) can be quite different. Some are quite complex (e.g., B = A + C + C being 1 of 2-3 equations to do on the fly) while some are more simple (I am referring to the methodology/work for the performer here not how the effect comes across). I also love how some authors apologize for destroying the mem deck order during the effect while others don't (seem to) care (I don't care, in case anybody wanted to know Smile ). I can't say I have my favorite effect yet.

Usefulness: Very high. Simplified rule sets mean I (hope to) feel comfortable after a week or two not performing (I am currently not doing any paid shows; new job in 2014 blah blah blah). With the 6 hour stack, I felt uncomfortable after a week or so. Which is all on me, just not using it enough to hammer it home, Joyal's stack is great. Solution is just a bit simpler for me and I have, in fact, gone a couple weeks without using it and put it together with only a bit of thinking on 2 cards/positions.

Value: Very high. I've been performing a bit at work to see how comfortable I am in a stressful environment (as opposed to just close friends and family) and it's gone as well as I could have hoped.

Final tip: Have a back-up effect or two in case something goes wrong (deck gets dropped, somebody shuffles instead of cuts, etc.). I don't think there will be a lot of issue with this but, and I think we've all seen this/been there, it is painful when you see a performer lock up when something unexpected happens. Preparing to do a mem deck effect then effortlessly transitioning to a improvised/impromptu effect is critical. That's obviously not just true for mem decks but I hope the point was clear.

Great job, guys, thanks for this release (#TakeMyMoney)!

Good luck all,
Lem
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Hey guys,

Alex here.

I will chime in and say first of all that I already use a memorized deck system, I took Osterlind's BCS many years ago, starting with the K of Spades, and remembered the deck cold, in about 4 hours or so. I have used Osterlinds BCS in memorized deck order ever since. I saw that Atlas and Raven were putting out another memorized deck, and that it was the easiest and fastest way to learn, so I said why not. I have had other releases from Atlas in the past, including Train Tracking, and I really followed this thread thoroughly, and really bought the book, not just to have another memorized deck handy, but also the routines seemed different enough, and varied. I talked to Atlas about Go Figure which is an effect he uses, with this system, and it seemed utterly impossible.

Well I have had the book since Xmas or so, hadnt really had a chance to read through it, and I finally read through it all, then went back and started to learn the system by heart.

Let me tell you, this is as easiest as you are going to get.

If you struggle it will only be with about 15 cards or so, but then again half of those are easy to memorize, and the other half you have to apply another rule to them, which once you learn the system, is a piece of cake.

I have gone through making up the deck, and tested myself, and the first time got an 85% rating, which is good, for passing through the first time.
Then I left it for a few days, and yesterday came back to it, but with a different approach.

So what I did was that I took Osterlinds BCS, wrote down the stack I have memorized now, starting with the King of Spades, all the way to the 52nd card which is the Jack of Diamonds, and then I took a sheet of paper, after having written them down, and said, ok, what position is the Jack of Diamonds based on what I know, and I instantly started to fill in the blanks, leaving the last 7 rogue cards for last, then filling them in.

It was easy, once you get the swing of things, and learn the system.

Im a fast learner, and even if it takes you awhile, this is a system that you will be able to grasp pretty quickly, as well as being able to quiz yourself if someone names a number, and you know the card, or vice versa.

After doing this, I re-did it again but with the numbers 1-52 this time, and filled in the appropriate cards, and voila.

Ok, then I re-read the routines again, but specifically GO Figure, which is Atlas go to effect.

I tried it out on myself 2-3 times, and fooled myself, since the effect is so clean, and you don't even have to look at the cards.

If you don't know what Go Figure is, look back on this thread, Atlas describes it.

Then I showed the effect to my wife, before going to bed last night, and then looked into her eyes, and named the card she was merely thinking of, and she was in shock. She has seen her fair share of effects from me, and she said, this was the best.

If you don't want to do memorized deck magic/mentalism, don't, but I urge you to pickup this system for its ease of learning, reliability(since you can check yourself), routines, handling, advice, tips, and more.

Atlas and Raven have outdone themselves in this routine, and I only ever wish to learn the routine that inspired this book to be written, I hope Atlas shares it in the near future with purchasers, since I am sure it is pure gold.

The other routines are also great, and allow you to really hone in and practice this, and bring it home.

