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Trick Review: Texas Fool'Em by Larry Becker and Lee Earle

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Trick Review: Texas Fool'Em by Larry Becker and Lee Earle
Seizing on the interest in poker these days, Larry Becker and Lee Earle have come up with a strong and entertaining mentalism/prediction effect that relies on a poker theme and props. The decisions on the part of spectators are fair ones, yet somehow, you manage to predict several outcomes in a magazine article.

This is an involved effect that is best for a formal close-up show or when you're performing for a small crowd, say, after dinner. The props and poker theme will draw spectators in and the mentalism will slay 'em.

The Story

The trick comes with a compelling (fictional) back story. Seems that back in 1982, the World Series of Poker winner Jack "Treetop" Strauss was competing in a major event at a Las Vegas Casino and busted out early. After Strauss left the table, the dealer noticed a chip where he had been seated. Called back to the table to play the single chip, Strauss won the next hand and eventually, the entire tournament.

With this story, spectators freely cut and deal a starting hand, secretly select the amount of a bet, decide which casino will host the action and make the best hand they can from dealt cards. But in the end, you pull out a magazine clipping that outlines each detail. You've correctly predicted everything.

Great Props

In addition to the fun story, there are the visual and intriguing props that include five genuine clay poker chips in various denominations; ten convincing casino 'VIP cards' that represent Las Vegas casinos and a complete pack of 52 cards that have been assembled from canceled poker decks and bear the back designs of major casinos.

You would probably expect a poker routine with cards and chips to be heavy on the card sleights, but this one mostly relies on an intriguing and brilliant gimmick. There are few "moves" and spectators will have no idea how you accomplished the prediction.

Work It Up

While there is no complicated sleight of hand, the effect takes time to work up and perform. There are lots of sequences to learn and decisions to recall and make along the way. The trick comes with a great routine and a detailed script that's filled with poker lingo, as well as thorough instructions.

With four strong predictions, visual props and a great poker theme, this one is a winner. At $165 it's expensive, but if you're willing to spend the money as well as invest the time to perform this one well, you'll gain a great close-up mentalism effect.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $169.50

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