The Card Shark Show at The Mayfair Theatre, 29th November, 2012
Presented by Steve Truglia (1962-2016)
This was press night for Steve and the first time he had done the show. There was a table at the front of the theatre with three chairs around it. A large screen was above the stage. A video camera was used so we could see what he was doing on the screen. The two hundred seat theatre was packed.
The show began with a film clip of men talking about a card mechanic who was the best in the business. The film finished with a door opening - and it was then that Steve walked out on stage. Most of the time he performed sitting at the table.
He began by producing the Ace to King of Clubs one at a time, whilst shuffling a pack. He finished by displaying all the remaining cards in full deck order.
He explained about the show and went into a short history of card magic; this included slides of the two books Discoverie of Witchcraft and Hocus Pocus.
He talked about the difference between gamblers and magicians and then went into a card routine to demonstrate this. Shuffled the pack and showed four Aces face up in the middle. He then dealt four hands of cards, each containing an ace and three indifferent cards. One at a time the Ace vanished from three of the packets; and all arrived in the fourth packet.
He got a couple of people up out of the audience, (including the comedian Lee Hurst, who was a guest celebrity): he showed the four Jacks changing places one at a time with four indifferent cards.
He talked a little bit about being in the SAS and how some of the same techniques they use apply equally to gambling. Got everybody to stand up and think of a number between 1 and 10; and explained why most people went for the number 7. He put up 6 cards on a screen and asked everybody to think of one. He then flashed up another image with one card missing; and told people to sit down if their card wasn’t there. He then told those who remained standing that if they had thought of the Queen of Clubs, they were to sit down. Everybody did.
He told a story about Wild Bill Hickock and the Dead Man’s Hand. This was illustrated with film footage, ending with the Dead Man’s Hand (2 Aces and 2 Eights) lying next to a body.
He spoke about Casino Gambling; and brought another person up on stage. Using 10 cards, he let his opponent choose which 5 cards he wanted. Steve ended up with a Royal Flush, thereby beating his opponent - who ended up with the Dead Man’s Hand.
He talked about, and demonstrated, a piece of apparatus known as kepplinger holdout, which is used for cheating by switching in and out various cards during a game.
To illustrate the ‘quick con’ he got four people up, two on either side. He put on a hat and went into a cockney spiel, giving each of them money to bet on. Once again he was using 10 cards and getting them to choose which cards they wanted. He lost three times on the trot, but then won on the final hand. He showed that the three times he had supposedly 'lost', he had actually lost to his accomplice. This was explained on the screen as he was doing it.
He talked about the card gambler Walter Scott and his technique of dealing whilst blindfolded. Steve was blindfolded and sat down with a shuffled pack. Started dealing cards singly onto the table; but as he came to the court cards, he dealt them into a separate hand.
He talked about mentalism and how it was connected with magic. Using a die and a carton cup, he asked audience members to cover the die with the cup. He then told them what number was on top. This was repeated in a variety of ways four times.
He finished by talking about cards used in a Casino. He took out a pack and showed how they were in deck order. He demonstrated bottom and centre dealing and followed that up by dealing a Royal Flush.
For the climax he showed the pack was now back in deck order.