Review: The Casino Con by Steve Gore and Gregory Wilson

Reviewer: John Teo

“The Casino Con” is an interesting effect that has at least 2 phases.  It is a card trick as it involves playing cards, but not the full deck – it uses a packet of Jokers.  It also has both a mental and a gambling theme.

The actual effect goes like this:

The performer says that he collects playing cards from casinos that have been demolished.  He displays a packet of 10 cards each featuring a different Joker design.  He also displays each of their backs to show that each belongs to a different casino such as Sands, Desert Inn, The Dunes, Stardust, Aladdin, and so on.  

The performer hands a poker chip to a spectator for safe-keeping.  Without looking at it, she keeps the poker chip hidden in her fist.  

The 10 cards are then mixed by this spectator and one Joker is freely chosen.  It turns out to be from the very same casino that is also featured in the chip held in the spectator’s fist.

In the second phase, the 10 Jokers are again mixed and then dealt into 2 hands of 5 cards each, one for the spectator and the other one for the performer.  The spectator’s hand turns out to a hand of one-of-a-kind:  they are all Jokers of different designs!  The performer claims his hand is also one-of-a-kind.  When he displays his hand, instead of the other set of 5 different Jokers, it consists of a royal flush in Spades!  No wonder the casino closed!

If desired, an intermediate phase, between the first and second phase, can be added.  The poker chip of the demolished casino is shown to be of the value of $25.  The performer says that this casino closed some 40 years ago.  This chip today would have easily worth $25,000.  As he says this, the performer magically changes this chip to one that has a printed value of $25,000!

You receive everything necessary to perform this routine:  20 specially printed playing cards, 2 different poker chips, a special wallet to contain the cards, and an instructional DVD.

The cards are beautifully printed, and the 2 poker chips look like the real thing.  The DVD, however, is not so professionally produced.  The audio is alright, but the video loses focus in various instances and the editing is not well done.  Nevertheless, you can still easily follow all the instructions.

5 live performances are featured: 2 are by Steve Gore, 2 by Gregory Wilson, and one by Chris Funk.  Each of the performers has his own style of presentation.  My favourite performer is Gregory Wilson.  Look at the energy he exudes – it is so contagious that everybody surrounding him has caught it and is having such a good time.  Look also at the faces of disbelief of the 2 spectators who assisted him.  This is reward enough for those who perform this routine.

For the second phase, Steve Gore discusses 3 different method of performing it, each one is equally effective.  There is also an expanded discussion between Steve Gore and Peter Turner in the DVD.

The entire routine is well thought-out.  It is easy to do, can be performed surrounded (with a little audience management) and can be re-set quite quickly.  

The theme of gambling and demolished casinos is quite interesting, the props are novel, the mental element provides both the mystery and the required drama.  The 2-phase routine makes it an interactive effect that never fails to entertain any audience.  

Please support intellectual property. Only buy original. Available from all reputable Murphy’s Magic dealers.

10 Stars (10 / 10)

The Casino Con by Steve Gore and Gregory Wilson

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