Matt Baker – The Buena Vista Shuffle Club


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The Buena Vista Shuffle Club is the debut effort from Matt Baker, a mathematics professor by trade and a creative magician by night. Mr. Baker brings his analytical background to his approach to magic, and the results are an intriguing, satisfying array of tricks that are not at all difficult to perform. Instead, most rely on clever principles, gripping premises, and subtle methods to accomplish astonishing results. You’ll find over 100 pages dedicated to memorized deck work, which is our favorite section of the book.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is Matt’s creative approach to the format. Between tricks, a fictitious group of magicians discuss the material and jam on the ideas contained therein. It’s a blast, and it’s a clever exercise that will help you think outside the box with Matt’s material.

Highlights include:

  • An interactive murder mystery based on the game of “Clue”.
  • A baffling Three Card Monte routine done with coins.
  • A magician-slaying, radically new approach to the classic 21 Card Trick.
  • Fascinating new uses for the Gilbreath Principle.
  • Routines which surreptitiously restore your memorized stack from a shuffled deck.
  • An impromptu mentalism effect, done with borrowed change, in which the spectators make all of the choices (including the prediction itself!).
  • A new presentation AND new method for Simon Aronson’s classic “Shuffle-Bored”.
  • A re-imagining of Paul Harris’s “The Anything Deck” (which Dan Harlan has called the best version ever).

“Matt Baker creates the kind of ‘thinking man’s’ magic that I admire. He’s constantly pushing the envelope, so even when you think you might know what’s happening, there’s an extra ‘twist’ that renders it impossible. Matt’s creativity, combined with his humor and his imagination, make it a pleasure to spend time with the Buena Vista Shuffle Club.” – Simon Aronson

“The Buena Vista Shuffle Club is an excellent, funny, and personal collection of magic that is a joy to read. Matt’s memorized deck work was smart and novel.” – Joshua Jay

“I’ve just finished the first of what I expect to be many enjoyable readings of The Buena Vista Shuffle Club. Matt Baker’s charming magic creations hit the sweet spot of being both clever and practical, but the concept and style of the writing make reading his book an entertainment experience in its own right. This is a valuable contribution to the art.” – Joe M. Turner

“Matt’s tricks fool everyone except the smartest guy in the room… and that is because Matt IS the smartest guy in the room! The material in this book is material that you are going to do, and love.” – Caleb Wiles

Contents of The Buena Vista Shuffle Club by Matt Baker

  • Introduction
  • Prologue
  • Acknowledgments

A Stroll Down Memory Lane
Routines for the Memorized Deck Connoisseur

    • Card College
    • Casablanca

Routines for Both the Memorized and Non-Memorized Deck Connoisseur

    • Location Sensing Device
    • Tilapia

Variations: Part One (Buena Vista Shuffle Club)

    • Histed Hoisted

Secret Arrangements
An Entertaining Effect that Surreptitiously Stacks

    • Elementary, My Dear Vernon

A Bit of Mentalism
Performance Pieces for the Discerning Mindreader

    • Clue
    • Say Anything

Variations, Part II (Buena Vista Shuffle Club)

    • Foiled by the Origami Test, Saved by the Lemon Law

Coin Conundrums
Pieces of Wonder with Pieces of Eight

    • Three Coin Monte
    • Hive Mind
    • Quantum Matrix

Casino Chicanery

    • Cheaters Gonna Cheat
    • Banned for Life
    • Subconscious Shuffle Tracking
    • Gilbreath Poker

Mental Math Machismo
Manufacturing a Mathematical Spectator Suplex

    • Triple-Fried
    • Pile Driver

Variations, Part III (Buena Vista Shuffle Club)

    • Avenging Mandelbrot

Major Gaffs
Tricked-Out Miracles for the Conniving Conjuror

    • S.O.L.
    • Outlier
  • Quick Reference Guide