Don Alan Project/Christmas Sale December 23 2017

In 1996 the Don Alan book: A Class By Himself was put out by L&L Publishing.

Featured was an analysis and explanation of Don's act--which he had filmed for Joe Stevens in (Vol 28 of the Greater Magic Video Library).

Audience management, prop choice, how to build and maintain momentum, and the psychology of patter are the hallmarks of Don Alan's work. 

There's a candidness missing from these kinds of works.

Luckily Jon Racherbaumer included a transcription of an audio track he recorded of Don at Earl Christenberry's house in Metairie, LA on April 30, 1990.

Don discusses the fine points of his act--much of which was not included in the book or the video.

I recently found the ORIGINAL 1-hour cassette tape of this private discussion.

Only a short section on the Chop Cup was transcribed, but there's much more on the two-sided tape.

I'm transferring this to digital and working on a small booklet to round it out.

Now, we'll be able to add these important bits of wisdom to our working knowledge.

Stay tuned.

On another note, I have a sale running through Christmas.

Buy 2 Talks and get 1 Free

These are full lectures on topics I enjoy...mainly card tricks!

Bonus videos and full booklets (PDF) are included.

Well, that's it for now folks.

Have a Great Christmas.

2018 here we come.


PS There are only 8 single Marlo Mattes available and once they are gone, only 25 Full Sets will be available--we're closing in on the 50 set mark.

Check 'em out!

From the Ground Up October 14 2017

A few months ago I was organizing the Marlo pictures from Racherbaumer and I paused on a vivid shot.

For purely selfish reasons I thought, "Man, this would look great as a poster on MY office wall." 

I also thought that maybe a few guys out there would like the same.

A friend suggested that we go a bit more elegant.

One poster is good, but a double-matted print of the original photo--add to that a card from one of Marlo's decks and write a short but informative information card and we could have a beautiful represented piece of card magic history.

So I thought that sounds challenging...can we do it?

My dream is to continue to get Marlo's special class of magic--rare and unpublished--to his fans.

And since I was taught by one of Marlo's main propagators I intend to continue these efforts.

Your interest, questions, suggestions, and support are important and much appreciated.

These early artistic pieces are my way of showcasing the very best of Marlo, which is my aim with every related project to come. 

We were able to get the photos scanned and printed and find a company that can cut 50 Choice Marlo Mattes--five in the series--add to that a protective backing, and we have something we can be proud of.

Much better than a poster!

There are other things to share.

We want books!

I do too!

Here's to passion and preparation--now for the followthrough.

Stay tuned.

Yours In Magic,


PS I'll be at this years Tri-C Convention in November and I'm preparing ten full sets of the Choice Marlo Mattes. 

Please let me know and I'll set aside a set for you.

If you're not going, let me know and I can prepare a titled and numbered set and send it your way.


Onto the Riverboat June 01 2017

Since moving to New Orleans, I've toyed with the idea of developing a Riverboat Gambler character.

Sitting with a group at a table and spinning tales of fortunes won and loss on a turn of a card.

But, sometimes the ideas in your head don't translate well into action and I haven't had the opportunity to put anything into performance yet.

Until now.

I recently booked a show for a party on a Riverboat here in New Orleans.

They want me to sit at a table and do three 15 minute sets.

Here's my opportunity to throw some bits in as reference to the boat and the old-time riverboat cheats!

So, the first few minutes will be some non-card close-up magic and then lead into the gambling stuff with Skinner Monte and then into the second and third phase of Synergistic Poker (Playing Heavy and Push-Through Poker):

That combo will give me ample opportunity to drop in some riverboat gambler character lines.

We'll see if this idea gels.

Either way it'll be fun finding out.

Yours in Magic,


PS There are also a number of gambling themed effects in my booklet Next Stop...Larceny!

There's a new premise shared in a short and punchy routine called Marked Second that I recommend checking out.

ALONE ENOUGH WELL September 10 2016

You can see by the title of this post that some variations don't work too well.

