Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Drunken Poker Deal

The plot of shuffling face-up cards into face-down cards, then dealing a four-hand game of poker, having all your cards arrive face down and all the others face up, including the undealt cards, then showing you have the four Aces, is generally credited to Persi Diaconis (whose method remains unpublished). A good bibliography of this effect is given by Paul Cummins in Precursor, No. 88, Oct. 2003, p. 14-16.

However, Diaconis was preceded by a wide margin by Dr. Daley. See Item 576, “Up and Down Four Ace Run Up,” in Jacob Daley's Notebooks, n.d. (c. 1974), n.p. Daley's and Diaconis's tricks have one difference. In Daley's, the Aces arrive face up. In Diaconis's, they are face down while all the other cards are face up. For another variant, see “Scarne's Drunken Poker Deal” in Scarne on Card Tricks, 1950, p. 124, which combines elements of the face-up face-down poker deal with the surprise transformation of the performer's hand, which comes from another “drunken poker” plot popularized by Stewart Judah. Judah's routine was published as “The Drunken Poker Player or Drunken Gambler” (item 86) in The Lost Notebooks of John Northern Hilliard, 2001, p. 263, where it is described as “one of Stewart Judah's specialties”.


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