Magic Posters - Check out our magic posters and prints including Houdini and other magic icons.
Gambling Posters - Check out our gambling posters and prints including French Playing Cards and Dogs Playing Poker.
Poker Books - Check out our reviews of different poker books including famous authors like David Sklansky and Mike Caro.
The newsletter member articles are a lot like member posts in the forum. The thoughts of the newsletter authors do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of 21ace.com. If you have an issue with a specific article please take it up with the author of the article.
April 2006 Newsletter
Many exciting things have happened in the last month. I'm sure you'll get a kick out of EMan's article. In the forums we have surpassed 40,000 posts since the last newsletter and it looks as if we'll get over 50,000 posts sometime before the end of the year! I'd like to see us rank higher in the search engines in 2006 for queries relating to card tricks. Fatty is helping us update the http://www.21ace.com/poker_card_tricks.html section and we have some ideas about how to increase our presence in this area on the web.
We ordered some high-end custom chips that should be ready in about a month (there is more info about them on the http://www.21ace.com/Lucky-Lady-Custom-Chipco-Poker-Chips.php page). We're also working on some custom hot stamp poker chips and some custom labels for poker chips. We plan on adding a lot of information about custom poker chips to the site in the coming months, much of the information will come from first-hand experience. Having the custom chips will also make our chip videos a little bit more special and unique.
If you are interested in the custom Lucky Lady chips on the http://www.21ace.com/Lucky-Lady-Custom-Chipco-Poker-Chips.php page then please let us know so we can order more. If you want some of these chips(that run about $1 each) then please post in the http://www.21ace.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4584 thread and let us know how many of these chips you'd be interested in buying. Note that right now we only have the black $100 chip available(and we chose to make it without the $100 denomination being displayed).
Speaking of customizations, we'd love to do custom playing cards too. The design for those is a little more complicated but it is something we've been considering for a long time.
As usual we got some cool chip trick videos in for our chip trick contest and we're hoping to get some nice pool videos for the pool trick shot contest which ends April 15th. Hopefully we'll be able to start up another card flourish contest soon along with another magic contest.
Keep an eye on the blogs! The http://card-tricks.21ace.com/An0n.php blog by Anon is loaded with practice documentation. Fatty is good about writing what goes on behind the scenes in his http://card-tricks.21ace.com/fattyonadiet.php blog and Shadow has different tidbits about what is going on at the site in his http://card-tricks.21ace.com/Shadow.php blog. Finally, pokerfanatic has tons of great poker strategy information in his http://card-tricks.21ace.com/pokerfanatic01.php blog.
Enjoy the rest of the newsletter!
A Beginners Journey
Hello all! My name is Josh (or "An0n" on the forums) and I wanted to address the beginners who are reading this newsletter. I am the creator and author of a new magic "documentary"; I suppose you could call it, which is called A Beginner's Journey. ABJ is the result of an idea that I spawned a few weeks ago to track my progress as a beginning magician. The entire focus of the project is to address problems that most novice magicians face by showing those that I face, and to aid in the solution of these problems. I am a beginner myself, with only 2 short months of experience in magic. So, I thought I'd introduce ABJ and myself to all of you who haven't the slightest as to what I'm talking about or who I am.
-To be able to manipulate cards quickly and smoothly and to have control over my deck at all times.
In order to attain these goals, I must work hard each day, capitalizing on my strengths and building on my weaknesses. With enough hard work, some help from you guys, and hopefully a little talent, I know that I can do anything I set my mind to. This doesn't just apply to me; it applies to everyone who is just starting out in magic.
Perseverance is the key to success. "If at first you don't succeed, try, and try again." I wholeheartedly believe in this phrase as one to be true to nearly everything that we do. This is why I practice...because I have trouble. If I never had any trouble, I would never have to practice, and by now I would be hanging out with Bryan Tudor and David Blaine, sipping on a cold one (Mountain Dew, that is...) and talking about who is going to perform for the President next. I truly believe that as beginners, we must all set goals such as these three. If we have no goals, then what can we achieve? Mediocrity. That's all. If you shoot for second place, that's all you'll get. But if you shoot for the top, and you're willing to give anything and work hard to get to the top, then first place will be yours. Step one in the journey is to make the commitment, "I want to be the best."
Miscellaneous tips for beginners
Here are some tips that'll help with the longevity of your cards as well as performance.
Keep you hands clean
OK, so you learned a few moves. You want to throw them on video and show them off. Well here are some tips that some of you beginners might want to check out.
Choosing Your Flourishes
Windows Movie Maker
There are many other programs out there that are available, but the above programs seem to be the most popular among card flourishers. I've used several other programs, Ulead, and a few others. But none of them really knocked my socks off.