It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole when it comes to variations of effects and moves.

I rarely publish variations upon variations.

But, my impulse is to not leave well enough alone.

I tend to work an effect until I'm happy and then it goes into my sets and onto the page.

However, I am not one to "stop thinking too soon", so I continually go back to the themes that ignite my creative fire.

Ace Assemblies and the Travelers are two themes I've gone back to time and again.

I've come up with numerous and different versions that have delighted my audiences of both laymen and magicians.

But, few have been shared to a wide audience and I want that to change.

I think they're good. 

There I said it.

Besides being clear and direct (delivering a hard punch), they have elements that can be used to generate new approaches and methods to other effects.

This Monday I'll be sharing seven exciting versions of the Travelers where four signed Aces travel like magic to four different pockets with the Audience First Members. 

If you're not yet a member, you can check out the previous four talks along with the pdfs and bonus videos at $25 (until Sunday at midnight when they each go back up to $40). 

Of course, members receive all this for $11 a month or $100 a year.

I'm excited to share the many wonderful approaches and ideas to get the most bang out of this fantastic routine along with versions of Jack Carpenter's "Pocket Interchange" and Sadowitz' "The More Things Change".

Seven exiting experiments in managing multiple cards to multiple pockets with minimal palming.

Come join the fun.

Yours In Magic,


Become a member and receive the ever growing archive of unique card magic:

LEAVING MAGIC (A)LIVE! August 19 2016

I haven't left Las Vegas yet.

400 hundred riffle shuffles later and too many sessions and conversation to list here...though I now have many stories to share in the near future), I'm still at the Orleans Hotel and preparing for my departure towards San Francisco.

Yes, my busking journey with D'Artagnan continues.

Don't ask me how the shows at the convention went because I didn't attend any.

I go where the action is and it usually involves Allan Ackerman and few other crazy cardicians that sit for hours in a small room shuffling, dealing, and twisting as many Aces as we can until we finally tip the work or tip over!

But, I survived and was able to meet many friends that I've been recently coorisponding with.

The Audience First group was represented well and while we didn't all get to meet, or spend too much time going over fine details, I was able to meet some and that makes me happy.

When I was young, I was more focussed on finesse and idea.

And while I still get excited about an invisible pass and the timing it is done within a performance, I find myself more interested in meeting the people that share the same passion and connecting with them.

And as a celebration of this I'd like to connect with you and share some items that I shared with excited convention goers.

For the weekend and until I get settled in San Francisco for the next month or so for another bout of busking, I want to open up the Audience First material thus far:

For those who are already members, I'll be giving a bonus talk this month (day and times still pending).

That will be two talks on the Travelers and related effects.

Stay tuned for the details.

Until then, I'll be recalling all the fun that happened over the last few days and sharing them with you.

Thanks again for your interest in my adventures.

Yours In Magic,


PS If you are not yet a member and have any questions about Audience First, please drop me a line, email, private message, or just knock on the Van door (the dog doesn't bite).

A place for your tricks July 01 2016

To butcher Carlin, "I made an even smaller version of my road, what do I bring?!"

So, I took the train from Union Station to the St. Peter Station in Milwaukee for a quick lecture.

I decided to make a big change to the first half.

I constructed a synergistic routine (thanks Racherbaumer) where the method of each of the four tricks was accomplished within the performance of the first trick.

In other words, I used one of the great ideas of Stewart James that he used in his method for 51 Faces North.

As much as this method was disappointing to some, it would be a loss if this ingenious strategy would be lost.

So, I created a web of deception that, when coupled with the important suggestion by Brother John Hamman ("I always think of my audience first"), allowed me to accomplish some of the most direct delivery of classic tricks I have yet to accomplish with more traditional methods.

Also, I was able to get four signed Aces to four different pockets with only one palm three times in a row! 

And just yesterday I decided to include this complete construction in my October Audience First Talk.

