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Sal Piacente's Expert Card Magic Lecture Notes (2 DVD Set) This 2 DVD set goes in-depth, sharing 13 of the most top-level card effects ever performed; effects that have earned Sal the highest respect in the inner circles of expert card magic.
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For those who want to perform card magic at the expert level, Penguin Magic is proud to release Sal Piacente's EXPERT CARD MAGIC LECTURE NOTES. If you're ready to be among the best, here it is.

Join card magician and world renowned gaming expert Sal Piacente, as he takes you step by step through 5 of his amazing expert card routines. These routines have gained him prestige and respect with magic's elite.

On Volume One You'll Learn:

  • Sal's Memory Opener - Sal memorizes the deck of cards instantly, even as a spectator repeatedly shuffles the deck.
  • The Marlo Opener - A spectator cuts the deck, Sal then correctly estimates the exact number of cards cut, then he proceeds to deal himself a perfect hand.
  • Sal's Ace Cutting Routine - The most incredible Ace cutting routine you will ever see! The deck is shuffled, then Sal "dead cuts" directly to each of the four Aces.
  • Sal's Ace Cutting Routine II - When the deck of cards is thoroughly shuffled, Sal then proceeds to cut straight to the Aces, this time without even looking...
  • The Vernon Poker Deal Revisited - Sal's version of a classic routine in which a spectator will assist by drawing the winning card for Sal's incredible poker hand...
On Volume Two You'll Learn:
  • The McDougal Stack Outdone - A very powerful routine where Sal will stack the four Aces into the deck and then deal himself the Aces.
  • Paint Poker - Using only the 20 high cards, the deck is shuffled and cut. Sal then is able to deal himself the winning hand.
  • Rollover Aces - Sal cuts to the four Aces, then for a kicker ending he produces all four Royal Flushes!
  • Stop !! - A card is selected, then shuffled into the deck. Sal deals the cards until "stop" is called to review the chosen card.
  • The Riffle Stack - Sal demonstrates how a professional gambler can set up the deck of cards with the use of a riffle shuffle.
  • The Faro Stack - The four Aces are shown, then Faro shuffled into the deck. Sal deals himself the Aces with a special ending!
  • 4,5,6-Packet Trick - Sal's show stopping routine where he finds a spectator's chosen card that he or she has just merely thought of... VERY IMPRESSIVE!

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Not as good as it could've been Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 14th, 2005
Volume one is definately the better of the two with some decent ace cutting routines, and marlo opener is cool and memory opener is probably worth the DVD on its own. But volume two is really lacking, 4,5,6 packet trick is probably the best amongst them. Also even with the good tricks about 90% require a deck setup and each very different then the next requiring a deck switch with at least two different decks. Although the ideas taught in these DVDs are great and can probably help others in making up their own effects but the effects themselves are very average.

Also the DVD's themselves are quite boring, cause Sal does all the tricks in front of a robot of a spectator, in the same room with dim lighting. Warning these are all tricks requiring a table, which are good for restaurant work, but if your a street or impromptu(which i prefer) then look elsewhere. For the Price it's not worth it, well for me it wasn't.
4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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Very good information and Tricks Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 6th, 2010
This is an excellent resource on some material I have not seen any place else. the Hit Man will teach you some unbeleiveable effects. most of the material is not beginner stuff. There are other places to start if you are new to Card Magic. This is however an excellent resource for the intermediate to advanced practitioner. Like every trick the material is going to take some time to learn but will give you some amazing effects if you take the time required. Excellent add to cart.
3 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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One Great Trick Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 5th, 2010
I didn't really like most of the material in this set, but the 4,5,6-packet trick in volume number 2 is shear genius. It is so simple even a beginner could do it, but it will really blow people's minds. This one will even fool a lot of magicians. It's totally impromptu, and the spectator does all the card handling. It just doesn't get any better than that. It's really the only trick I ever perform from the set, but almost worth the price itself...it's just that good.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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Not bad Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 22nd, 2005
Maybe I expected a little more from the title. I found the presentations of the effects to be a little on the boring side but since Sal was only performing for one person, maybe that is an excuse.
The routines are not difficult and many require some kind of set up, sometimes to the entire pack. Maybe this approach is attractive to some but for some reason takes me back to the days of mathematical self workers with a shuffle added for magicians.

With the bad points out of the way, there are many great ideas in these DVD's. The production quality is excellent and everything is explained clearly.
I would consider many of these effects to be a springboard for any creative and adept card worker to add to and bring forth a more exciting effect and take it to the next level.

Expert card magicians may find a couple of things here worth the price. I am glad i purchased these DVD's.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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Worth losing friends over!!! Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on March 28th, 2004
I did Sal's memory opener (one of my favorites) on a friend of mine who ALWAYS psycho-analyzes things. He opened a BOOK and explained to me the bio-chemical reasons behind how I was able to achieve memorization of the entire deck, explaining subtleties of personality, methodology, and biological processes that make it possible. After arguing over other topics, he used the biological and physical reasonings of the MEMORY opener, and I told him the TRUTH, he THREW ME OUT OF HIS HOUSE!!

2 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
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Not so entertaining. Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 7th, 2014
I almost fell asleep trying to watch this dvd. That guy needs to add some kind of fun to his magic. I did give it two stars because it looked like he was giving effort to teach his boring tricks. Card magic like this is what made me not like card magic before I became a magician.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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Some of the best card magic you will ever see Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on November 25th, 2017
OVERVIEW: This set of two DVDs contains a variety of magical card effects that are taught by Sal Piacente. Sal began working as a blackjack dealer in Atlantic City before moving through a variety of jobs at casinos. He is currently the president of UniverSal Game Protection Development, Inc, where he works as a game protection specialist, meaning that he helps teach how to find and prevent cheaters at casinos. He's been on several TV shows, and is active in giving lectures to the casino industry on how to expose card cheats. In this collection of two videos, Mr Piacente draws on his wealth of experience and his creativity to share some of his very best card effects. Altogether there's a dozen different routines, with some top notch material.

