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 Post subject: Piatnik Club: Deck review
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:31 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Piatnik Club: Poker sized
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Where to buy: The Card Collection (The Bond Company)
http://www.cards4magic.co.uk/acatalog/c ... Cards.html

Price: £3.50


For more information about my reviewing methods and a list of other reviews: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156760&p=1224367#p1224367

Initial Impressions: This is a good high quality card that should appeal to those who like a stiff flex and smooth finish. Piatnik clubs were the choice of Tommy Wonder and it goes without saying that he probably knew a thing or two about cards. Overall I am enjoying these cards, and I am sure many of you will as well.

The Look: They do have a nice look to them but sadly the back design is similar in character to some Royal card designs I have seen. Thus, many may look at it and think, “cheap junk,” before bothering to try them out. The court cards are very similar to standard USPCC art. The Ace of Spades is a fairly dull design with a Ferd. Piatnik and Sons banner across the bottom. The Ace of Hearts, actually has another trademark design on it as well. There is a small horse and rider directly under the center heart pip. The jokers are a fairly traditional jester’s head design as well. All in all you won’t buy this deck for looks. It is a basic red/blue card with nothing image wise to set it apart.
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Card Construction: This is why you will likely buy a Piatnik. When you pick these up you will feel a good, strong, quality deck of cards that I have come to expect from European brands. The weighed in at 92 gm and had a width of about 15.5mm. These are just about the same width as a Bike 808. They are a smooth finish card and have slightly rounder corners than USPCC cards.

Handling:
Fanning: 8
Out of the box they fan just fine but no where near the smoothness you will get from USPCC. Very few smooth backed cards will match the USPCC pattern in fanning.

Spring Energy: 9.8
In blindfold tests I could not tell a difference between these and the Fournier 605s

Dribble: 7
Like a Fournier, hand strength will play a role in how smooth these dribble for you but, I found them just a tad more clumpy than the 605s.

Crimp Hold/Recovery: 6 hold/ 8 Recovery
This is one area Fournier has them clearly licked. Never the less I have found the OOB crimp tests a somewhat unreliable predictor of how cards age. Only time will tell.

Single Card Glide: 7
They seemed to out perform 808s for bottom card glides but not top card glides. The plusses and minuses seem to cancel each other out so left it at a 7.

2 + Obfuscations: 8
Slightly better performance here than with an 808 which is to be expected with the stiffer stock. The Piatniks are perhaps a bit worse than the Bike in the Hugard/Braue push-off but the Piatnik matched or beat the Bikes in all other moves.

Gaff construction and availability:
Several “standard” gaffs can be found at the above listed site.

XCM applications:Well they don't fan great and you need to be pretty strong to get a smoothspring off of them so for general purpose flourishing they are not recommended. As for multi packet cuts and aireals these are hard to beat. They hold together nice for spin moves as well. In short, these would be great as a practice deck for the card cuts, aireals, and spins but because of weakness in fans, spreads, and spring flourishes I wouldn't recommend for performances.

Who Not Should Buy: Beginners and intermediats who have yet to develop the hand strength necessary to make use of a powerful stock. This one also won’t shuffle smooth enough for people into classic gambling demos.

Who Should Buy: I think anyone who has acquired a taste for stiffer decks might want to check these out. They perform and handle similar to the Anglos and Fourniers and they are a bit cheaper so they might be nice practice decks provided you can find a supplier with affordable shipping. One last group to recommend this to might be Tommy Wonder fans and wannabees.

Final Thoughts: As I write this I have exactly 5 hours logged on this deck. So far so good, there has been a minor drop in the fan likely due to the fact that I have already managed to drop them more time than I care to count. (As soon as you see the video supplement you have a good idea as to why that is!) Overall they are very similar in character and feel to the Fourniers but I have to say that the 605s just “feel” like a higher quality deck. Perhaps one minor detail that makes me like Fourniers better is the size. The Piatniks are just a tad thicker than the 605s and having a slightly thinner stock just seems to make stiffer stock feel more controllable. Overall this is a good deck and I’ll likely enjoy using it but I don’t foresee it knocking any of my top 5s out of their respective spots.
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Last edited by eostresh on Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Piatnik Club: Deck review
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:25 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 10 Jun 2006
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Location: Arlington, TX
Great review!