We need to first establish a few things in August and September with my Travelers' methods and the Monk's Way Talk.  

It was a devious interplay of ideas I've developed over the last twenty years and it all came together last night in Milwaukee.

Twenty-three words no one has ever said before...

Your's In Magic,


PS If you'd like to get in on the mailing list and a FREE PDF:



Pick a Tooth, Any Tooth May 03 2016

And then reality sets in.

For the last few months, I've had an unrelenting toothache.

However, the pain seemed to be coming from one part of my mouth.

While under strong pain medication, I realized that the pain was actually coming from a different area of my mouth.

Isn't that interesting?

Maybe so.

But, unless you're a dentist (hobbyist or professional) what does this have to do with card tricks and anything YOU'RE interested in?

Well, it seems silly to say, but I also realized that this indirect pain was like my publishing career.

(I did mention I was on strong painkillers!) 

Early on in my pcareer I self-produced booklets and other media.

I also had a goal to connect with bigger magic producers.

Of course, they would help get my material out to the larger magic community.

I've worked with numerous companies over the years and as I came closer to reaching my goal, I discovered that I had become a number on their top 2,000 list.

The new tricks come in...the hoopla ensues...and then they are almost immediately added to the ever growing product list.

So, I decided to pull the tooth that was giving me the real pain and redirect my efforts to my audience.

And besides the wonderful groups of people who stop, watch, and respond to my performances, I have another audience that is just as important.

These are the ones who want a more robust experience with the magic they acquire.

They are the focus of Audience First:

I have a few goals with this series of talks.

That is, to create talks that are directed at the needs of the participants--giving them options that work for them and their own audiences.

To share my magic directly with them, along with numerous learning tools (bonus videos and pdfs). 

Finally, to connect with these people in real ways--ways that couldn't be a reality while working with the Big Producers.

I know that I can give so much more than I was able to before and had made a serious plan to do it.

And now it's a reality.

My mouth and mind feel much better!



PS We're officially counting down to the next Audience First Talk: Playing Heavy.

This starts on May 7th at 2pm (CST).

Get on the bus, we're moving ahead:

Never Stop Thinking April 25 2016

Too soon?

Or is it too late to add more to already robust talk coming up for all Audience First Members?

I learned much from the first live talk: In-Vestment.

The suggestions of the participants and my own ideas have allowed me to continue to add to next month's talk: Playing Heavy.

There will be three e-books and eleven bonus videos (all shot in my new office studio and in HD). 

Add these to the Live Interactive Talk, along with the supplemental booklet, and the gang will sure get their $11 worth!

I've shared some of this preliminary work on my "Playing Heavy" with Allan Ackerman and this is what he had to say:

"You've created a brand new routine with your Playing Heavy.  It has a different plot, it's logical,  it will bring a chuckle and a big smile to any audience, and is very fooling.  This routine is going in my repertoire.”


And I didn't share the added material with him.

Members of Audience First will also learn a new technique that I call the Perry Switch.

This is unlike any other exchange idea thus far.

And this is just month two of the series.

No, it's never too late to add fresh, fooling magic, that is also fun to do.

Yours In Magic,


PS If you're not signed up for my mailing list (plus a FREE pdf and killer card stuff):

From H.D. to HD April 20 2016

Some people say I make creative connections.

I think my connections are mostly silly.

It's true, I'm a silly guy who takes sharing my work very seriously.

But, we have to have fun with all this and a sense of humor should go hand and hand with the seriousness of say, eight tabled faro shuffles.

Last week I got rid of some of my books. I know, it seems drastic. But as the old saying goes: drastic times...well, you know the rest.

Here's why.

Years ago I had the hope of being an English teacher while also performing, creating, and writing about magic.

As I neared my degree, those parallel paths began to diverge and I had to make a difficult decision.

Should I teach the Imagist poetry of Hilda "H.D." Doolittle to indifferent students, or teach advanced theory and practice of sleight of hand to enthusiastic ones?

