Countdown stoy

r, junnHpjful items buried in the incredible and bewddenng notebooks Tliislsjitst eiftaft^^J^1 x master, Dai Vernon; and, as is typical of the of Dn Jacob Daley.4 « baBfllwrea1 » effect is direct and simple to under.

, , - »„lite canl illusion. The effect is direct and simple to under-

Professors work, it is an exquisite c<u __________Rven insiripix wnnlH n^

stand, and die i requires much preparation

Here is the text of the original note:

Vernon's Automatic Mentí). Stop THck: Set up: ^ card between

SSSt cards on top and chosen can! twelfth from top.

Although tlie working «ill be clear to any intelligent reader Oust kidding), some intetpre laiions on the management and handling, as well as die use of appropriate techniques* for preparing for si>etific situations, are in order.

What foDows is my rendition of tlik marvelous idea of the Professor's. I have been informing ü regulariy over tlie years, and it amazes tlie public and insiders alike.


A spectator freely selects and notes a canl, which is then shuffled back into die deck He takes tlie deck and deals cards, stopping whenever he wishes. The card arrived at by mere coincidence leads directly to the previously chosen card!


A minimal setup of easily remembered cards is necessary. Bring a Nine to the t op, followed by a Seven, a Five and a Three—suits are unimportant. Tliis selup can be achieved during a previous effect, or it can lie done on tlie spur of die moment, by spreading Uirougli the deck cmce and culling the necessary cards to die top by means of (he spread cull (Volume 2, page 187). In tliis case you would start by culling the Three, dien die Five, Seven and Nine, so thai after squaring die deck die Nine becomes ils top canl, Mowed by the other tliree cards of toe setup ,n descending order. The spreading of die deck can lie clone during the period of re™Tg 'T1 °f a,e previous or while you look for die Jokers and mÍZ^T ? *** ,WS on do a few effects that wont

X^lZ 0UF w 80 and then go into die peric.miance

Construction, Management and Saint

Spread the deck lace down in vm,r ho i .

I «o may really ta]«, any one exmi ,h , T aSk 3 ^^ ^^ ^ he Ükeíi As soon as he has taken the r,ni I °P Lt?t'S assume>>e ^<es the Eiglit of Spades, complies, you cut 0fra t0n, JS Sí , show U to tjie «diere in the group. While he shuffle Wum s, page ¿gj >n ' ,hen half die deck and perform a slough-off faro in- or outrweaves, nor about the sh, mS^ ^ y0u needn't worry about conlroUing

You will now liave the spectators card returned exactly thirteenth from the

• i i lb do this, start spreading Uie<^inyour!^ai,daskthespt<Mor u)re|,b«Tl^,3ud

As you spread the ranis and approach the spectator to make ,J,e repLuvnu,.. for him, it Ls a simple matter to ey^ount «wetve .-ants ^shing them t .It m s.x ( ^ L Dace 211) With a little practice this ran be done without e%vn tuning I" look at in- < an Is, E^kee^X' v«, -lithe deck Lsnt nece*aiy You have timed Ok- spn.uBnga^on

«he twelfth ,ud the spectator Ls n.utv ,o «place his^,a

Quick Errias

When you extract the interwoven packets and place them on top of the remaining cards in the left hand, do not push the telescoi >ed cards together Sayf 7 would like you I" notice that the amis an? tftmrmgldy StotfflecL " As you say this, direct the sides of the interlaced cards towanl your audience and perform the waterfall-shuffle flourish to square the cards (Volume 7, ¡>age 111). This full display of the waierfall Sourish permits the spectators to see dearly that the shuffle Ls honest, and Ls preferable to simply pushing the cards together.

Continue immediately with an overhand shuffle as follows Undercut about three-quarters of the deck, run tluw cards ii\jog the next and shuffle off. Form a break below the iivjog. shuffle to the I >reak and throw the rest on top (Volume 7, pages 42 and44). During this you point out,

"And you could have taken any cardfivm this shuffled deck."

The slough-off faro has placed an indifferent card between the Nine, Seven, Rve and Three, and the subsequent ii\jog shuffle has added tluve more indifferent ranis on top. The illustration shows the arrangement of the top ten cards at tJ\is moment

You i«*,;;i;;rt)ic into your opeaiau uu2 Corruriunicabng without w0[tfe vviy cleanly. deady and hopelessly lost m the jaws of the dock. Give 2

thai the ^^¡¿i top stock andset it facedown m front of the spectator deck a (abe sin, ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ j( .?j # ^ ^

"I admit I ha»'»0 »"» £ ^ ^ ,/W „,fl/ ftawe »o idea where it is eiu,er suggest uou fi»« your ^ ^ m m (l lMe intuition is enough." Have ^ tml at too^»^^ ruu| lR)|d jt 35 ¡f he were going to deal cards for a game.

s,,ertaior H„_0»to i/if table—in a face-up pile." This sentence iire * 10 UnderStand ^ "V inteC

«—¿S, you make them sound important (notice the louses marked by dashes) SZor will feel some pressure not to make a mistake. As soon as he starts dealing ! .,, ¿T .,Xllddeai thrcnnls wMdignity, please; deal tiiem with dignity."Most certainly v„Ur senator is not used to associating dignity witli card dealing, so he «ill have to think about what this means, which will put a little more pressure on him and assures thai he deals slowly.

