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Gypsy Monte 2003 Paul Wilson/A1

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Price: $11.25
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From the fertile mind of Scotland's premiere conjuror comes a visually stunning, easy-to-perform gem of commercial card magic. The intriguing story and the unique props provide a strong emotional hook designed to draw audiences in. And the handling is so simple that you can concentrate on what's important - being entertaining. Three tarot cards are introduced, two Fool cards, and a Wheel of Fortune card. The tale tells the effect: "I'd like to tell you the story of a legendary con artist who invented the world's oldest card trick. Today it is called Three Card Monte, but it began as 'The Search for Fortune.' It was invented long ago and used three cards from the tarot. Two Fools...and the Wheel Of Fortune. "The idea was simple: If you find a fool... you lose. Find the fortune and you win! One day an old woman watched the con man play. He mixed the cards and laid them in a row. She placed a small bet on the first card ... and lost (a fool card)! So she bet a little more on the next card... and lost again (another fool card)! Finally, she bet all she had on the last card... and lost (yet another fool card)! That's when she realized she was being cheated. "Invoking her Gypsy heritage, she uttered a strange and powerful curse under her breath and turned away from the cheat. From that moment his fate was sealed. He was forever doomed to lose. Whenever he tried to work his con, no matter how he moved or manipulated the cards, if they chose the first card... they would win. If they chose the next card... they would win again. And if they chose the last card... they would take it all. Soon, all he owned were the clothes on his back and these three cards. Remembering the old gypsy, he spent months trying to find her. When he finally did, he begged her to give him his life back. She agreed to play one last time - with his life as the prize.

"Now she mixed the cards and removed one of them... and even showed him the other two before placing them aside (a fool and a fortune card). With but a single choice, he blurted without hesitation, 'It's a fool!'

"With a smile she replied, 'No, you're the fool...' and he dropped DEAD on the spot (a surprise death card!). This is how I learned a valuable lesson - never cheat - because when you make your living like that... the odds are always against you!"

In addition to the main routine, Paul also teaches how to make all three cards turn into death cards for a killer climax!

Gypsy Monte 2003 comes complete with six laminated tarot cards and full instructions.

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Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
(This review is for Gypsy Monte 2003 Paul Wilson/A1)
Color Monte. Come on, admit it. You used to own a set of those cards with the rub-away painted on blue diamond, red diamond and green pile of $14.00. No really . . . admit it. I'm not moving on until you admit it. I'll wait.

See? That wasn't so bad now was it? Of course most of us have also tried our hand at a non-goofy card version, say an Ace of Spades, Queen of Hearts and a (apparently two) Joker. Well R. Paul Wilson has come up with what is, in my opinion, hands down the best version of this effect. Using Tarot cards, he tells the story of the person who "invented the game."

The story is compelling, fascinating, and even a wee bit creepy (see what I did there . . . wee bit . . . it's a Scottish Thing). I first saw Mr. Wilson perform this on his Knock 'em Dead video.

Not only is the presentation and the final kicker incredible, but the handling of the cards has been streamlined by Mr. Wilson as well. It's just all around a smooth concept and presentation and handling. I bought a Tarot deck just for the purpose of performing this effect. The cards used in the presentation are "Ace of Coins", "The Fool", and the "Death" card.

The problem I had with my Tarot deck is that the cards were so similar looking that when "Death" made its appearance, it was hardly noticeable. So much for a stunning kicker. The Cards Wilson used had a stark contrast which added further to the effect. Well when I found out that he sold this effect as a separate marketed item that came with the cards, I jumped at the chance to purchase one.

I bought it, and darn it. I was totally bummed. The cards are no where near as stark in their contrast as the ones used on the Knock 'em Dead video.

In addition, the cards are laminated or something so they stick together making it very hard to perform the required moves. Included in the package for $14.95, you get 3 "Death" cards, 1 "Fool" and 1 "Wheel of Fortune" rather than "Ace of Coins." You also get a nicely printed 1 page (only one side) of instructions with no photos. Finally, you get some extra ideas on how to switch out the cards and end with 3 "Death" cards.

I was really hoping for the same cards Wilson used in the Knock 'em Dead video. Obviously I set myself up for disappointment based on my own expectations. However, even if the cards were perfectly identical to the ones on the video, they are still too sticky.

As great as this routine is, I would recommend that you not buy it, but rather purchase the Knock 'em Dead video for only $20 bucks more. You get the handling and presentation live (rather than just written). Plus you get a bunch of other really great effects.

Although the effect is one of the best out there, the quality of the props is too poor for me to recommend purchasing this effect. We get a 1 star rating. If the effect weren't available elsewhere I'd give it a 3 star rating because it would be worth purchasing just to get the routine, but since it's available on the Knock 'em Dead video, there is absolutely no reason to purchase this product. Rubble
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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