"My heroes have always been pocket cowboys."
August 18, 2014 11:49 AM   Subscribe

That was lovely.
posted by Mr. Six at 12:03 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]

That would've been a pleasure to watch even if he was just flipping over random cards.
posted by Flunkie at 12:05 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]

Love Willie. That was a neat trick. His soothing voice helps.
posted by 724A at 12:12 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]

Would love to know how he did that.
posted by 724A at 12:25 PM on August 18

I've seen this trick before, will now look it up again. It really is a stunner and simple when you're privy to the mechanics of it.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:34 PM on August 18

... as I get to the ending, I don't think I've seen it end as eloquently. Well done.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:37 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]

If you find it would you mind posting a link here? I'd love to know how it works.
posted by Jick at 12:38 PM on August 18

I could have enjoyed six hours of Willie Nelson performing a card trick. Or doing damn near anything. Man's a national treasure.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:46 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]

I know a variation of that which uses the same basic method. He did that nicely.
posted by Decani at 12:50 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]

I can't find it, I don't think it's Sam The Bellhop, or if it is it's done without the need for the fancy cutting skills that I see it being done with on youtube. Sorry, as expected it's hard to find a card trick on google search without knowing the name.

Pointers for those searching, also spoilers I suppose: It's a stacked deck trick and involves, as I recall, no slight of hand at all really.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:54 PM on August 18

I'm an (ex) magician of the old school in that I do not believe in giving away the secrets of tricks, but I think this one is not hard to work out - or at least, it's not hard to work out the principal trick. So I'm going to explain it. Of course, the principal trick is that the deck is pre-stacked in the necessary order to make the story come out right. What fools people is that the spectator is allowed to cut the deck. But cutting the deck does not shuffle it, it just, duh, cuts the deck. The stack is only phase-shifted by the cut, if you will, not destroyed. The crafty bit is the "He went to one street, two streets..." ruse. You'll notice Willy turns those groups of cards face up before he does the "...and four houses" bit. What he's doing there is looking at the cards to see where the stack has been shifted to. There's a quick, shorthand way to figure out how many cards you need to move during this phase to basically undo the effects of the cut and get the stack back in order. Once you've done that, you proceed with the next bit of the story.

That's it.
posted by Decani at 12:59 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]

Would love to know how he did that.

Well, he's got friends on 6th Street, 7th Street, 8th Street . . .
posted by The Bellman at 1:03 PM on August 18 [15 favorites]

This made me happy, and will make my son happy, because he loves card tricks and Willie Nelson.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:05 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]

Question: Is there anything greater than Willie Nelson?

Answer: No, there is not.
posted by scody at 1:06 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]

By the way, when I used to do my variation of this trick, I would always start by giving the deck a couple of false shuffles, which Willy didn't do. It's a little thing really, but it does add a bit to the mystery.
posted by Decani at 1:26 PM on August 18

Why is it important that the houses be dealt out face down? I guess because otherwise you'd always see the flush?
posted by Jick at 1:29 PM on August 18

What's even more impressive is that Willie was probably stoned as a bejesus when he did the trick.
posted by 724A at 1:31 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]

That was surprisingly intimate for a card trick. Thanks Willie Nelson :)
posted by Meatafoecure at 2:34 PM on August 18

Wonderful, thanks.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 3:13 PM on August 18

While I appreciate the explanations, and deep down realized that that's probably how it was done, the story and mystery have a beauty the revelation doesn't. I'll give in to the wonder.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:17 PM on August 18

"I'll give in to the wonder."

Willie Nelson is a wizard, privy to secret and powerful magicks.

But we already knew that.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:55 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]

I'm very fond of Willie Nelson and I found this simply charming. I'm happy to see that he is properly appreciated on the blue. Thank you Atom Eyes; this just makes my day.
posted by Anitanola at 9:42 PM on August 18

Thanks, Atom Eyes, for taking my mind off of Ferguson for a minutes, and for introducing me to yet another awesome facet of Wille Nelson.

That was surprisingly intimate for a card trick.

It's called "close-up" magic. I enjoy it as a casual spectator; someone here might know some good links to try.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:48 AM on August 19

While I appreciate the explanations, and deep down realized that that's probably how it was done, the story and mystery have a beauty the revelation doesn't. I'll give in to the wonder.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:17 PM on August 18

And this is precisely the attitude most magicians seek to achieve in their audience. People who aggressively demand the explanation for tricks without putting in the effort to discover them via the same routes magicians do depress me. The whole reason I got into magic was because I loved the feeling of being amazed. Long after I learned many magical secrets I always got - and still get - far, far more pleasure out of being "fooled" by a good magician than of being able to say "Oh, I know how s/he did that." This is why I have very mixed feelings about the likes of Penn and Teller.

I treasure the involuntary look of astonishment on someone's face when I pull off a good trick. I treasure the same thing in myself when someone else pulls off a good trick, and amazes me.
posted by Decani at 10:58 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]

The three of hearts was a marker. It's usually the last card on the last street before he deals houses face down. I noticed because the porter is also a three and I mistook the 3 of hearts for the porter once when he was laying down houses and I thought, oops. But no.
posted by not that girl at 6:26 PM on August 19

Here's Bill Malone turning this routine up to 11.
posted by soonertbone at 2:14 PM on August 22

Preposterous and fantastic.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:26 AM on September 10

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