Guess which one I chose?

And this decision came to it's completion last week.

I got rid of some, not all, of my dusty Literary Theory, Secondary Education, and the H.D. Companion books and replaced them with new lighting and an HD camera, so I can focus on my Audience First series:

Half of my office is now a video studio. I use that term loosely.

But, you'll be happy to know that I was able to film eleven bonus videos and am preparing for my next talk on my new "Playing Heavy" routine. 

This will feature more bonus items including three booklets and bonus videos to add to the in-depth live talk.

By the way, no magic books were harmed in the making of this studio.

Yours In Magic,


PS To get Audience First in its fullest form and to recieve the bonus videos and booklets every month, check out the best options here: 

I Heard About This Guy Who... April 08 2016

I had traveled to Toronto a few months back to get on the road with Ben Train and give some talks.

At one of the stops, we had gone to a restaurant after the lecture, and I ate and watched some of the guys do their stuff.

I really don't get to see a lot of magic unless I'm traveling or at a convention, so I love when I get a chance to get out on the road. 

So, we're at the restaurant and this kid starts telling me this story he heard.

It was at a Second Deal Convention and the "boys" were card-tricking it up. One of them had stayed up for two days doing non-stop card tricks and moves. And the guy fell asleep at the table.

But what made this so memorable was that he fell asleep while in the middle of executing a move he was showing to the other guys.

Now, I know this story well.

In fact, not only did the guy fall asleep in the middle of the move, when he opened his eyes and realized he hadn't finished it, he then completed the move!

I know this story well because the move a fell asleep in and eventually finished when I woke up was later published in Wesley James' Mojo Magazine.

It all comes back around.

Yours In Magic,


If you haven't signed up for Audience First, there are two days left to get started with In-Vestment:

Already it's making an impact with participants.

"I'm already practicing using this tool to make one of my favorite tricks, Chicago Opener, something I can do in the middle of a set or even use as a closer.  I really enjoyed watching how you applied these techniques to Cards Across and have already fooled people with this beautiful effect."

-Jason Simonds
 Pace, FL

Let Ghosts Be Your Mentors March 30 2016

My mentors are ghosts. That's a mysterious way to say I learned from old books. 

My closest living mentor was a bit unorthodox.

He didn't explain to me how to hold a deck, or use this particular method, or use the pinky to pivot the card. It wasn't like that. He left most of that up to me.

He introduced me to Marlo and he gave me hints on how to approach this whole card magic thing.

And this approach has guided me along the way to better magic.

So, now I'm in a position to share some of my findings. I'm not a mentor. I'm a student of students of students.

I'm here to help in any way I can.

I'm reaching out to serious students with my:

This will be the way I connect with you. PDFs and DVDs are one thing, but this is designed to be a vibrant dialogue with interested and excited people.

This is no course. Your course is your own. Think of this as I always thought of Racherbaumer.

My upcoming talks are sign posts up ahead. Your next stop: The Reynolds Zone.

Yours In Magic,


PS Here's how to sign up for my mailing list (and get a FREE pdf):

Across and Connected March 25 2016

When I was twenty one, I traveled to New Orleans for the first time. In fact, it was my first trip anywhere on my own. I guess you could say I lived a sheltered life until that point.

But, I had also lived a life within books and I like to think my travels had been verified in unique ways because of that.

I've always enjoyed immersing myself in the ideas of the great close-up magicians of the past and, in some ways, connecting with them--privately.

And this interplay enlivened me to get up and get out. To perform and step on the road. To seek.

So, in 1998 I took a trek to New Orleans for the SAM convention. This opened up a new age for me. The age of connectivity to other like minded cardmen and magicians. To enthusiastic beginners, contemporaries, and masters.

These kinds of connections are what make me continue to create and share. I feel I'm able to change things, perhaps in small way, maybe bigger ways.

This connection is about to grow with Audience First:

Please, take some time to read and watch this.