PRAISE: But first, let me persuade you that it's worth hwile checking out these videos, considering that these were first produced in 2004. While there was considerable noise about them at the time they were first released, over time stellar works like this tend to be overlooked or forgotten. Many young magicians are so busy trying to keep up with the latest releases, that they probably haven't even heard of this video set. Fortunately it's still widely available, and is still as excellent as it was when it first appeared. The fact is that a number of experienced magicians would include this in their top 10 DVDs/videos of all time! You will find high praise from many magicians about it, and it's a highly regarded collection of routines.

WHAT YOU GET: This product is a set of two DVDs, each of which comes in its own DVD case. Volume One has a running time of 1hr 25 minutes, and covers five routines: Sal's Memory Opener, The Marlo Opener, Sal's Ace Cutting Routine, Sal's Ace Cutting Routine II, and The Vernon Poker Deal Revisited. Volume Two has a running time of 1 hr, and covers eight routines: The McDougal Stack Outdone, Paint Poker, Rollover Aces, Stop!!, The Riffle Stack, The Faro Stack, 4,5,6-Packet Trick, plus a bonus effect, The Encore Card Trick. Each DVD has a contents menu that allows you to navigate to a demonstration of the effect, or go straight to its explanation.

FORMAT: The one-on-one format for the video has Sal perform and explain all the tricks to Rob Stiff, and this creates an intimate setting that really suits close-up card magic. The conversational approach is very natural and smooth, and together with Rob Stiff you really get the feel of being an insider who is welcomed into the private sanctuary of a professional magician and skilled teacher. For each routine, first there's a brief introduction to the effect from Sal, then a performance of the effect with Rob Stiff. Sal then teaches the tricks in an easy to follow manner, making it simple to learn the effects. The one-on-one interaction with Rob Stiff is excellent, and the question and answer style as they discuss each trick works really well, and will be something that magicians will appreciate and find very helpful. Sal definitely offers a fresh take on things, and his unique style, patter, and presentation feels genuinely fresh and novel. He's a good teacher too, which is of course essential for an instructional video like this. The video production is also very solid, and different camera angles are used where necessary.

CONTENT: All the tricks taught here are solid, but the consensus is pretty clear that the best ones are Sal's Memory Opener and his 4,5,6 Packet Trick. Sal himself says that the 4,5,6-packet trick is his favourite trick. But even though these two routines are probably the top ones, the reality is that there's a terrific amount of top quality material here. This isn't just a collection of mediocre material with one or two hot tricks - it's all strong, but these ones alone will easily make it worth getting!

DIFFICULTY: The effects taught here are mostly simple to learn, and you won't find them too difficult to learn whether you are an intermediate magician or more advanced in magic. Many of these routines give the impression of being demonstrations of great skill and feats with cards (e.g. feats of memory, or amazing demonstrations of gambling). In reality, however, they rely not so much on sleight-of-hand, but are just cleverly thought out tricks. That means that most of the tricks taught here are well within the reach of the average magician, although some will require some practice. When you see them, they look like very advanced card work, but that's just the beauty of the magic therein - they're actually quite simple! In some cases an ability with card handling is necessary (e.g. a couple require an ability to do a faro-shuffle), but for the most part the intermediate magician will find them relatively easy to learn, and be surprised how few sleights are used. It's well worth the effort required to learn the patter and master the routine, because these these effects are great to perform and will amaze your spectators. Since they are relatively straight-forward, they are great for nearly all magicians to learn, and yet even experienced magicians will find some great effects to add to their performances.

RECOMMENDATION: With these videos, Sal Piacente offers a genuinely fresh approach to card magic, and some absolutely terrific material. It's relatively easy to learn and within the reach of the average magician, and the teaching is terrific. All-round, this is easily a top-notch collection, that deserves to find its way into the hands of card magicians old and young today who haven't yet come across it. Highly recommended! - BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame
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Great! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on March 19th, 2017
I ordered this DVD set because I'm interested in all kinds of ace routines and gambling routines. And I wasn't disappointed! Sal is a first class card mechanic and an excellent teacher as well. His gambling routines will be part of my program in the near future. Also check out his live lecture here on penguinmagic. These DVDs are worth their weight in gold!
And furthermore: Praise penguinmagic and FEDEX for the excellent service. Got my order here in Germany after only 2 days!! Wow!
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Top Tier Gambling Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on November 28th, 2015
Most of the effects on the DVDs use the theme of gambling, and if you're interested in gambling effects at all, this DVD is a must buy.
Besides the cutting to aces, deal royal flushes routines, the two best tricks on the set have to be the Memory Opener and the 456-Packet effects. Both are absolutely baffling, give your audience a lot of freedom, and are extremely easy.
It's true that Sal performs these without any exciting patter, and the tricks would seem like they're made for fooling magicians if presented that way, but the methods and effects are STRONG if put in the right context.
I put off writing this review until I did the two effects above in my latest card act, one as my opener and one as my closer. They received as good reactions, if not better, than my old opener and closer. I'm a little disappointed to see my proud card to spectator's pocket routine go, but it only shows how incredible this DVD set is.
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Expert card magic Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 7th, 2010
Sal Piacente has impressive skill. You will to after practicing the material on this DVD. Sal thoroughly explains each of these routines, going over every subtlety. I like Sal's 'hitman of magic' performance style. With how hot poker is today, if you perform card magic someone will bring up how they shouldn't play cards with you. Show them why with the Riffle stack. Memory Opener is easily worth the price of both DVDs. This is high-impact material
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