So what's the closest 2nd place to Fournier 605's then? Other than Tally Ho's, Smoke and Mirrors and E's Arcane deck.


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 Post subject: Re: Piatnik Club: Deck review
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:58 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
akirafist wrote:
Great review!

So what's the closest 2nd place to Fournier 605's then? Other than Tally Ho's, Smoke and Mirrors and E's Arcane deck.

Thanks...I keep waiting for something I like as much as fourniers...and doesn't cost $11.00! :lol:

As for second place? I can't really say. My top 5 are 605s, Anglo Rugs(not poker ed...didn't really like those), the S&M v.4s, any Bee card, and the Arrcos. Truth is I like them all for different reasons so it would be hard to actually rank them.

I keep thinking I'll get a buyers guide together. Something a bit more general, less detailed, and a bit more usefull to more people than just the uber card geeks...like me :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Piatnik Club: Deck review
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Joined: 03 Aug 2007
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Location: Continuously practicing, even as I type.
Dang man, I can't tell you how awesome you are Eostrech! Seriously.

Did Piatniks go thru any recent changes though; I recall the cards Tommy used in his DVDs had the same back designs but were subtely different on the front (i.e. the court cards had a skin tone)?


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 Post subject: Re: Piatnik Club: Deck review
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:11 pm 
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I do not know that they did. I can tell you this. I have the poker sized Piatniks and if you look closely I believe Tommy Wonder is using a bridge size deck. Perhaps that might account for the discrepancy. Piatnik is actually known more for its bridge decks than its poker decks. Those bridge decks often come with much more ornate back and face designs than the designs on the Clubs, Star Clubs, and Wheels designs.(the only three Piatnik cards that I know of that come in poker size)

I actually have a review in the works that I'll tag on to this one here. It should give you an idea of the artwork Piatnik is capable of. I should get that "appendix" uploaded in a week or so...as soon as I get some good pictures of the cards.


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 Post subject: Re: Piatnik Club: Deck review
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Piatnik Club: (1 Week Update)

Overall these cards have maintained their snappy power but certain fanning and performance characteristics are on the decline. They already have the feel of a deck that could conceivably last a good long time provided they are well cared for(eg. in hands other than mine :wink: )

Fanning: 7
A drop here as they are starting to get a bit clumpy. Not large clumps yet, so far just in groups of two or three cards, but enough to wonder how long they can be performable.

Spring Energy:9
Very little reduction in this stat.

Dribble:8
The dribble has gotten a bit easier and these cards will work ok for dribble based sleights but probably not good enough for dribble based flourishes.

Crimp Hold/Recovery: 6(hold)/8(recovery)
The deck has really maintained itself well. That said it still doesn't seem to hold a crimp very well.

Single Card Glides: 6
I can only give this a 6. While little has changed with the top card glides the bottom card glides are starting to require a break in order to ensure clean separation from the pack.

2+Obfuscations: 7
Another drop here. Diving board DLs and spin moves are very secure but the increasing clumpy nature of the deck is making push-off type DLs very unreliable.

Additional thoughts:
Well they performed and felt so much like a Fournier OOB that I expected them to age in a similar way as well. That doesn't seem to be the case. The Fournier fans and glides seem to improve once broken in but I'm detecting noticeable drops with the Piatnik. While both cards have a smooth, plastic coated finish perhaps the final varnish used by Fournier is a better formula. However, let me mention one other strong possibility. I am always a bit rough on my review decks but I think I have been particularly so with the Piatniks. For some reason I got it in my head to practice an aerial that included a hacky sack kick in it. (Don't ask why...I had delusions of Dan and Dave skills!) Naturally practicing aerials with kicks in them has a tendency of causing more than the usual abuse to a deck. In the week I have had them they have been picked up off the ground more than about any other card I have reviewed. So even though the scores after a week are much lower than the Fournier I'd give these the benefit of the doubt and say that the two cards are close in quality and performance. Though I still think they look a little boring I'm still having a lot of fun with this deck.