Let's get connected.



PS If you wish to get on my mailing list, please go here and recieve a FREE PDF and start the connection:

The Perfect Bar Top March 06 2016

The owners I worked with wanted me for their newest restaurant.

I stopped in from time to time during the construction and fell in love with the long bar they were putting in--the final product was a twenty-foot glossy topped bar that was three-feet deep.

The pacing of a bar set is much different than that of a table-hopping scenario and I learn real quick to slow down, drawing out (and not dragging out) my performances.

In this mindset, my body language relaxed and I became much more conversational. I stepped back on my heals and hooked my thumbs in the vest pockets and basked in the reactions.

It was this pose that became the starting point for one of the most devastating techniques in my arsenal. A subdued tactic that would later change the way I solved methods and delivered magic moments.

It reminds me of a line from one of Racherbaumer's books.

"The effect struts and blusters in the spotlight; the move invisible abides."

Yours In Magic,


PS Sign up for my mailing list and get a FREE ebook and access to the Work:

Z SHUFFLE CLIP February 22 2016

It's been three years since I started writing for Magic Magazine. The Monk's Way and Your Magic are going strong.

And a huge benefit is I've been able to participate in the last two Magic Live! conventions.   
Last year I was part of the Experts at the Card Table, though I still consider myself an eager student, where I talked about the details of the Z Shuffle--Meir Yedid informed me Herb would be happy with that title, since that's what he called it.

I'm not big on trailers of this kind, but here's a clip of three consecutive demos that you might enjoy:

In six days I'll be sharing further explorations of the Starting Grip and its value in other false shuffles, the origins of the Bottom-Line Zarrow Shuffle, and further thoughts on this valuable tool called Beyond the Z:

I'll talk about false shuffles/stacking/blocking off and how these techniques are made more deceptive with an understanding of the starting grip. I'll also teach a little known Marlo tactic which will allow you to execute a stripout shuffle from starting grip...which may not sound like much, but just try it!

Next, I'll go into an underground full-deck false shuffle idea from Juan Tamariz with my get-ready strategies. I consider this off the charts for full deck retention.

Finally, I'll expand the applications of the Bottom-Line technique in other false shuffles making them as deceptive as they can be.

All this work is exclusively available to those who have purchased my "Z." DVD.

I hope you join me for the first of many Live Events.

Yours In Magic,


PS The next Live Event will be on the In-Vestment and how to use it to make your tricks into damn! 

Blind Shuffle Bluff and the Bottom-line Idea February 15 2016

I remember being struck with an epiphany when I read the Book Review of Beyond Erdnase in Olram File #4 in my early 20's. The chapter heading called Blind Shuffle Bluff made me think of subtle ways to false shuffle a deck.

I knew Zarrow Shuffles and stripouts and pushthroughs, but this called upon ideas that seemed like the fantastic and idealized Real Work. I set my mind to it and worked out a method that unfortunately was the basis of an underground idea from Juan Tamariz. So, I've sat on it.

However, this didn't stop me from re-thinking the whole thing and developing the Bottom-Line Zarrow Shuffle:

Over the years the basic idea of Tamariz has leaked out from its prominent position of secrecy into the mainstream having been mention and developed by Derek Delgaudio and Christian Engblom. 

I've not been sitting on my hands since I first shared this on the Second Deal website at the turn of the century (that's fun to say!). I'm ready to share this special technique along with my further developments on the Bottom-Line idea and how it can be applied in other false shuffles to heighten their deceptiveness.

Just a heads up.



PS Learn more about the Beyond the Z Live Event coming up in two weeks: 

For Whom the Bell Tolls? January 31 2016

It tolls for thee. You have till midnight tonight (1/31/16) to get the MONK-SEEKS-MORE DEAL for $39 and the $5 PDFs.


