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This is an impossible looking location in which the spectator appears to do all the work, as well as handle and shuffle the cards throughout, yet the performer succeeds in finding the selected card.

EFFECT: Same as above.

TO PERFORM: Have the deck shuffled by a spectator, preferably one you will feel comfortable working with. Take the cards back, commenting on how dealers shuffle cards in Las Vegas and give the deck a perfect incomplete faro, leaving the cards telescoped for half their length (see illustration #1). It does not matter if the faro is an in-shuffle or an out-shuf-fle, only that it is perfect. For explanation's sake, we will say that the cards have been given an out-faro.

(Note: during an in-faro the top card changes, during an out-faro the top card remains on top.)

Now, holding the deck parallel with the floor, riffle the front end with the right fingers, asking the spectator to say when to stop. When stopped, gently lift the cards at that point, letting the card stopped become visible. With the left pinky, hold a break at the separation formed in the rear packet of the telescoped cards. This is Ed Mario's Incomplete Faro Control (see illustration #2).

After the spectator has memorized her card, strip out the upper packet (the one which contains the memorized card) with your right hand. With these cards perform a one-handed fan, asking the spectator if she sees her card in the fan. While her eyes scan the fanned cards, your left hand turns palm down, allowing you to glimpse the card above your left pinky break. Say this card is the 10 of Diamonds. Memorize this card, then immediately turn the left hand palm up, and lose the break (see illustration #3).

With your right hand, close the fanned cards it holds, and drop them onto the cards in the left hand. Place the deck onto the table. Say, "Every deck of cards I work with has one special card. Don't ask me why; that's just the way they come from the factory. The special card in this deck happens to be the 10 of Diamonds. Would you do me a favor, and pick the deck up. Now turn it face up. Now please spread the cards until you come to the 10 of Diamonds."

Watch the spectator carefully as these actions are being performed. It is important that the cards order is not disturbed as the deck is spread through.

Once the spectator has reached the 10 of Diamonds, have her cut the cards so the 10 of Diamonds is at the face. Have her place the deck face-up onto the table.

Say," At this point, I want you to be sure your card is still lost somewhere in the center of the deck."

Give the cards a quick face-up spread across the table. Ask the spectator to confirm that her card is somewhere in the center (in fact, it is exactly 26th from the face). After she has done so, square the cards, remove the 10 of Diamonds, placing it to one side, and turn the pack face down. If you feel secure with the spectator, have her perform these actions.

You will now perform an extremely convincing cutting and shuffling sequence of Ed Mario's. Have the spectator cut the deck into approximately three equal packets, then have her shuffle the original top 1/3 and drop it onto the center packet. Now have her shuffle the original bottom 1/3. Now pick up the 10 of Diamonds and drop it face-up onto the combined packet on the table. Now have the spectator bury the 10 of Diamonds by dropping the cards she just shuffled onto the combined packet.

Pick up the cards, and give them a perfect out-faro shuffle. Do a fast face-down ribbon spread across the table. The face-up 10 of Diamonds will be lying in approximately the center of the deck. After sufficient buildup, have the spectator remove the card directly beneath the 10 of Diamonds. It will be her selection.

FINAL NOTES: The term "do a Vegas shuffle" is a Harry Lorayne idea, and has worked very well for me when using faro shuffles for laymen. The idea of pointing out how evenly the cards are being shuffled during the faro gives you a reason to turn the cards sideways in your hands. Otherwise, the faro looks suspicious to anyone not familiar with this method of mixing cards.

There are two points in this routine where the spectator is allowed to "sight" their card in the deck. This adds greatly to the over-all impact. Most people who watch card tricks assume that magicians have wonderfully clever ways of controlling cards (otherwise, how would we find them?). This routine effectively dispels that notion, as the selection is seen in the deck's center a moment before the spectator is allowed to cut and shuffle the deck. At the end, the face-up card finds the selection in the center. Any idea that you are controlling the card's location seems impossible.

For a more detailed description of Ed Mario's Incomplete Faro Control, see Mario's Faro Controlled Miracles Manuscript or Paul Swinford's excellent Faro Fantasy.

The idea of glimpsing the card in the lower portion of the telescoped cards was inspired by reading Paul Swinford's trick, Hidden Countdown, in Al Sharpe's Expert Card Mysteries.

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