For example, the Blackpool ACAAN is great, it reminds me of something that Peter Turner would do, in which the deck is on the table, you have someone name a card, point to someone else to name a number, and without ever touching the deck, you get them to deal down to that number, and the named card will be there. doesn't get any cleaner than that. I know what you are thinking! It cant be that clean.
Well it is, and obviously there are some trade-offs involved, but they will all be worth it in the end, trust me.

All in all, this is a great booklet to own, and I am glad I have added it to the collection, and know that I will be frying brains in the near future with all the great routines contained in the book.

How did Atlas and Raven ever come up with this stuff is beyond me, but pure genious.

Thanks Atlas and Raven for this contribution.

Alex Alejandro
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Atlas
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Thanks for leaving such thoughtful and thorough reviews of the Solution Alex and Lem - I'm pleased The Solution is working for you both!

It was especially nice to hear that Go Figure played out so well for your wife Alex. It really is my favorite card effect at the moment.

Best,

Atlas
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Thanks for taking your time to leave reviews Lem and Alex, really appreciate it! Glad to hear the deck is working for you both and you are really enjoying the routines too.

Atlas loves bringing out Go Figure at every opportunity, even when it's just us two, I'm like "dude I've seen it, I've read the book"..."ok go on show me again"

I'm sure people will really appreciate your in depth and honest reviews.

Best wishes for 2016!

Raven
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Thank you Alex - as always you are VERY VERY helpful and chock full of smart ideas
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a brown 1968
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The Solution - The easiest and fastest mem deck EVER

It is a great piece of work and I take my hat off to both of you for coming up with this Solution but the word EVER still makes me laugh and smile .

If I can create a mem deck as equally as fast and easy would you change the word to PROBABLY Smile)))

Like the original Crusade my mem deck is just scribbled in note form . When it is full written up you can given me you honest opinion .

Expect that to be within a few weeks

All the best

Andrew
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Hey Andrew,

For you, anything of course. I've got my sharpie at the ready to change the front cover of them as we speak...on second thoughts I might just use a dry wipe pen for now 😉

Look forward to reading it and glad to hear you like the solution.

All the best,

Raven
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If anybody can do it, Andrew can. Pretty confident about that.
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Jeff Wassom
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Really like this 'solution' so to speak. =)

Had the Tamariz stack memorized, but found I had to go back and re-memorize if not used it for awhile.

This is an ideal substitute, especially for a hobbyist. Still going to go through and memorize with peg system and sequential association for the fun of it, but the Solution adds an easier third method.

Perfect purchase for me. Really thought the effects were clever as well. Thanks boys!
Hutch
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I now use The Solution as the basis for my own personal stack. There is flexibility built into this system; so I have placed certain cards where they work best for me. It means that most of the stack can can be calculated very simply, which takes away the brute memory work of a randomised stack, yet the position of a few cards can be memorised and placed to disrupt the recurring patterns typical of a cyclical stack. So it can withstand casual examination, which is fine for most purposes.

I also have Doug Dyment's D.A.O. stack for where the cards needs closer examination and I only need to know the next in sequence.
Hutch
cytoplasm
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Are there any mentalism routines that are specific to this stack that are included with the book or is it purely the stack and how to learn it?
The Duster
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There are routines

I think half the book is the method [probably the simplist stack - that looks shuffled and you know exactly where each card is in the 52 positions]

And the other half of the book is routines

There's a mentalists ACAAN - which I like

It's any card, and a prediction inside the card box

So the spec can call any card... then you open the box and you had a feeling about this so wrote a prdiction their card will be at x position

I like this one - as it uses a form/utility of mentalism I want to work on... and like the gumball prediction from SyZyGy - you have a lovely element that helps makes things easier

Though I did get one of the [if not the] most unkind cards called out by the spec on my first atempt

If I was good or even slightly accomplished at the 'work' this would have been no problem.. but come on.. for my first attempt I get the 6h..

I had to do a lot of patter and concentrate hard to not completely mess that up

That effect is my favourite but I think you get five others as well

*** in regards to your question - I'm not sure that the above effect is specific to this stack... but you get the effect and it's got thinking on how to achieve it [tiny amount of arts and crafts] that are well worth the purchase
cytoplasm
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Thanks for your detailed reply Duster, I think I'll invest in this one : )
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The Solution - The Easiest, Fastest Memorized Deck Ever - by Atlas Brookings and Raven Gairloch (53 Likes)
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