4Play with Foursome
Michael Vincent Productions
Reviewed by Tim Sutton
If you’re a lover of elegant, engaging and unbelievable card magic, then look no further than ‘4Play with Foursome’, another high-impact, high-quality offering from Michael Vincent Productions. Taking a lead from Mike Close, Michael delivers a pdf containing a thorough written description of the routine, accompanied by Bruce Munton’s crystal-clear photography. In addition, an embedded video shows Michael in live performance. These arrive on a CD-ROM which you can view direct from your PC.
Anyone who has seen Michael perform will be familiar with his unique blend of presentational elegance and invisible technique. At the root of these is his quarter-century-long study of the application of audience psychology, inspired by his studies with Slydini. Michael brings all this to the table in his interpretation of one of his favourite effects, Harry Lorayne’s ‘Foursome’ from Decksterity. To this he adds his streamlining of Andrew Wimhurst’s kicker ending from Down Under Deals.
Talking about the recent rise in popularity in Texas Hold’em, the magician offers to give a demonstration of reading a poker player’s tells. Selecting two participants, he offers each a peek at a card. This done, he spreads through the deck, watching the demeanour of the first volunteer for a reaction. Though she seems to give none, the magician feels satisfied that he has all the information he needs. Turning to the second volunteer, the magician removes four cards from the deck, saying he believes one of them to be his selection. The volunteer confirms that this is so. The magician correctly divines the peeked-at card, and for good measure instantaneously changes the other three cards into its mates.
Turning back to the first spectator, the magician picks up the four-of-a-kind, and chooses the card which he believes to be the same suit as her selection. With a flourish, the card is changed to her card, and as a final cadenza, the three other cards instantly transform to match. This is a highly entertaining routine which piles one astonishment on top of another in a seamless blend of gambling and pure magic.
‘4Play with Foursome’ requires no set-up other than a working surface and a deck of cards. Michael’s text gives full and clear descriptions of the mechanics of the routine, and how the techniques are integrated into performance. The script suggestions, and tips on audience direction and psychology are invaluable, and every episode is accompanied by sharp black-and-white photography, making the learning experience a pleasure.
All sleights are fully described and credited, with references given for further study. The routine is not for beginners, containing side steals, passing and spread-culling, as well as a cunning application of John Carney’s Versa Switch. But if you’re willing to put in the required time, you will have a routine with the power to stun a lay audience. It’s one of those heart-warming tricks that’s supremely satisfying to pull off. Brush up your Pinky Count, and order.
© Tim Sutton, March 2008