The Royal Scam (Cards and DVD) by John Bannon - DVD
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John Bannon's first effect in the Fractal Card Magic Trilogy.
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Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 3 of 3)
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Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 12th, 2010
In a previous review, I had indicated my displeasure at the poor presentation. I did eventually figure it out, and the trick definitely is great. It does appear though that Mr. Bannon assumes we know certain things. For many (probably most) magicians, this may work fine. For some of us in the earlier stages, we need a little more clarity at certain points. For example, instead of just saying "at this point perform "move X" to get the card from the bottom to the top," say "you'll need to perform "move X" here. If you're not familiar with this move, please see the bonus section of the dvd for a step by step instruction."
I gave it a 5 to balance out the lower rating I gave it in my previous review. This trick definitely kills. It needs a bit of practice, but you'll love it when you get the hang of it.
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Poor, poor instruction Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 11th, 2010
Don't get me wrong. The presentation of this trick is phenomenal, and kills IF you are "in the know." Unfortunately, Bannon's explanation of how to do it is truly awful. At one stage, he literally has you pull the bottom card off the deck and show it as a face down card in his hand. Problem? If you've followed him to the T up until then, the bottom card is a face up ace. I reversed the video and went through it in extreme slo-mo at least a dozen times to see what I was missing. Clearly Mr. Bannon has a bit of a warped sense of humor in that he's pulling one over on the people who paid money to learn this trick.
I had three friends who were all better than me take a look at this, and they all came to the same conclusion. What he asks you to do in the instructions just does not add up to the performance as shown. He needs to get several magicians who don't know this trick to watch the video first, then come back with questions so that he realizes what he didn't explain well enough. I don't think he actually showed the instructions to anybody before releasing it for sale. A potentially great trick is now a bunch of useless card unless I can just figure it out on my own. $15 for a small packet of cards seems a bit steep.
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A Keeper! Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
The Royal Scam is a packet trick and a damn good one. If you are a packet nut - this should be in your collection. The trick comes with a DVD as well as the cards required for the trick.
Degree of Difficulty
Intermediate to Advanced. I had this down in one night and performed it the next day to the amazement of my normally skeptical family. So why would I rate the difficulty intermediate to advanced? Because, I am a false count freak so these counts were fairly easy to learn. If you're Elmsley Count is weak you may have some difficulty. Bannon does teach the Elmsley Count in the "More" section of the DVD. Lastly, the routine is fairly involved although once you get the repetitions figured out, it's not too bad.
The instructional material is top notch. John Bannon is a very good teacher. He runs through the Elmsley Count fast but it is covered in great detail in the "More" section. In fact, he does a great job teaching the Elmsley and the covers some sublety that students of false counts will appreciate. Bannon credits liberally along the way and there is even a "Credits" section on the DVD that provides the creator, the move, the year and the source or publisher.
Provided on the DVD is an e-Book (PDF file) that provides even more detail into the credits, the packet set-up is deatiled and the complete patter is provided.
Quantity of Effects
Well, you're buying a packet trick so you get a packet trick. But wait, there's more! Bannon throws in a nifty trick called Living Is Easy. So here's what you'll learn:
The Royal Scam
Elmsley Count (aka Ghost Count)
OPEC (Out of Position Elmsley Count)
Glide (as an alternative to the Hamman Count)
Living Is Easy
Marlo Switch as a control (very cool!)
The Royal Scam is an immediate addition to your repertoire. It is easy to perform (assuming your counts are good) and has an astounding ending. It is one of those trick like the Color Monte where the spectator just doesn't see it coming. The climaxes are going to fry people's minds.
I'm sure Bannon has been called a genius with packet tricks. He may be, but what I see is a lot of hard work and experimentation to perfect this little masterpiece. I can't imagine not using this as much as Twisted Sisters. The quality of the e-Book is top notch. It is well written, the pictures are clear and the patter is excellent. The quality of the card stock is standard Bicycle stock and the odd-backed cards are beautiful and colorful.
My one complaint...the music is insufferable! The DVD constantly loops this depressing, morose theme. My daughter walked in as I watch and asked "why does that guy look so unhappy?" I don't think Bannon was unhappy! The music sounded like someone just died. And why play it so loud during the instructional material? Why play any music during the instructional material?
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