Handling huge down swings emotionally
Anger is horrible trait for a poker player. It will cause you to tilt extremely easily. If you play bad you might get pissed, getting hit by a bunch of bad beats in a row, finding out your girlfriend or boyfriend (whatever you are into that’s not my business) is a cheating piece of junk, anything that might give you tunnel vision and stop you from thinking clearly is extremely bad. Poker is a game where if we make poor mental decisions we pay out of our wallets for it. I’m here to tell you I have been there I have taken BIG swings because of running bad and playing poorly because of tilt blurring my mental decisions. The most recent occurrence for me was actually this month; I went on a -50bb downswing and totally self destructed. I ended up down about 134bb!!! I was so angry with myself, my play, my opponents play, about everything. In other words I handled the situation completely wrong. I eventually handled it correctly, I walked away for several hours and then came back to reduce things down to about 93bb. The point of this was that if I would have walked away at -50bb, I probably could have broken even for the session. I handled my small down swing poorly so it turned into a huge down swing.
In my case, all I had to do was walk away for awhile and get a breather when I felt myself getting angry. I would have never had to emotionally handle the hole I put myself in had I walked away earlier. It’s tough to take a swing like this and blow it off. If it’s because you played poorly then you shouldn’t blow it off but instead figure out what your leaks are. If you’re not sure where to look, I even look at hand histories for a price. Also, I will shadow players as they play on whatever site for a price. There are ways to plug your leaks in your game, other than trial and error. If you play well the huge downswings will happen less often, and hardly ever in one session, you will however go on cold runs over a few days here and there but you won’t be losing 100+bb in a single session. If you are playing full ring, short handed then 100bb swings come a little more often only because of the nature of the game, however if you play badly they will come so often it will emotionally destroy you. Don’t let that happen, play good poker, use the tools out there to become a great poker player, it’s your money. How do you want to use it, to win, or to pay my bills? Handle your emotions and you’ll go far in poker and probably in life.
Trip to London
I went from Heathrow Thursday night to Myles office and we went thru all the tricks that were going to be performed.
So on Friday it was up 6.30 am and off to the Black Island studio. When we got there nothing was set for filming, so got to practise some.
The shoot started about 9am on Friday morning. It was a big setup with rails for the camera dolly and stuff like that.
Myles told me that the whole commercial is filmed in HD - High Definition. Awesome quality, he said that 1 second of film takes up about 1GB of hard drive space.
First setup was the camera going in a straight line towards the table. I did 7 or 8 tricks with that cam angle, almost half the day went by really quickly.
The hardest thing was to do tricks on command. When Myles yelled Action, the camera started moving, I had to wait, then he yelled Anders Left hand, then Anders right hand.
Since they only needed my hands there was no full body shot or interviews, so I couldn’t plug 21ace. I did talk a lot to Conrad, the Pokerstars representative, and he was really curious on how I got this gig, and I told him it was through 21ace.com, and he picked up his mobile phone and asked for the address again, so he put the 21ace address in his phone, that’s better then nothing. I also told everyone there about 21ace.
When Conrad walked in he went right over to me and shook my hand, then he turned my hand and looked at my watch and nodded.
And one other thing is those chips Pokerstars provided was those crappy dice chips, and I told Conrad my thought about these chips, and he totally agreed with me =)
And I got to meet Isabella (No Mercy) Mercier that was really cool, she’s one of the best female poker players in the world, but she was very down to earth, she’s gorgeous too. Sorry to say I was just leaving for the Heathrow when they started her shoot =(
I’m really happy about the whole trip and all the people involved, Myles, Adam, Conrad, Ed the camera man and his crew were really awesome.
When we got to the studio I picked up my camera and it just died, I told Adam I needed some new batteries, 15 min later I had 4 new to put in my camera.
Pokerstars wanted 6 Tricks for the shoot; we recorded 12 tricks I think. Lot’s of ambidex tricks can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like. I’ll get the DVD when it’s done edited.
The whole trip was free, Myles said they had an budget of 450-500 L and when that limited time I think my flight ate most of the budget, but I don’t really care cause the whole experience was so awesome, and I got lots of Pokerstars.com stuff which is cool.
I will post the commercial when I get it from Myles, if I can.
If I get to rate this trip on scale from 1 to 10, I rate it 1 million!!
Primitive, but effective cheating
Some may find this somewhat disappointing. There’s nothing revolutionary about it and it isn’t at all impressive. Want my advice? Give it a shot, and then come back to me.
I used this method just last week (as of this writing). To be frank, I don’t cheat people for money, so we were playing cards for chips. Honestly, I’m somewhat concerned about playing for money, simply because I refuse to cheat people of their money and yet I can’t seem to sit down at a game of cards without cheating. Anyway, be that as it may, this was abnormal for me, considering most of the time it starts to get flamboyant, especially as I get bored. You see a lot of four of a kinds and royal flushes turning up, in fact I remember one time where four out of ten hands were royal flushes, imagine that! You’d think the odds would dictate otherwise!
