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GAME Review

Official Review

May 9th, 2015 4:44pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
“The Trick That Cannot Be Explained” (TTCBE), created by Dai Vernon, is a classic of magic. The effect is simple. The magician sets aside a prediction, a spectator freely shuffles and cuts the deck, and then, regardless of their actions, when a card is finally arrived upon, it matches the prediction. When performed well, the TTCBE leaves an indelible impression on an audience. The caveat in that sentence is, of course, “performed well.” One of the elements that makes the TTCBE difficult to learn and perform effectively is that it doesn’t have a straightforward method. On the one hand this fact can intimidate magicians who are accustomed to performing with certainty, while on the other it can lead to performances that meander, are lackluster and end with a whimper rather than a bang. Nevertheless, some of magic’s greatest practitioners have TTCBE in their arsenals, and use it to great effect. Unfortunately, the learning curve required to perform it effectively puts off many magicians, myself included.

Luckily, Luke Jermay has made it accessible to the rest of us with his latest release, “The Game.”

Mr. Jermay’s first major addition to the plot was to change the premise. Instead of the performer predicting what card the spectator will choose, the spectator, after freely shuffling and mixing the cards, gives the performer the exact card he or she needs to complete a royal flush in spades. Not only does this approach provide a fantastic emotional hook, but the presentation justifies some of the procedure from the original TTCBE that can occur as a bit arbitrary or strange. For those familiar with the original method, Mr. Jermay’s approach replaces counting and spelling with a similar procedure that is a logical extension of the gambling premise. It’s a deeply elegant solution.

The second of Mr. Jermay’s wonderful contributions was to make the effect sure fire, 100% of the time. This doesn’t simply mean it will have an ending. Instead, his approach guarantees the ending will be a straightforward one, with every action along the way being one that would occur at the gambling table. And, as with the TTCBE, while the path his method follows can vary, the end result, that the spectator gave the performer the one card he or she needed, is always the climax, and the procedure always makes sense. While accomplished practitioners of the TTCBE can also create a similar effect the vast majority of the time, Mr. Jermay’s approach guarantees a hit every time, without years of in-the-trenches experience and training. This isn’t to say the method is “self working” (as no such thing exists), but this aspect of his approach provides a set of training wheels, allowing the performer who wishes to perform the TTCBE the ability to gain experience performing the effect, while still guaranteeing a powerful effect.

Mr. Jermay teaches two versions of his routine, one that requires a special deck and one that does not. The special deck he uses isn’t a unique, gimmicked deck, but a utility deck that in all likelihood is laying around in one of your magic drawers. And while there is one major difference between the two versions, the final effect remains the same. Mr. Jermay is also joined on the DVD by John Archer, who provides excellent counterpoint, asks good questions and who acts as a student learning the routine. The instruction itself is clear and comprehensive, at least as much as it can be with a trick that “cannot be explained.” And while the method cannot be definitively outlined, Mr. Jermay covers a number of different techniques and approaches that will cover the majority of possible situations one might encounter. His solutions are organic, logical, simple and direct, without complicating the plot or adding unnecessary props.

The “Game” by Luke Jermay is an extremely efficient handling of the TTCBE. The premise and approach provide a logical and engaging hook without confusing the plot, limit the need for improvisation without diminishing the effect, uses a procedure that is always consistent with the established premise, all within a structure that guarantees a strong ending. The “Game” provides a strategy the neophyte interested in attacking the plot can use, while offering subtleties and ideas an experienced practitioner can apply to their own approach. I give this my highest recommendation.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for GAME

Author: Jermay, Luke
Publisher: Vanishing Inc.
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $29.99
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Manufacturer's Description:

Roberto Giobbi, Michael Weber, R Paul Wilson, Daniel Madison, John Archer, Asi Wind have all played Jermay's "GAME" and now it's your turn ... "GAME" is Jermay's professional handling of Dai Vernon's classic "Trick That Cannot Be Explained" that brings this previously opaque, challenging, and difficult concept to the hands of even the novice.

