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Which Magician Will Break Through in 2006?

DcoppMagic fucking rules.

If you didn’t believe it before today, then surely, surely you do now, with the news that David Copperfield (technically an “Illusionist” but let’s not get tripped up on semantics) escaped robbery by using his magical powersWe shit you not.

According to the news reports, after being approached by some young thug robbers and (idly standing by while) watching two female friends get pinched, “Copperfield says he turned his pockets inside out to reveal nothing in them, even though he was carrying his passport, wallet and cell phone.”

The young hoodlums fled, clearly baffled by Copperfield’s Merlin-esque magical prowess...not to mention the fact that Copperfield probably creeped the fuck out of them.  Dude is creepy.  Copperfield then got the robbers' license plate number, called 911 (using the cell phone he made magically disappear), and soon the young thugs found themselves behind bars. 

Tying this back to poker, we’ve witnessed dozens (or two) examples of how the amazing powers of David Copperfield and other magicians translates extraordinarily well to the poker table.  Long-time readers of our site are familiar with the so-called “Magician Invasion.”  The Magician Invasion (a phenomenon further developed by one of our favorite bloggers, Kid Dynamite, who will be the subject of our latest Blogfile, dropping tomorrow) detailed the influx (or two total players) that gave up their top hat and cape for sunglasses and ball caps.

To recap, in 2003-2004, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari captivated the poker world with his aggressive stylings and “supernatural” ability to read people and catch cards.  Last year, Deal producer Scott Lazar’s death-defying ascension to the WSOP ME final table was no illusion.  Lazar went from pulling rabbits out of his hat to pulling cards out of his ass. 

It should come as no surprise to anyone anymore that magicians are natural born poker players.  As FOWPC and magic aficionado Bones once told us, magicians are “…good poker players because they’re fucking magical.” 

With that in mind, it's time for Wicked Chops Poker to get pro-active on you, as we search for the next magician who will shock the poker world and make “the leap” this year. 

Here’s our top choices:

Look at the way this dude handles a deck!  Sure, he may LOOK like a dealer, but don't be fooled, Eugene Johnson is a rounder with wicked poker chops in waiting, ready to swing at you like his name is Mike McD.

According to Johnson's Web site, his "magic is the perfect solution for your companies entertainment needs. He is an award winning magician that provides magical entertainment for Corporate or Private Parties. Eugene is serious about the art of magic and thinks that it is important that the client receives maximum entertainment value for their money."

If he's that serious about his magic, I think you can draw your own conclusions as to his focus and concentration at the poker table.  Go ahead.  Draw your own conclusions.

U.K.-based Penn falls into the "illusionist" category (damn semantics), but that certainly does not make him any less magical than Eugene Johnson. 

His future poker prowess (or prowess between the sheets, can't totally tell) is clearly evidenced in this testimonial from his Web site: "Having spent the evening entertained by David Penn, even the most stoically cynical could not be anything but delighted and totally mystified by the success, speed and complexity of the illusions. Not only did the close up artistry defy the most fervent eye but the personality as well as the 'canny' gaze of those knowing eyes made me wonder where the magic ended. A great evening, everyone is a David Penn fan now." - Geoff Chipping, Satcom Solutions

Yes, David Penn will steal a pot right before your eyes...and then he will steal your heart.

Laura_londonLAURA LONDON
Speaking of stealing your heart, helllooooo Laura London.

Now don't let the two following obvious strikes against Laura London keep you from thinking that she can't break through as the next magician-to-poker great: 1) she's a woman, and 2) she's only 19.

London is the youngest girl to ever pass the entrance exam into the Magic Circle (something tells us that David Penn may have many a different kind of "magic circle" of his own with audience members...something that is more along the lines of former Magic player-turned-porn-star-turned-poker-pro David Williams kind of "magic circle").  Clearly, London has prodigious talents.  A Web site describes her as, "Fresh, punk and very talented." 

Laura sounds like the next Ozzy to us...just wait until 2008 [when she's 21].  Just wait.  Plus, she's kind of cute...for a magician.

Loljames2LOL JAMES
First and most obviously, LOL James has the most-over-used and abused online poker expression already built into his name (the "LOL" part, not the "James" part). 

But to his opponents at the poker table, there will be nothing to laugh out loud about.

LOL James is described as, "A Master of Magic."  James' Web site sums up why he'd make a great poker player as well: "From stunning close-up magic at private parties [presumably different than what David Penn does but we can't be for sure about that], to entertaining wedding guests during a reception [same], to sawing the managing director in half at a company function [same], LOL James can tailor his brilliant magic performances to suit your specific needs [same]."

From the sounds of it, LOL James could shift gears and "tailor" his game based on the opponents at the table at will.  AT WILL.  LOL James also should refer to himself in the third person.  Like in interviews with that annoying little Norman Chad, he could say, "LOL James is taking over the poker world!  Scott Lazar can't hold LOL James' dick!"  Yeah, LOL James is cool.

Admittedly, Bamboozle is a late entrant to our list.  Dude doesn't even have his act together.  Can't find much info on him.  According to his Web site, "Bamboozle is in the process of writing text to describe his family magic shows and it will be online shortly."  He's even trying to steal LOL James' third party reference thing.  But that segues well into why he is included on our list...and it is for this sure-to-be popular catch-phrase:

"You've been bamboozled!"

Imagine you're in a huge pot with Bamboozle.  He makes an outrageous all-in move and forces you to fold.  He then flashes you a 2-3o (although, how would you know that he wasn't actually showing you an illusion...interesting), not even remotely connected with anything on the board, and shouts out, "You've been bamboozled!" as he rakes the stolen pot from you. 

Like a brush fire in Southern California, that catch-phrase would catch fire across the land.  It would be on t-shirts, mugs, and make its way into the pop-culture lexicon like "Waaaaaazzzzzzzzuuuuuuuuup!" and "Where's the Beef?".

For that reason alone, Bamboozle, we beg you, make the leap into the poker world.  Give us that catch-phrase.  Be the 2006 magician-to-poker pro success story.  Do it Bamboozle.  Do it for us all.

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Holy crap, Bamboozle rules. Absolutely creepy.


dude, that's not Copperfield. That's Frankenstein.

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