reviewed by Gregg Webb (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 14 November, 2023)
I am an author and innovator of card tricks and routines as well as other sleight-of-hand interests and have been reading Dr. Chris Wasshuber's book about Erdnase. In my teens I had the Expert almost memorized but switched to other newer techniques. Since reading the book about Edward Gallaway as the probable author of The Expert, I decided to revisit the section on the running up of hands with the jog shuffle and to study the math involved again.
Also after reading Jack Pots, written probably by Erdnase, and about stories of poker players and poker games, I am now realizing that even the introduction to The Expert, and onward, are truly written by someone who was there and knew for sure what was going on. Jack Pots was written by Eugene Edwards, which is surely a pseudonym of Erdnase (Edward Gallaway). I now realize why Dai Vernon was so enthused by The Expert.
The German language connection of The Expert has caused me to also look into the German books and magazines about magic and cheating at cards just before the turn of the last century.
As it turns out, at least 6 of the card tricks in the second section of The Expert are borrowed from German books and magazines by Willmann and Conradi to mention two.
And so The Expert is valuable on many levels and more than the sum of its parts. History, brilliant writing, and word usage, in addition to the "moves" and strategies in the book, all run through the man nicknamed Erdnase.