When he lias dealt die first two cards, you give him still further instructions: "And stop Ow (¡ml (it am/ /x/int. Never mind the canls themsdivs, just stop at any point."This empliasis on the jioint, rather than the raid is important Should he stop on a face-up indifferent catd, he will be required to take the next card This looks suspicious, because a layperson usually expects you to take the last card he deals. You will see a little fiuther on how this is managed verbally.

Look at the spectator, showing a certain expectation in your expression, and lean forward on the table. All of this putsstill further pressure on the spectator. It lias been my experience tliat lie, in the majority of cases, will stop before he reaches the twelfth card. There are, thea two jxjssitiOiliea Either he deals one of your four set cards face up when he stops, or he deals an indifferent taid lace up and stops. Let's look at these two cases.

ff he stops at a set card, lets say on the Five, you immediately name the card; ■'And it is the , "Lof,k 31 ** spectalor aj,d hi™ a broad smile, hi most teases he «ill look TCWhal asl0nished- «« :•>• not my ca nL " Whereupon you retort: Vf alaiudL u\°, ""I"'™"'Ijmsait^is the Five of Clubs."'This always causes a smile or as you mav 31 3mUSe Uie aU(lienc(J- but to shroud a jjossible discrepancy, continuitrbeU«r,i!!!/rrCanl St°pped 31 38 a Ucountor ™s littJe joke prides

% <f fa s/itfstt-,he su,)sequij,u couiiting ofthe rards continue:

« to w us Z J; ' T * Fn* 01 Gmrtl>Jthe Wt you slopped-because it someone eke wfll say anfl look 31 ^ spectator. More often than not he or no one sajN it. siy J * ' ,rj'r»'ulfnv cants." If this happens, you are in business. If

>«u agreed with what the s, ' Ta paj1aaiJaj" spectator and nodding your head as if "> count fiw ninLs y ; said, but somehow no one else could hear. "We hait the tads d!J li9hL" ^ have the spectator count to the fifth prwlously chosen card and th .» ^^ he deals have him name he

,vini show the card to everyone—it will be hi&

In those instances where the spectator st™«

_ , , , ^ uuor »"P8 dealing on an mdUfifemit card, itmore the b^

face-up rarrl dealt and resume your instnirti.,.^ J a- .1

Wtiu til Iliix wrint c , ILS' ^ ,I,L'V immutable "You stnp,*it

^ a ^f T " '""' ,s " '^"»ed in tlus faslm ,„ thenMvill he no ambiguides in the special, ,rs mind Again, have him tun, cm, ,l ,e „ „, «J of^Zo Z

m his hands, use the gag mentioned above and have him count down to reveal his«£ There are three special cases still to discuss:

Ftetr-the spectator deals past the setup and stops just before his card This has lappened several timesto me, and the more you perform tJiis effect, the more oftei i it will occur, thanks to statistics. The result is perfect and the effect inexplicable, even to experts.

Second—the spectator stops when he has dealt the eleventh card face lip. Now his sek* lion is second from the top. In this case take ihe balance of the deck ftam him, execute a double lift or turnover and display deselection (Volume page 120, Volume J, pageffll, Volumr 4, page 1009). Then, in the moment of relaxation following the disci« asure, use the K. M move (Volume3% page 518) to get rid of the indifferent card, and throw Ihe selection lace up onto the table. Strangely enough, this situation lias never happened to me, which proves dial statistics are fallible. Tb prevent this you could place the selection at the twelfth position from the top, as suggested in Ualeys notebooks. In thai rase you need to use the set card in ihe count: If the spectator stops the deal at five, you must turn the Rve face up on the deck and include it in tine count. Personally, I find this awkward and nol so easily justified

Third—the spectator deals past liis card Although there are several outs (which m leave to your imagination)! here is an acceptable course that brings the situation to a quick finish As soon as he deals past l\is selection, you will see what his card is. Remember it. Let him deal one or two cards more, then stop him. 7 th ink the next card about to be turned, our will 6c you rs. No, WO it—continue. "Let him deal a few more cards and rej>eai the above statement Eventually he will stop ai some point Look at him and explain« "Very QODd\ the nest tnnt we are (piny to turn oirr will il&u"Spread the lace-up dealt cards a little, exposing the previously remembered selection, show it and turn it Cace down! This is the old Tin n is Can I TVick"24 For a lay audience, in an inf( >rmal segsk m, tills is still pretty good I lowever, it Ls best to proceed with a nuyor miracle, letting them accept this as a gag effect, if they don't entirely foiget it. I've not found myself in this sit nation often, but it has happened a few times, restoring my l^elief in statistic

You might be anxious about the spectator dealing the cards face up and discovering the setup. After many years <>f experience with Uiis effect I can reassure you that this has never happened to roe, I iowevvj; having the sj>ectator deal the cards fece down rather than feoe up puts less heal on turning over ol ihr appn »print- ( im I, and doesn't even raise the issue of ambiguity

Final Note

If jtm choose this approach, it's an easy matter to count the Iiis* three imtiffereffl cants and then ft >ltow ewy second card visually. When the spectator stops, Jus* ask him to tun» Up eitler flu- top card of the dealt packct or the top can! of those remaining in Iiis hand Choosing this approach will however, negate the use of the Tin-US Card TYick" as an out.

Qliick Ernas

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