Dai Vernon has a very interesting life story. There is a book called "The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist" by Karl Johnson. It tells Dai Vernon's story with a focus on his search for the greatest chard cheat; someone reputed to have the ability to deal from the center of the deck.
I am currently reading this book. I'm glad you brought it up because I a lot of the people on here seemed to be repeating what they have heard from others. Guys, I'm not trying to insult or offend you. Before I picked up this book I was just like most people out there, "He was the single greatest card magician of the era" or whatever. Now I feel I have some actual knowledge to base these claims off of.
Houdini had a challenge for anyone to show him a trick 3 times and he'd figure it out. Dai had a card rise to the top of the deck 3 times and Houdini didn't catch it.
Dai Vernon actually performed this effect an astounding 7 times in one sitting to prove his point. He mixed it up a little, even putting the card with the "HH" initialed on it second from the top. He show as clearly as daylight that it was Harry Houdini's card second from the top and with the wave of this hand it had risen to the top. Vernon performed to Houdini in front of a large audience of magicians so his claims would stand. He knowingly violated the magicians code and got away with it.
so he fooled houdini with an ambitous card routine. can someone tell me what kind of ambitous card routine that is?
I'm not sure if you were able to pull it from my previous text but, Vernon simply put Harry Houdini's card, initialed with the letters "HH" on the front into varying places of the deck 7 times, including the second card from the top. Every time, without fail the card was able to rise to the top of the deck. The effect is now the basic foundation of most Ambitious Card Routines.