But I’m getting off track. The method here involves simply giving your self an edge and this occurs quite simply. The beauty being, it’s virtually undetectable and you’re never drawing enough attention to yourself to make it seem like you’re cheating, just enough so that, over time, the chips start to add up.
Your goal here is to know at least one of your opponent’s cards in a game of Texas Hold’em. (Of course it would work even better for stud poker, and ideally you’ll know both of your opponent’s cards, but we like to start small), it’s amazing how much that tiny little edge helps over the long term. You also have to keep in mind that the more people you’re playing with the more difficult this becomes.
The basic technique here is the peek while you riffle shuffle. This is much easier than it may at first seem to someone who’s never tried it before. Cut the top half of the deck to the right and the bottom half of the deck to the left (which way you go is important, not because it’s impossible to do it the other way; it’s just easier to do it this way). Now, you’re going to perform dovetail riffle shuffles. This technique is well described in my e-book and many other sources for those who aren’t familiar with the shuffle. While performing the shuffle, you’ll simply bend the inner corners up far enough with your thumbs that you can see the indexes. Don’t worry about the right hand packet, it will take care of itself, your concern is going to be the left hand packet (which happens to be the one whose indexes are easier to see, hence why you cut it left). (See figure 1 to observe the visible indexes).
The only skill you are going to need here is some basic shuffle control and by that, I don’t even mean any shuffling controls, but just some degree of control over your shuffle. You’ll riffle the packets together and make sure the top card from the left hand packet is held back till last so it’s on top. Peek the card and memorize it. Now repeat the process, but this time, riffle off the left hand packet slightly faster so you end up with a small block of cards left in the right hand packet by the time you get to the last card in the left hand packet. Glimpse the index of the last left hand card and let it fall on top of the remaining cards in the right hand packet. You now know the value of the top two cards of the deck. Repeat this process as many times as you like or as many times as you can manage. If you’re playing a heads up game of Hold’em, then in four shuffles you will know both your cards and both of your opponent’s cards. Personally I find more than five cards starts to get tough, but in a five-player game that gives you knowledge of one card that each player holds, an advantage that turns out to be huge over the long term. Of course the important thing in this process is to make sure you don’t disrupt the cards you’ve already memorized, but it takes almost no practice to alter the shuffle in such a manner that this is the case. Also, as you become familiar with the process, you may find you are able to add two or three cards to the top in a single shuffle (memorize an additional two or three cards).
Now if you get lucky, and end up with a pair of cards showing up (which is entirely possible), it is pretty easy to stack just two cards and so you can do that in order to further improve your odds. This is especially the case since you have some idea of how the cards are positioned by the time you stumble on its mate. For example, say you’ve shuffled four times and have memorized the following from the bottom up: 2H, 4S, QD, 5C. Say there are five players and on the fifth shuffle you get another 2. It’s an easy matter to change your shuffling as follows. Hold back that one card with the left hand as normal and hold back the packet with the right (not actually hold back, but time it so you are left with a packet), but instead of dropping the left card on top of the right packet, release all the right packet except one card, then drop the left card, followed by the second 2. (If you can, memorize the final left card as you drop it, we’ll assume it’s a queen of clubs). The pair of two’s are currently stacked for the first player in the game. From this point on, if you add one card they are stacked for the second player, if you add two, they are stacked for the third player, if you add three they are stacked for the fourth player and if you add four they are stacked for you. You could continue your process adding cards one at a time over four shuffles, but it’s a very simple matter to hold back two cards rather than one with your left hand, and thereby accomplish the feat in two shuffles rather than four. As you progress, you’ll be able to hold back four cards (if you do this by sight it’s fairly easy) and thus accomplish it in one shuffle. The only caution is that the more cards you add to the top of the right hand packet, the more cards you need to hold back on the next shuffle in order to avoid disrupting your stack. It’s easy, but it’s something to be aware of. The advantage you’ve just given yourself is huge. Not only do you hold a pair right from the start, but you know one of the two pocket cards of every other player at the table. This offers two advantages. First, it gives you a good idea of what their best hand is, but also, by knowing what other players are holding, you can have a good idea what they’re second card is not. For example, because you have both a queen of diamonds and a queen of clubs in this example, we know that no other player could be holding either of those cards and thus couldn’t complete a three of a kind, or a straight using them.
This raises one final question, the cut. In some soft games you’ll find people don’t cut the deck, they don’t think about it, and this method is perfect for those cases. In cases where it is standard fare to cut the deck you have to get around that and there are many methods of doing so. But I’ll save those for another article.
Without members a forum would be pretty boring. Without new members a forum would not improve thus adding to its boringness. So this is just the little piece of the newsletter that allows us, the members of 21ace, to extend a heart felt welcome to all those that have joined the 21ace community this month.
Eric and Shadow – Technical Support.
Fattyonadiet – Editor.
Pokerfanatic, Drey, DeadPeopleAllOver, TheEMan and Anon – Authors.