1. Seek 52 was a DVD first available in 2006. It features tricks that first gained me a reputation in the card world and also in the bars of my home town. These were designed with real audiences in mind and have the added benefit of being different enough to surprise and often fool well-posted cardmen. These were my first musings of an approach I would later call The Monk’s Way.

2. The Monk’s Way was a DVD first available in 2012. It features tricks designed using many of this insights I learned from an approach pioneered by Brother John Hamman. It also stems from the detailed and obsessiveness of Edward Marlo. Imagine this combination filtered through the active repertoire of a professional restaurant magician. You get deviously direct effects that are designed to fool and entertain.

3. More is a compilation of a few of my latest ideas and is shared with those who by both Seek 52 and The Monk’s Way downloads. It includes some subtle routines that pack a real punch. Paris Slant Goes to Vegas adds a surprise blackjack blow off to a Sanvert/Racherbaumer routine. Don't Look Now! Another Illusion is my extended variant of the Larry Jennings’ classic. A Saint Louis Lesson is a simplification and elaboration of Terry LeGaurald’s Las Vegas Final Exam. Finally, Eas(ie) Queen(ie) Mont(ie) is my simplified handling and extension of the Bill Simon’s Queen Monte.

Combined you get 4 hours of card stuff that is different than anything out there and is both fun for your audience and fun to perform. Don’t miss out on this deal and the great magic it showcases.


1. You will have routines that can entertain both laymen and magicians. These tricks and techniques will teach you how to infuse subtlety in robust routines that stand up over time. These routines were part of my third book, Under the Radar (2003), which is currently out of print. These methods are direct in structure, making the effects look like magic.

2. In The Monk’s Way you will have a peek inside of what makes subtleties work  within sleight of hand methods and learn balance and how they work together to make powerful magic. You’ll also get to see the real dynamics of the teacher-student collaboration as if you were sitting there at the table enjoying the session.

3. The routines in More are little known and so you’ll have in your repertoire routines that are quick, direct, and trouble free. The routines were designed to get challenging routines or older routines into the hands of aspiring students who wanted more robust effect and easier handlings. You will not get simple personalized variation. You will get fully revamped and reimagined routines to add to your active repertoire.




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The T.D. Lonyer Factor January 23 2016

Sometimes an accidental introduction can lead to big things.

I knew no one at the 1998 SAM convention in New Orleans, except Racherbaumer. But, he was hardly around. Could you blame him? He had the home-town advantage. I imagined him at some secret session in the catacombs. 

I, on the other hand, was sessionless. With no other connections besides the books in the dealer's room and having never initiated a session, I remained alone sitting at a table shuffling cards and waiting for something to jump off. 

My eyes were pointed towards the deck as I riffled away, when I heard a voice say, You do card tricks?

Do I do card tricks?, I thought. I had been diligently studying the Work and was eager to meet other enthusiasts. Thanks for asking, whoever this was!

The gentleman sat down and asked me to show him something. I showed him a few things that I had been working on from Jon's Card Finesse 2.

His eyes bugged and he feverishly asked, Where did you learn that

He was a student of Jon's and I just showed him things that his teacher had shown him in the wee hours of late night sessions. These were buried items in obscure books. He must have thought, Who the heck is this guy?

There were many big things that would come out from this initial session. Years of collaboration would spur the first online magic lecture and T.D. Lonyer's Tipping Mitt:  

My first session began. The next would be with Spirit Mimosa.



PS Please join my list and receive a FREE booklet and updates of upcoming events. The January Event is on:

The First Internet Lecture Is Back January 19 2016

I'm usually up for anything if it's magic and it's different.

in 2001 Trini Montes asked me if I wanted to lecture using a new kind conferencing call. I never lectured before and I was up for anything. He added,it'll be over the internet

I really had no idea what he was talking about. An online lecture? Absolutely.

Trini and I had no sight on the future or foresight that this approach would become, a decade later, the norm. Trini just wanted to do something magical and different. I just wanted to lecture and be different. 