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 Post subject: Re: Piatnik Club: Deck review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Piatnik Club: (2 & 1/2 Week Update)
Okay so I haven’t been ignoring this review but the combination of a mild case of tendonitis and being caught in the middle of a move kind of stalled my updates. I have been recording the hours on this decks and by those scores I’m a few hours shy of completing a third week. These already feel as if they will go the distance(4 weeks) so I thought I would update now and then again at the end of the four weeks. Overall I can say that these a a good durable practice deck but they are not holding up as well others I have tried.

Fanning: 7
Still performing OK in this category. They are a functional card for fanning specific techniques but not exceptional.

Spring Energy:6
Well the Korean summer is at it’s peak meaning lots of heat and humidity. The smooth finished Piatniks are holding up better than most USPCC cards in these conditions but nevertheless, I do attribute much of the weakened stock to the weather conditions as much as the abuse I have put it through.

Dribble:7
The softening stock that was aiding the dribble in the last update is starting to be offset by a finish that is getting filthier and clumpier.

Crimp Hold/Recovery: 6(hold)/7(recovery)
The only change here is that the stock is not recovering as well from crimps.

Single Card Glides: 5.5
As it ages and the finish gets dirtier and humidity impregnates the deck it seems the glides are the most effected. There are times where this deck almost feels like an omni deck it can become so stiff. Usually a quick dribble will break up the clumps but for some reason glides have become problematic but fans are still tolerable. I’m leaving it at a 5.5 for now. The glides are not bad enough to warrant terminating the review but I am still catching small breaks before doing glide moves to ensure extra cards are not carried away unexpectedly.

2+Obfuscations: 7
The Piatniks seem to do well in most 2+O moves except for push off techniques. The growing clumpy nature of the cards seems to be causing extra cards to be come along for the ride in most push off techniques.

Additional thoughts: Overall there is nothing about the Piatnik that really stands out after two and a half weeks other than the durability. It’s one other bright spot is that it performs remarkably well for multi-packet and aerial cuts. This would be a great deck for people interested in learning those techniques.


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 Post subject: Re: Piatnik Club: Deck review
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:36 am 
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Piatnik Club: (4th Week and Final Update)

Well I have to admit that at the end of the 4th week it is actually performing better than it was on my last update. The primary reason seems to be that many of the clumping issues seemed to have worked themselves out. It is similar to how a Fournier recovers after washing but in this case it sort of just happened. I'm not sure how much the humidity played a role in this though one way or the other the Piatnik made it a full four weeks.

Fanning: 8
This actually improved as the clumpiness went away.

Spring Energy:6
Still a six...if that. Perhaps the biggest difference between this at the Fourniers is the degradation of it's stiffness and springiness.

Dribble:7
The dribble on these still won't match some of the Bee and Tally-Ho brands even when it starts fanning better and the stock softens.

Crimp Hold/Recovery: 6(hold)/6(recovery)
Perhaps the biggest reduction over the last week and a half was the recovery characteristics of the deck. Never a deck with a good crimp hold, the recovery is now starting to show a lot of wear on the deck. You will need a strong crimp at this point if it is to survive any shuffling.

Single Card Glides: 8
What almost caused an early end to this review is now one of the Piatnik's strong attributes. All top and bottom, one hand and two handed, glides are functioning quite well indeed.

2+Obfuscations: 7
About the same as in the last update. Push-offs seem to be the biggest weakness though not that bad and diving boards perform a little better than an 808. Spin type doubles and corner displays are about the same as an 808. Overall a solid average performance but considering the age of the deck it is still quite impressive.

Final thoughts:
Good buy with lots of durability. The Fournier's ran across the 4 week finish line, the Steamboats walked across it, and the Piatniks kind of limped across it...but they still made it! It is kind of hard to dis anyone who runs a marathon...even if they are last place. I am struggling with many mixed feelings about the Piatnik Club. On one hand they never did perform at the level of some of my favorites but you can't deny their longevity. They have a relatively boring back design and the court cards are nothing outstanding but the overall look still has some appeal to me. Perhaps it is because of their association with the legendary Tommy Wonder? Perhaps it is because they are a rare card for people in North America? One way or the other I am reasonably confident that if you are a fan of stiff stocks, thick stocks, or smooth stocks, you will not be disappointed by the Piatnik Club. If you manage to find some of these don't hesitate to pick them up.


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