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This is PRECURSOR L and is published in August 1995. The editorial offices are at 2215 Myrtle Street, Erie, Pennsylvania, 16502. PRECURSOR wil1 be published more than three times a year, and it will be sold for $16.00 (U.S.) for three issues. Outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, three issues are sent Air Mail for $19.00 (U.S. ). This is a Bob Farmer One-Man Issue. About a year ago, when Bob was preparing his series pertaining to the "Ten Card Poker Deal" for Magic, he wanted some favors from me and in exchange, I was able to get these effects from him for PRECURSOR. "Ultimate Done Deal" is a very good version of the "Ten Card Poker Deal" that Bob did not publish in his series on the "Ten Card Poker Deal" in Magic, Vol. 3 #'s 5 to 9 even though it was hinted at in "Done Deal" which appeared in the series. "Eyes In My Fingers" is a perfect PRECURSOR trick - it's a sneaky idea that may inspire others to invent a better trick. "Packet Messiah" is an intriguing packet trick with a maximum number of changes combined with a minimum number of cards and very little work. It is perfect for "walk-around" because it is performed completely in the hands and instantly resets itself. "Royal Assembly" is simply that - the Kings assemble in one packet and instantly return to their respective packets. Bob Farmer originally gave me these two tricks some fifteen years ago for one of the FFFF books but then decided that he wanted to market them. Because of many other projects, they never reached the marketing stage, so now they appear here. "Fields Poker Hustle" is a variation in handling of Doyne Michie's "W. C. Fields Famous Poker Hustle" which is currently available from Dan Garrett. This is such a fine story type trick that I would recommend that the two routines be compared, and then the effect can be personalized to your style of performing. "Devils And Angels" is a variation of the "Twenty-Five Card Trick," sometimes erroneously called the "Princess Card Trick." If you aren't familiar with the main principle, Peter Tappan wrote an entire book on the subject entitled, THE IMPOSTRESS PRINCESS. This routine has many elements to it that are very different. William P. Miesel

This issue of PRECURSOR is late, as you can tell. I have no valid excuse for this occurrence ... many excuses, though. Major excuse, probably, is depression because of too many hot, sunny days this past summer. I should have been born a bat! Ed Eckl


In this version of the "Ten Card Poker Deal," after the magician turns his back, the spectator shuffles the deck and spreads it face up on the table. The spectator takes any card he wants for his hole card. The spectator's card is turned face down. The magician turns around and faces the spectator. The spectator gathers up the cards, shuffles the deck again, and hands it to the magican who takes it behind his back. With the cards out of sight, the magician removes a card and, without looking at it, places it face down on the table as his hole card. He then deals two piles of four cards each and allows the spectator a completely free choice of four cards to go along with his hole card. The spectator gets to accept or reject any of these cards he desires. Notwithstanding all this freedom, the spectator loses each and every time. The secret involved here is the same as the secret used by Dai Vernon in "Sure Fire Showdown," from INNER SECRETS OF CARD MAGIC - Belly Strippers. Prepare the deck by belly stripping the following nine cards: the Fives of Clubs, Spades, and Hearts; the Kings of Clubs, Spades, and Hearts; and the Aces of Clubs, Diamonds, and Hearts. Remove the Five of Diamonds, the King of Diamonds, and the Ace of Spades from the deck. Turn your back while the spectator shuffles the deck. He then spreads the cards face up on the table and takes any card that he sees for his hole card. There are only two possibilities - either he'll take one of the nine belly stripped cards or else he'll take a random card. It doesn't matter what he does and you don't even have to know what he does, because you always do the same thing when you turn around to ensure a win. After he shuffles the deck again, take it behind your back, strip out the belly stripped cards, and place them on top of the deck. Remove the top card, one of the bellied cards, and place it face down on the table as your hole card. Now, deal two hands of four cards on the table from left to right. Pick up the top card of the left hand packet in the left hand and the top card of the right hand packet in the right hand. The card in the right hand must be forced on the spectator. Ask, "Right or left?" If the spectator answers, "Right," give him him the force card in the right hand. If he answers, "Left," ask him to hold out his left hand, which will be opposite your right hand, and give him the force card from your right hand. Now, follow exactly the same procedure consistently with the next six cards so

the Equivoque looks fair since it doesn't matter which cards he takes after the first pair. These cards should be placed face up alongside the hole cards in typical Stud Poker fashion. Reveal the hole cards and you win. Here's why he always loses: If the spectator takes one of the nine bellied cards, this will leave eight bellied cards somewhere in the deck. Strip out the eight bellied cards, place them on top of the deck, and take the deck behind your back. Take the first bellied card from the top of the deck as your hole card and place it face down on the table. This leaves seven bellied cards on top of the deck and the eighth card from the top will be the "Jonah" card. It has to be since the Five of Diamonds, the King of Diamonds, and the Ace of Spades have been removed from the deck, there is no possibility of these cards being selected and making a four of a kind. After dealing the two piles of cards, the top card of the right hand pile will be the "Jonah" card. Force that card and the spectator loses. If the spectator doesn't take one of the bellied cards, then he must have taken a "Jonah" card. After all there are forty "Jonahs" in the deck! After taking the top card, there will still be eight bellied cards on top of the deck. Even though the spectator already has the "Jonah" card, the right hand card is still forced since you don't know what card he has taken - this makes no difference. I guess you could mark the nine bellied cards so you'd know immediately if the top card on the right hand pile was a "Jonah" or a bellied card. If it's a "Jonah," force it; if it's a bellied card, the spectator has already lost. Bob Farmer

A caption to a photo in the August 1995 issue of Harper's Magazine contains the phrase "the Magic Castle miniature golf course in North Hollywood". Is this the magic Magic Castle? I've never seen or heard a reference to a miniature golf course on that site. ... Well, there are a lot of things I've never heard about, but I don't know what they are. "Wireless", a catalog of stuff related to Public Radio, has an offering of a sign reading, "BEER: So much more than just a Breakfast Drink." Reminded me of an old Orben joke about pouring beer over Rice Krispies. They don't go "snap, crackle, and pop", they just lie there and hiccup. Just found a word which fits me to a "T". "Behindhand", which means behind schedule. And "Lapin", as in, "The magician pulled a lapin out of a hat." Ed Eckl

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