Al Stanger’s Miracle Poker Machine is truly unbelievable. It fries an audience and makes magicians capable of murder. I have heard that when a group of ‘card men’ once saw John Mendoza demonstrate this, someone was heard to say, ‘Guys will kill for that.’ It was my pleasure to see John perform this twice at a SEAM convention in Nashville a few years ago. It dropped jaws all over the small room where his close up session was held. I would give this four and one half stars if there was such a rating. In all good conscience I cannot give it a (perfect) five stars because it is somewhat difficult to master. It looks like the machine does all the work, but, of course, it doesn’t. I understand that Gaeten Bloom reacted the same way and has created a simpler handling. I have not worked on that presentation yet, but if it is up to Bloom’s typical excellence, it may well be the ‘improvement’ that this awesome effect deserves.
I love this trick. I have a plastic version that Tenyo put out. I think it was Tenyo. I always thought this would be great in brass. When I got mine, though, the lids are so tight that the spectator is going to lose interest in opening all five – especially if she breaks a nail doing it! Perhaps constant usage would loosen them a bit.
Martin’s Magic Comment – I have had two sets of this beautiful trick and have not seen the problems Joey’s having. I also should comment that there are only 4 boxes, not 5, so I wonder if joey even has the same set? I still love it!
Here are some notes from George Robinson at Viking Magic:
Our brass Nest of Boxes are made to exacting standards and tolerances. The room where the lathe work is done must be kept at a constant 72 degrees while working on the boxes as any deviation will cause the metal to expand or contract, causing a ‘fit problem’. In making a run which generally consists of 500 to 600 sets (3,600 individual pieces) some variation is expected. We dry-fit every set and test them but even at that some boxes get by us that are either too tight or too loose. If you receive a set that is too loose, we will replace it without question; same goes for too tight. (The cheap copies out there do NOT use this quality control and those boxes are literally junk).
Polishing the OUTSIDE of the boxes with most brass polish is O.K. but note that Brasso removes metal and is NOT recommended for any of our brass products. We recommend Never-dul which uses a mild chemical reaction that cleans the brass. Then rub the brass with a light oil until the oil is virtually gone.
NEVER use Brasso on the sliding parts or locking parts of any of our products. NEVER try to fix one of our item without first consulting us.
I love this trick. It comes with two possible outcomes in color selection. (I am trying not to give anything away here.) To be able to have both available to me, I cut a "false bottom" out of black felt. That way, I can store the alternative color chip in the bottom of the box and still have it immediately available if someone says, "Hey, do that one with the chips again." This would make this trick more useful for walk around.