So, on November 10, 2001 I gave the very first lecture presented over the internet. A young Jared Kopf and Patrick O'Gorman were my assistants and I demonstrated and performed material from my earliest books Cosmic Sport and Arsenal Notes.

There were around twenty TSD members watching the US, England and Europe.

I recently found the VHS copy of the entire lecture and have digitized it. In the weeks to come, I'll make this available as an historic artifact along with my first two books. Stay tuned.



PS Join my mailing list and receive a FREE booklet: 

What's the Big Idea? January 16 2016

What's the BIG idea? I thought it was lapping three of the four cards at the end of Twins. Thanks Bill Malone!

But, it turned out it wasn't.

Three summers ago my restaurant owners opened a brand new restaurant and they wanted me to perform there. They also built a nice big beautiful bar. One look and I said, I have to perform behind that!

I wore my vest, a nice tie, with my sleeves rolled up. I looked sharp and ready to work the bar. Like an old-timey Chicago proprietor.

Unfortunately, one of my go to tricks was Hamman's Twins. Bill's ending was out of the question.

During the first evening I played it cool. I paused regularly. Performance time is much longer behind the bar. I stepped back and hooked my thumbs. It was a great night. On an even keel.

That stance I took with one foot back and hooked thumbs came naturally. But, I was one of those ever vigilant souls looking method or effect possibilities in seemingly unimportant details, I realized something big.

That posture, that moment, gave me the answer.

The very next set I performed Twins with the vanish standing behind the bar. No lapping and no wet cards in the sink!

In-Vestment was born: 

Clean-ups quickly followed, as did add ons and packet switches. Being able the perform Doc Eason's Birthday Card trick presentation on the fly soon followed.

I now use these techniques in my present full-time venue: Busking in the French Quarter.

In-Vestment changed everything.



PS Join my mailing list and get a FREE booklet:

Mardi Gras and the Bottom Deal January 11 2016

Mardi Gras 2014 I was asked by my wife's best friend to watch the door of the hotel she managed for three nights during the parade.

Three nights amounted to twelve hours manning the door making sure no non-guests could get in and harass anyone or vandalize the place.

But, I soon found out that once the hour-long parade had ended, the street cleaners (like magic--it is a site to see) erased every trace of any festivities whatever. That the street became a ghost town.

And so, the next night I brought my worn copy of Erdnase (Dover addition) and dedicated the next three twelve-hour nights to it. Let me point out that it is easy to page through this book and take the momentary pause to study a bit of wisdom or re-read a passage to get the finger positions just right. It's easy to do that.

But, this was not my goal. It was to address one technique: his bottom deal. I was able to take this undisturbed time (except for the occasion guest who needed to drop off bags of beads to her room) to study each line and think about its implication and application.

The result of this exercise? A firm grounding in interpretive study. I say this because I've sat with Erdnase Experts (with capital E's) and their interpretations are much different than mine. But, I think I have cracked it. I think Hoyle would be proud.

I've taken this focused study habit to numerous card techniques over the years including the Side Steal, Ribbon-Spread Hideout, and the Zarrow Shuffle. I've recorded the results in numerous booklets and "Z." DVD which can be found here:

Dig out your Erdnase and re-read his bottom deal in detail. Make your homework count.



PS Get on my list and get a FREE book:

"Z." DVD is Out and Traveling the World August 14 2015

After 23 years, my work on the Zarrow Shuffle is finally out and it's moving further than I ever imagined.

The online response has been tremendous and I've sent DVDs out to the far corners of the world (and New Jersey!). I gave a special talk at this years Magic Live! and the response was very positive.

If you haven't heard of this yet, or aren't sure what you're getting into, please check out my website and find out what Steve Forte, Bill Malone, Jon Racherbaumer, Jack Carpenter, and John Carney think about it at:

Until then, here are the contents with some brief commentary:

1hr 8 mins.
An Unreal Works Production
The Zarrow Shuffle: A Private Lesson

1: A Shift In Thinking--Analyzing the Concept of a False Shuffle

This is where I establish my approach to understanding the distinctions between a true and false shuffle and how to make them look identical.