Full details of performances with your deck, a borrowed pack and alternative handlings are covered in this DVD. A shuffled deck. An impossible prediction. With "GAME" the rules have changed.

"Luke Jermay is as devious as he's clever, and he's a Master at complication - with this take on TTTCBE he might just fool the Devil..."
- Roberto Giobbi

"Intelligent magicians will want to read and learn everything Luke Jermay is willing to share, and the really intelligent ones don't have to be told."
- Michael Weber

"Jermay's GAME is the real deal: deceptive, practical AND impossible."
- R. Paul Wilson

"Jermay is a master at constructing powerful plots packed with interest and theatricality that fool audiences badly. This is masterclass."
- Asi Wind

"Clever and fooling! With layers of devious principles and a great hook, Jermay has created an ingenious twist on a classic effect."
- John Guastaferro

"Once again, Jermay demonstrates how an intriguing and captivating presentation takes a simple plot from a 'that's cool' climax to an 'OMG! NFW!' moment."
- Nicholas Einhorn

"In typical Jermay style, this routine is an absolute, deeply fooling, winner."
- Doug McKenzie

"When I saw Luke perform 'Game' I was totally fooled...the handling is so clean...the effect so impossible. This is seriously deceptive!"
- Marc Paul

"Being genuinely fooled by magic is a wonderful thing. Luke seems to do this effortlessly ... I have no idea how GAME works. I think I'd prefer to keep it that way. Fantastic."
- Wayne Houchin

"There are many tricks you can do, but very few will actually be remembered by your audience. Luke generously decided to share his version of the "Trick That Can't be Explained"... I prefer to call it the trick that won't be forgotten!"
- Luis DeMatos

"Luke has created a perfectly impossible moment; bridging the ultimate gambling demonstration with something mystifying that simply cannot be explained."
- Daniel Madison

"Jermay brings his brilliant thinking to bear on one of card magic's great under-performed effects. Well that's about to change, since what Jermay has brought to the table brings this fantastic trick into the reach of every single magician. Classic Jermay."
- Mark Elsdon

"Those who think of Luke Jermay as "only" a mentalist severely underestimate his all-around magical skills and knowledge-particularly with playing cards. This routine proves that Luke can sit at a card table with the best of them."
- John Lovick

"I have watched "GAME" over and over and over. I'm fooled each and every time. I want this all to myself."
- Robert Smith

"If you are reading this, I'm confident that you are now amongst the good company of the many others that this has fooled. A truly masterful piece, performed by a true master."
- Chris Rawlins

"By putting a lovely theatrical frame around complex ideas, Jermay finds a bit of drama and wonder in what is often a dry card trick."
- Eric Mead

"In Jermay's GAME you'll perform an impossible prediction effect with surprisingly little work! No gambling knowledge is required in this gambling themed effect, i.e. all of the drama with none of the boredom, amazing!"
- Tom Stone

"I love being fooled by Luke Jermay - he could almost be a 21st-century Jedi Knight when it comes to playing tricks with people's minds. His performance of "The Trick that cannot be Explained" left me completely bewildered by the outcome. One of the things I love about Luke's approach to card magic is that it appears to be lacking any kind of recognisable procedure and yet still the outcome is truly inexplicable. Having watched GAME I am left with the feeling I need to revisit this classic plot in preparation for adding Luke's thoughts and analysis to one of the most extraordinary concepts in card magic. Dai Vernon started the conversation, followed by the intervention and creative analysis of many other magicians over the years. I'm very excited that Luke has tackled this problem!"
- Michael Vincent

"Luke thinks about magic on another level and The Game is a perfect example of this. No detail has been left untouched."
- Chad Long

"Finally a version of the truck that cannot be explained that CAN be explained. 'Game' is practical, fun, and enormously fooling."
- Hector Chadwick

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