Wild Card by Frank Garcia, Peter Kane(c. 1962,1977)
I know that many British magicians and authors like to say that Wild Card was created by Peter Kane but this is simply not true. It is true that when Wild Card was first released by Lou Tannen there was no mention of Peter Kane’s inspiration which ruffled a lot of feathers and that is pretty much what caused bad blood between the two ever since. But Frank Garcia clearly states the source on the very first page of his book Wild Card Miracles (c.1977):
WILD CARD was originally inspired by an idea called ‘Watch the Ace’ by Peter Kane and described for him by Gus Southall in Hugard’s Magic monthly (April 1962). The effect was called to my attention by Bill Simon.
I like the account as detailed on Magicpedia concerning Wild Card:
Bill Simon read the Kane effect and showed it to Lou Tannen one day at Tannen’s Magic Shop shortly after it appeared. Lou asked Frank Garcia to work out a handling of the effect so Tannen could place it on the market–and this is how “Wild Card” was born. The Garcia handling is very different from Peter Kane’s. Had Lou Tannen put “Based on Peter Kane’s ‘Watch the Ace'” on the instruction sheet, Garcia would have received the credit he deserved for his superior variation. Instead, the Garcia marketed handling carried no credit and Garcia was accused of stealing Peter Kane’s trick. In fact, Garcia used only Kane’s idea of doing the routine with double-faced cards.
Having read Peter Kane’s original Watch The Ace description in Hugard’s Magic Monthly I know for a fact that I would never have performed this effect. But the way it is explained by Frank Garcia made it much more palatable for a hobbyist with my skill set. In fact the version that I learned and still perform today was called One over the Eight and was in Harry Baron’s book Card Tricks for Beginners. Harry’s version is very similar to Routine #2 (pg. 17) described in Wild Card Miracles, though attributed to Dave Lederman.
Either way I thank Peter Kane for inspiring Frank Garcia to create such a beautiful card effect which is probably my all time favorite packet trick.
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