2. Approaching the Deck--Building the Foundations of the False Shuffle

Here I take you step-by-step into the crux of the work and the details that will get you complete cover in 360 degrees.

3. Making the Split--Cut, Step, and Shallow "V"

An in depth analysis of this critical step that is usually glossed over.

4. The Weave--Low and Flat. Roll and Bevel.

Here I continue to deeply analyze a crucial step and reveal not only how to get a beautiful riffle and maintain critical elements, but why these aspects are important.

5. The Genuine Weave--Straight and True

The mechanics of the True Square Up are established and fully analyzed, giving you a foundation of actions that you'll need during Section 6. At this point you will have a consistent and practical Tabled Riffle Shuffle that, for some, may be worth the price of the DVD since they have been struggling so long to gain this skill. From this point you can finish with any type of Riffle Shuffle strategy and be well on your way to mastering Riffle Shuffle Technique (i.e. Stripouts, Push Throughs, Tabled Faro Riffle Shuffles, Riffle Stacking, etc.)

6. False Weave--Adjust, Spread, Roll, Separate, Push

Here you learn the details on the False Square up, getting complete cover for the "riding block", not only from the front, but from the back as well. This is the most challenging part for some, but I go into exacting detail on getting it into your hands.

Exposed views are provided, plus shots from every practical angle. Everything I know about teaching this technique is in this DVD. The information was not developed in my home, but out in the field during my Workshops for students who have been struggling for years. Again, this is not for the expert (though I feel that this DVD would be welcome into their ever growing bank of Knowledge [this may make you re-think Riffle Shuffles and how they really work]), but for the rank amature wishing to move to a next level, but is lacking good information designed to help them reach this goal. This is for them. 

This is my first MAJOR STATEMENT and CONTRIBUTION--thus the "period" in "Z."

7. Timing--Context, Speed and the Protected Position

Here I show you how to take advantage of the complete cover and thus being able to do a very METHODICAL or a very LOOSE square up. Also, I share an invaluable PRACTICE STRATEGY that will help you learn each detail in a timely manner.

Throughout this DVD I share other valuable practice tips to keep you on track and maintain the other details as you learn and apply them to previous steps you've learned. I help you maintain control of your knowledge as you build your muscle memory.

8. Bringing It All Together--Reviewing the Elements of the False Shuffle

Here I run through the shuffle a few times from different angles.

9. The Bottom-Line Zarrow--A Powerful, Convincing Subtlety

This technique can be applied to your established shuffle and will add a strong sell to the square up. I also share a preliminary cutting sequence to set up for the shuffle.


An in depth Question/Answer segment that reveals my history of this project.

Further Reading

Thank you and keep Shuffling On...



Recently Elliot Terral interviewed me about my involvement with Card Magic. You can read the full interview here:



Moving Along In 2014 February 12 2014

This year has been busy so far. 

I've represented paragon Aviation Group at their trade show here in New Orleans.

The producers of the new movie Mississippi Grind hired me as Magic Consultant.

My Skeleton Key to the Zarrow Shuffle Workshop and the Monk's Way Lecture was a big hit is Southern California.

I will soon be the Official Magician for Smooth Ambler.

My In-Vestment book is ready to ship.

I'll be lecturing at the GGG Convention.

There are so many things planned for this year and it's just February!



2014: The Year of the Monk January 06 2014

Here we go into another year of criss-crossing adventures.

January is Trade Show Time in New Orleans and Lecture Time in San Diego and Orange County, CA.

Then I'm back in town for some serious Magic Writing and Filming.

The Zarrow Shuffle DVD will be out soon and anyone interested in learning how to do this technique deceptively will have everything they need.

Plans for a FULL-BLOWN Mid-West lecture Tour are in the works.

Anything outside of all this is lagniappe.

Happy New Year from