Cody Fisher’s Las Vegas Aces is a very nice turn on Larry Jennings Open Travelers. Aces are there one moment, disappear, and reappear in the other hand. It’s one of the basics of magic; “Now you see it… now you don’t”.
Like many effects, the necessary items to make the magic necessary are supplied by Murphy’s Magic, and the instructions are online. Cody teaches the effect in a 17+ minute video.. well produced, clear, and visual. Although the video could have been slightly longer, I don’t think anything was amiss, as Cody taught the handling and then the explanation in a very straight forward manner.
Both the original version and Cody’s version begin with the four Aces being selected from the deck. Unlike the original, Cody provides a gaff to make the handling more user friendly. Both versions have Aces separated by color.. and Aces ‘travel’ from one stack to the other under visually impossible conditions. Two cards and two cards turn to three cards and one card.. and finally one card is placed back in the deck and somehow travels to the stack of three.. reuniting the four Aces. Although the routine is somewhat more complex and entertaining, that’s the basic premise.
Cody’s version is constructed around the idea that you are going to show the spectator how to cheat, or how cheaters cheat in Vegas. It’s all entertainment, but it works in context and flows along at a smooth enough rate to keep the spectator for deconstructing your handling.
To quote Murphy’s: ” What was once a very sleight intensive routine is now almost self-working. There is no difficult sleight of hand or secret palming.”
Honestly… although I have NO qualms whatsoever with Las Vegas Aces, I wouldn’t go quite as far as saying it’s ‘almost self-working’. The gaff makes it infinitely easier than Larry’s original version.. but.. it still requires practice to get the handling and timing down pat. Remember, you’re using five cards instead of four and maintaining invisible doubles isn’t automatic. I’m not implying anyone says it is… I’m only implying that practice and good timing make this work.
There is no doubt in my mind that, with a little practice, you will have an extremely nice piece of magic ideal for walk-around and close-up situations. Cody supplies you with two gimmicks.. one for blue back and one for red back riders. Since you only need one card, bringing it into play is simple with the method taught. You can get it in to any deck at a moments notice.. and out just as quickly. The final move of Cody’s routine eliminates the gaff and leaves the four Aces on the table, examinable by all. Nice….
This is the perfect effect for a beginner to intermediate level magician who wants to ‘appear’ to be a card sharp. Let’s face it.. not all of us will perform like Bill Malone or Ricky Jay, but we can, with the help of a single gimmick, make our spectator think we’re an elite performer. Since a number of magicians are familiar with the original version, you’ll certainly impress more than a few of your magic friends with Las Vegas Aces..
LAS VEGAS ACES is available from dealers who sell the Murphy’s Magic line of quality products. $24.95
(Review by Rick Carruth)