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The Scott Tribute: Blindfolded Poker Deal

by Daniel Madison
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The Scott Tribute: Blindfolded Poker Deal by Daniel Madison

The performer is blindfolded. Using a borrowed deck, he begins to deal cards and randomly deals five cards to one side. He then invites the participant to turn over the five cards to reveal a Royal Flush.

This is Daniel Madison's tribute to Walter Irving Scott: a card cheat who is more commonly known as 'The Phantom of the Card Table.' On June the 14th, 1930, he managed to fool some of the worlds most prestigious magicians and card men. by demonstrating his ability to deal winning poker hands from a shuffled deck of playing cards. And he did this, whilst wearing a blindfold. A lot of speculation followed these stories as to whether or not the deck he used was borrowed or his own. Any card man or magician can deal the Aces or winning poker hands from his own deck. But Daniel's intentions were to perform the same fete, using Teller's deck - a deck that he'd never handled before.

Daniel often referred to this as 'the impossible effect' a model by which all such demonstrations should be approached. We work backwards, starting with the final effect. Daniel asks himself, "what would fool me?" The condescension of magic makes him switch off, then the outcome no longer matters, whether it fools the wrold or nobody. To make an effect 'real' it must be seen as though and not rely in any way on 'belief' - as most effects (particularly in magic) do. This thought suddenly changes the question to "what would make me think?"

The effect sounds impossible and wouldn't be believed if told as a story. So much speculation surrounds the 'rules' of the effect - each of which dealt with accordingly as to offer that which appears 'impossible.' The 'in's', 'out's' and 'psychological thought' will be addressed amid the explanation. At the time Daniel decided that were he successful in fooling Penn and Teller, his secret would remain so forever, however, they caught him fair and square and he graciously accepted the consequences submissively inviting P&T to share the mechanics of his method.

Their explanation was enough to expose his devilry, but not so much that one would be able to achieve the same, and true to his word, he offers you a detailed explanation of The Scott Tribute as performed for Penn and Teller on 'Fool Us' on the 25th June 2011, 8pm GMT on UK TV channel ITV1.

1st edition 2011, 6 pages.
word count: 2181 which is equivalent to 8 standard pages of text

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